One day while surfing the web I found a blog Go Ask Mom written By Sarah Lindenfeld Hall that was profiling Jan Campana a Mom from Raleigh, North Carolina that developed her own BBQ Sauce called Dimples. Also in that blog post was a link to a site called The National BBQ News that had the results of a huge BBQ Sauce Award list called the 2011 Sauces of Honor that had categories of best sauce for Pork, Chicken and Beef and what really caught my eye was that each of the winners in those categories only placed high in one category and did not show up in the others. But one sauce finished 2nd in all 3 categories! and that was Dimples!!! And if you equate that to a KCBS competition, to me Dimples would be awarded the Grand Championship.
I was so impressed by that that I contacted Jan Campana and asked if I could review her sauce for myself. Rather than my going all through how the sauce came about I would rather direct you back to the article written by Sarah on Go Ask Mom as that really tells the story well.
What I will do however is show you the results I used when I made a meal of Pulled Pork with the Dimples Sauce.
I have some very good friends, Bob Susan and Herman that really appreciate BBQ cooking so one Saturday morning I got up at 6:30 am to smoke a couple of Pork Butts that I bought from a well known Butcher in Bowmanville, Ontario called Kyle’s Quality Meats which I found in a great local magazine written by a facebook friend of mine Susan Oliver Benedet editor of Life in Clarington
I picked up 3 of the Boston Butts from Kyle that were cut fresh right when I placed the order. and prepared them the night before the big smoke!
Here is how I like to prepare my butts….
1. Trim off any visible fat on the outside (there is plenty remaining onside of the butts that keep the meat moist.)
3. Coat the outside with a mustard (helps to adhere the seasoning to the butts in the next step)
5. Also sprinkle on some Turbinado sugar which will add sweetness and does not burn as much like say Brown sugar would.
6. Wrap in Plastic wrap and keep in the fridge overnight.
7. Smoke at a temperature of 250F I used my Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse using Jack Daniels Rum soaked Oak wood and some Apple Tree Sawdust that I got from Baxter’s Original Premium Smoking Wood.
Smoking has very many variables so I can not tell you the perfect time for cooking but you can expect to have it in your smoker for 10 to 12 hours, but do not go by that make sure you have a temperature probe and when you achieve an internal temperature of 195- 205F then it is done.
After about 8 hours I decided to also try a Smoked Cabbage which was an idea that I found on the Cookshack Smoker site.
Here is how the smoked cabbage was done…
I used a Red cabbage rather than the suggested green one.
1. Core about 3/4 the way through removing the hard core of the cabbage, I just used a knife for this.
2. Pour in a package of Beef Bullion powder into the hole.
3. Fill the hole with a stick or more of butter.
4. Wrap the cabbage in plastic wrap leaving an opening at the top.
5. Smoke for last 3-4 hours while your smoking the meat.
When done this was the results of the Pork and the cabbage.
All that is left is to chop the cabbage and pull the pork and then we can eat! ( I let the pork stay wrapped in foil in an insulated container for an hour after smoking)
Above is how I made my sandwich with the pork I brought to Bob & Susan’s house and the Dimples was a huge hit, Bob got mad at me when I said I was bringing the sauce back home with me saying that he likes it so much better than any of the store bought BBQ sauces that are available here in Ontario.
The next day I made myself a sandwich using the other Pork Butt that I smoked at the same time and some left over cabbage and of course a healthy slathering of Dimples!
One thing I did was to re-heat the cabbage with some apple cider vinegar to give it a little more tang, I think next time I will add the apple cider vinegar as it smokes.
Having the cabbage on top of the pork made a fantastic sandwich I liked the colour it provided and the texture was a perfect blend with the pulled pork.
A few words about the Dimples BBQ sauce…
I found Dimples to be a fruity, sweet, smokey sauce that was not overpowering and enhanced the taste of the food.
It’s ingredients include Ketchup, Brown sugar, Molasses, Worcestershire sauce, Mustard, Salt, Liquid Smoke flavour and Paprika.
There has been debate in the BBQ Sauce reviewers union (ok more like a group) that does not like to have liquid smoke as a flavour additive.
Myself it does not bother me, and the nice thing about it is that if you are having some food that is not BBQ’d on a smoker than the flavour will be nice on say a gas grilled burger.
Looking at the ingredients it appears to be a mixture of ready made products rather than some sauces that are made more from scratch but it is a very nice blend of those ingredients.
With all of the sauces and rubs that I review I do not get the luxury to find one that will stay a staple in my house but this is a sauce that I would not hesitate to buy.
You can buy Dimples online for $5.95 for a 16 oz bottle here.
And from the website you can find a list of local shops in North Carolina that have it on the shelf.
If you would like to email them firstname.lastname@example.org is the address.
One of the great things about social media is that you can get personal with companies and interact with their customers. If this is for you I would suggest you like them on facebook
After posting this review I was just about to throw out the box it was shipped in and under the packing was a hand written card with a note saying I am the first person outside of the US to try Dimples. and she also included some Dimples pens to make it easier for me to write the review! (Yes that is a joke but the pens are cool none the less)
It is those sort of personal touches that makes it such a pleasure to do the things I do on this blog.
It shows that the smallest of companies can have the biggest of hearts!