Caribeque Smoked Chicken Sandwich in the Barrel House Cooker

Caribeque is the rub that started it all when it comes to my barbecue fetish. It is only natural that I continue to return the love and pay it forward all the same as I continue my barbecue journey. Kurt Halls, the man behind the company, released the new rub — the first one in a series of three — last week: Caribeque Signature Series Chicken Rub. Sure, the name isn’t flashy, but who needs flash when you have substance? The name tells you what it is, and that’s good enough for me. This is a full-fledged chicken seasoning and a half. If you were expecting anything else, go home, you are drunk.

Waiting for this rub was like being a child and waiting for Christmas day to arrive but it only being the 23rd of December. As in, a couple of days felt like forever. I only tout products I believe in, and I’m a huge supporter of Caribeque, so I couldn’t wait to greet my tastebuds with this creation.

The finished product: a smoked chicken sandwich with pepperjack cheese and pickles, an ode to Chick-Fil-A. Between the Caribeque Signature Series Chicken Rub and the cherrywood from the cook, this sandwich was over-the-top amazing and put Chick-Fil-A to shame if I do say so myself.

The story is simple: I was firing up my Barrel House Cooker 18C with a little bit of wood in order to clean off the outside of the unit (the heat makes it easier). I received a notification that my Caribeque shipment had arrived at the post office. Immediately, I left my house, bought some chicken breasts from the grocery store, picked up the package from the post office and as soon as I made it home, I added some cherrywood in my Barrel House Cooker that was still stoked, cut the chicken breasts thin, rubbed ’em with the almighty Caribeque Signature Series Chicken Rub, added them to the BHC, cracked the lid and cooked these babies at about 350 (according to the lid temps; actual temps were probably closer to 400) degrees for around 20 minutes. No charcoal. Straight cherrywood.

The sandwich construction is simple:

Brioche bun (toasted optional)
Thinly sliced chicken breast
Pepperjack cheese
As many pickles as you can stand it

If you have a Barrel House Cooker, trust the process:


I’m a firm believer in Caribeque because every rub or seasoning I have had from Kurt Halls has been top notch, and I’m not spewing this in order to receive anything or something like that. It’s just that the flavor concoctions he has created have amplified my food and encouraged me to up my game in the culinary side of things. The best thing about Kurt is that he will take the time to engage in a conversation with you. I could reach out to him right now and hear back, and it doesn’t matter if you have thousands of followers or 700 like I do or less. I’m not sure why other rub companies don’t do this. I definitely understand being busy, but as someone who engages in both marketing and advertising on virtually a daily basis, having a social presence and engaging the people who have not only spent their money on your products but are also posting about it? That is crucial and should be a goal for everyone who ‘configures’ a business. Sheepishly, I’d like to believe that business is in my blood, as I watched my father build an extremely successful business, once upon a time, selling coal mining parts in southwest Virginia. I saw first hand how the personality of an owner and how he engages customers can make or break a business. It seems like a lot of these companies in the barbecue world fail to do this, for whatever reason. (Apathy?) Kurt does it right, and I see the man as an incredible asset to the world of ‘Q.

Kurt personally told me over the phone that his ultimate goal with his new Signature Series line with Caribeque is to go back to the basics. He expressed concern over how too many of these seasoning/rub companies are coming out with bizarre flavors that are kinda mucking up (my words here; paraphrasing) the cabinets of kitchens, and how he wants to go back to the basics. For example, if you want to season up your chicken with something, it’s a no-brainer to go with the new chicken rub, because it is tailor made for chicken.

One more tip about the chicken rub: I added it to freshly fried potatoes last week and I ended up making several batches among five people. Ten pounds of potatoes were gone faster than you can believe. This rub is not just for chicken, folks. This adds a tremendous amount of flavor to crispy potatoes.

Yes, I am biased: when it comes to rubs, I have what I call the ‘Mystical Six’ that I consistently go back to: Caribeque, Reload Rub, The Killer Cook, Grill Your Ass Off, Meat Church and Code 3 Spices. However, Caribeque is my favorite, because those rubs are the ones that truly started it all for me in my journey of barbecue. Not when I first began to throw down some grilling and barbecue goodness but when I started to delve deeper into Instagram. That is why I can’t help but to constantly return to those rubs over and over again. Can you blame me?

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