Published: March 30, 2011
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So for our second installment of our Barbecue Sauce Review we are going to be reviewing Drapers BBQ Sauce and Rub.Over the past couple of weeks I have gotten a chance to become good friends with Shane from Drapers Barbecue Sauce, and I really have enjoyed learning a bit about Shane’s history and some history of Drapers BBQ.
Now you might be asking yourself, where can I get my own bottle?? Well that is very simple, you can purchase a bottle of sauce at the BBQ Pro Shop or even their rub can also be purchased at the BBQ Pro Shop. For this review, since I am reviewing both the sauce and the rub at one time I am going to be combing my review with both their rubs and sauce together.
Here is some background of the Drapers Barbecue Sauce:
Draper’s BBQ or DBQ started life in 1973 as Draper’s Pit Barbecue. Draper’s BBQ Sauce was born from the hard work and dedication of their grandfather, James Draper.
Thankfully Shane’s grandfather passed down most of what he learned as a pit master to my father, Mike. Dad more or less tinkered around with bbq for several years and became one of the better chicken cookers in the area (if you ask the neighbors). Dad worked construction his whole life and learned that hard work equals good products. That lesson has paid great dividends for Draper’s BBQ as a company and made uncompromising about quality. Both dad and grandpa still cooked for friends and family, enjoying the laid back pace of cooking just for the enjoyment of the people they cared about.
James in the middle, Mike (Shane’s Dad) on the rightDuring those years, I had turned 17 and had opted to join the Navy. I was stationed at first in Virginia Beach and then Japan on an aircraft carrier. I think the amount of travelling I did while on active duty tempered my pallet and showed me that honest flavors, layered together make for the best food no matter the culture, the country or the ingredients. After leaving the service I became a government contractor in the Virginia Beach area. It was during this time that my grandfather passed away. To say it was a devastating blow to the entire family is an understatement. About a year after his passing I decided I would not miss another opportunity to spend time with the rest of my family in Kentucky, so I packed up my young family and headed home.
When I got home it was great to be back, but something was missing. Of course I still missed my grandfather greatly, but it was more than that. For the first time in as long as I could remember the Draper’s no longer barbecued. I was determined to change that and finally talked dad into teaching me to cook. Well, true to Draper tradition, it wasn’t long and people were asking us to cook for them. So we started cooking as a hobby again and experimenting with different ideas.
It was during this time that our DBQ Smokin’ Sauce, A.P Rub and Rib Rub were born. It all started with the sauce. Dad was always very fond of Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce on his chicken. It’s a good sauce that is readily available but I always had the thought that I could do better. Dad threw down the gauntlet and dared me to try. The very next day I got about 10 bbq sauce recipes together, bought a cart full of supplies and started cooking. It wasn’t long before I found the flaw in most sauces was a lack of depth and clarity of flavors. With that in mind I started layering together flavors, making batch after batch, adjusting and taking notes on what ingredients would go well in a rub to complement the sauce. After months of trial and error (and straining my wife’s patience) one day it all came together. Finally I had a sauce that was authentic but familiar, complex but not complicated or muddy, refined but not pretentious. I knew I had something that would get my grandfather’s seal of approval.
A few months after this Dad and I were invited to Memphis in May to be apart of the Tucker Cooker team. While there we were asked to enter our sauce in the Tomato Based Sauce category. Our sauce ended up beating many of the big names in the bbq industry and cooking circuit and wound up with the 8th best score overall! This was all I needed to know we needed to start the company back up again and get our products out to the world again.
Fast forward almost a year and Draper’s Pit Barbecue has officially turned a corner and became DBQ. We are here on the web selling our products, working with amazing people and meeting friends just like you everyday. Along the way we have never forgotten the truths that made us who we are. It all starts with love but has to be backed by the commitment and honor to do things the right way and never compromise on ingredients or flavor.
When we say “Three generations of pride and flavor in a bottle” we mean it. It took every generation to be what we are today and we will never forget that.
Okay now that we got the history of Drapers BBQ out of the way it is time for the actual review of the sauce. As always with our sauce reviews, we will do a blind taste of the sauce which will highlight the true pure taste of the sauce and for this review, I used the sauce on some of my smoked chicken wings that I made this past weekend so the timing worked out great.
What I liked: The actual barbecue sauce! I really enjoyed the sauce it worked perfectly on my chicken wings that I smoked earlier this week. I actually compared it to my Kraft Barbecue sauce that I put on some other chicken wings that I made I could even tell the difference between the two (it was that good) The chicken wings that were marinated with Drapers BBQ sauce went very quickly and was a fan favorite, opposed to any other flavors. Another aspect of Draper’s BBQ sauce that I enjoyed was how when I marinated the chicken wings, the sauce was a bit heavy but in a good way, what I am saying it went really well with the smoked chicken flavor. Another aspect of the sacue that I enjoyed about the sauce had a nice barbecue taste when I added it to my chicken wings. There is very little negatives that I can even say about the sauce, because there is nothing in mind. I am looking forward to trying this sauce on some red meats.
What I didn’t like: The one thing that I didn’t like about Drapers BBQ was the spiciness of the rub. I know that many people would be like, you don’t like spicy food what are you thinking? spicy food rocks and especially with barbecue!! But for this northerner I like my rub with less spice. But otherwise there was very little that I didn’t like. I know that rubs have a stronger flavor because they are dry spice. I actually contacted Shane about it via twitter and he then suggested that I add “a lil honey if you like em extra sweet,” so I did that and it turned out great so if you don’t like spicy barbecue rubs, then I would suggest adding some honey to it!!
Overall impressions: Maybe as I try more barbecue rubs in the future, I will appreciate the spiciness of a good rub, but until then I will stick to the nice and sweet taste defiantly adding some honey to the rub was a great idea. The barbecue sauce was really good, I liked how it had a nice thickness to the sauce, which added a lot of great texture and also the most important flavoring: Barbecue flavor.
There was very little that I didn’t like about Drapers BBQ sauce. I know and I am glad that Drapers will be around for a long time! I can’t wait to see what they are going to cook up next, and more importantly I am looking forward to meeting Shane in person in Memphis in May!!
He is a great guy and someone that I feel Drapers BBQ Sauce will be very successful in the barbecue sauce world. Grilling with Rich is very proud to know Shane and also very honored try his sauces for one of the second installment for the BBQ Sauce Wednesday Review series.
After doing some thinking about what to me at least makes a great BBQ Sauce, I still haven’t found what I am looking for, but one of the factors that I really want to see in a sauce is the back story of the sauce what makes it great and importantly why the company started and do they continue to strive to make a traditional barbecue sauce. If you close your eyes can you picture being at the picnic table on a hot summer day and being part of their family history.
Drapers BBQ in-bodies some of the heart and soul of barbecue along with some great tradition of barbecue sauce and it is in my opinion that they are always striving to stay true to their roots, so with all that said, I am very proud to say that: Drapers BBQ has the Grilling with Rich Approval!
If you enjoyed this post and want to try Drapers BBQ out you can win a FREE set of rub and sauce during our first live BBQ competition chat this coming Sunday at 8:00 PM EST at grillingwithrich.com/chat
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