A Focus on The Smokey Carter
As you would expect from a BBQ enthusiast, rubs are something I use frequently. I have tried making my own but in truth they are never as good as the shop bought rubs.
Last year I discovered the rubs, chutneys, and jams from The Smokey Carter, and have now tried the majority of the range. I can honestly say they have all really impressed me and there is a couple of combo’s that are absolutely amazing.
Who are The Smokey Carter?
The Smokey Carter are an awarding winning artisan food producers of barbeque spice rubs, sauces, chilli jams and chutneys based up in Machester.
Husband & wife team Howard & Samantha Carter started out in 2013 making chutneys and sauces for family and friends to give as gifts for Christmas. Proving to be an instant hit, their business idea was born. They first met while working on board cruise ships, and were inspired by their travels from around the globe.
The whole range is based around world cuisine with Howard’s love of barbeque being centre stage. Best sellers include their Chipotle & Bourbon BBQ Sauce, Pineapple Express Hot Sauce and their Smokey Chipotle BBQ Rub.
They also like to offer something different from other similar companies such as their Japanese Wasabi & Lime Rub, Brazilian BBQ Rub and their Mexican Jalapeno & Lime Rub.
About their Rubs and Sauces
All the BBQ Rubs & Sauces The Smokey Carter produce are handmade in small batches, which helps to ensure great quality every time, with ingredients often sourced from their country of origin such as Mexico and Portugal.
Whilst many of their rubs are chilli based, there are definitely great flavour combinations. Rather the products being uncomfortably hot, I always find the rubs to be really well balanced and enhance any meat or vegetable products I cook on the BBQ or smoker.
What I also love about The Smokey Carter is their flavour range. Whilst they have a great range of the more ‘traditional’ type of BBQ rub, they have a number of rubs and sauces inspired by flavours around the world. The less traditional ones are actually my favourites.
I have completed numerous BBQ (and non-BBQ cooks) over the past year with The Smokey Carter products. A few of my favourites can be seen below.
BBQ Spiced Mango & Lime Chicken Burger
This was my first cook using products from The Smokey Carter. I don’t think I could have started with a better one.
The main rub on the burger was Spiced Mango and Lime rub, which I marinated the chicken in for 24 hours. The rub has Indian inspired flavours, with ingredients including curry powder, cumin, turmeric and cardamon amongst others. If you like Indian food this rub will be right up your street.
When putting the burger together I also used some of their Spiced Pineapple and Nigella Chutney on both sides of the bun. The rub and the chutney go amazing together.
Mexican Lime and Jalapeño Chicken Wings
Next up were Chicken Wings. I love cooking wings on the BBQ, especially when using the BBQ Vortex.
I used the Mexican Jalapeño and Lime rub and allowed the wings so sit in the rub for 24 hours before cooking them using the Vortex. They came out really crispy with some nice heat from the Mexican Jalapeño and Lime rub. I cooked these again recently and absolutely loved them.
Brazilian Style Beef Kebabs
I did a series of cooks during last years world cup, where I cooked a dish from one of the countries that were playing that day. I really wish I had discovered The Smokey Carter rubs for those cooks.
For this cook I used a Rib-eye and marinated the meat in the Brazilian BBQ Spice Rub for 18 hours. The marinade certainly didn’t disappoint and packed quite a punch both in terms of taste and spiciness.
It has a really distinct flavour that does not get lost during the cook. This was a great cook!
Sirloin Steak Panini with Caramelised Onion, Chipotle Chilli Jam and Rocket
The Smokey Carter do some amazing chilli jams. For this cook I used their Smokey Chipotle Chilli Jam, which seems to go with anything. It really did add to this cook and the jar did not last long.
It is fantastic on cheese on toast and has become a firm favourite in our house.
Gaucho Rump Steak, Avocado, Lime and Tomato Flatbreads
This was another run out for the Mexican Jalapeño and Lime rub. I didn’t actually marinate the meat for too long but still really enjoyed this cook. This rub is definitely one of my favourites.
Piri Piri Chicken Burger with Smokey Chipotle Mayo
I used Piri-Piri rub from The Smokey Carter, and after covering the chicken breasts, I let them sit in the fridge for around 3 hours. Ideally, I would have given them more time in the rub, which I will do next time.
What I have started doing with chicken burgers is horizontally slicing them in half before plating up. With this burger, I spread the Smokey Chipotle Mayo, again from The Smokey Carter, on the base of the bun, followed by some thinly sliced Gem Lettuce, the chicken and then sliced baby tomatoes. I served this with some potato skins which were also cooked on the BBQ.
Chicken and Mango Kebabs
The Spiced Mango and Lime Spice Rub works really well on chicken. As I love kebabs this it was no brainer to try this rub on a chicken kebab. It works!!!
I also used the Pineapple Express Hot Sauce on these kebabs, which worked really well the Spiced Mango and Lime Spice Rub.
I have also used the other rubs on numerous other cooks that I have not written up into a recipe for the website. The rubs are also great of veggies. You should try mixing some of them like the Brazilian Spice rub with butter and then spreading it over corn-on-the-cob. It adds a little heat and a different flavour dimension.
Some of the sauces are lovely on a breakfast or steak sandwich. I just find all the products very versatile, and have had great fun trying them on diffent foods to try to discover different flavour combinations.
Howard’s Latest and Greatest
What has been great to see is the expanding range of products The Smokey Carter is offering. They have introduced Gin Infusion Kits, Bacon Curing Kits, Gift sets and continue to expand their rub range.
They have just launched two new barbecue rubs one of which contains activated charcoal which as an ingredient has made an appearance recently in pizza bases at Waitrose and bagels at M&S. Their other rub is coffee based with mild heat from the Mexican Ancho chilli.
I did an experiment with both these rub on Pig Cheeks cooked in the Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) and they came out fantastic.
Give them a Go
The Smokey Carter has won some prestigious awards for their products including 9 Great Taste Awards which is recognised as the food Oscars and 3 National Chilli Awards. They have also gained recognition from ex Dragon’s Den star, Theo Paphitis, for their business.
In November 2018 the couple were selected from thousands of businesses and invited to London where they were awarded ‘The Expert Award’ at the eBay for Business Awards. If that’s not enough they have also had a recipe published in The Manchester Cookbook Second Helpings, which celebrates the Manchester food scene including recipes from Masterchef champion, Simon Wood. The book went on sale for Christmas 2018.
To be fully transparent I have been lucky enough that Howard has sent me a few of his rubs to try, which has been brilliant. However, I would never endorse a product if I did not truly like it. I have been back and bought rubs and sauces and will continue to do so as I absolutely love the range and versatility they offer in my cooking.
The rubs, sauces and jams are not only for BBQ cooking but can also be used ‘indoors’. I would really recommend giving them a go. I am sure you won’t be disappointed.
For a limited time you can get a 15% discount at The Smokey Carter by entering the code ‘love2bbq‘ at checkout.