Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita barbecue experts bottling their own sauces, rubs

Morgan and Loren Tracy III own Kansas Cabin BBQ & rubs.
Morgan and Loren Tracy III own Kansas Cabin BBQ & rubs.

Don Cary is out of shelf space for rubs and sauces at his All Things BBQ store at 818 W. Douglas.

It seems like everyone who’s ever smoked a pork loin wants to invent one, he said. And many Wichitans have.

“There are thousands of them,” he said. “Every time I turn around, literally weekly, someone has the latest-and-greatest sauce, rub, etc.”

Of the sauces and rubs he stocks in his store, many have inventors based in Wichita. Some come from local barbecue restaurants. Others come from competition barbecuers. Others were invented by backyard smokers with a dream and a recipe.

Following is a look at some of the most popular and best barbecue sauces and rubs that were invented in and around Wichita and are available for purchase here.

Bash Brother’s BBQ, www.bashbrothersbbq.com: Derby barbecue connoisseur Chris Halloran couldn’t find sauces or rubs he liked, so he formulated his own. His family and friends loved them so much, they encouraged him to sell them. He now offers a full line of barbecue sauces, including original, sweet and Hawaiian flavors, as well as several rubs. They’re all for sale on his website, at All Things BBQ, at the Ace Hardware at 5204 N. Maize Road and at Sig’s Gourmet Meats in Derby.

Big Rick’s, www.bigricks.com: Rick Doty is the granddaddy of Wichita barbecue sauce makers, though he sold his company years ago. Doty got his start in 1993, when he was a housepainter who craved a more flavorful barbecue sauce. Today, the company makes not only barbecue sauces but also salsa, ketchup, mustard, chili and pasta sauce. It’s available all over the country and also is sold widely in Australia. Locals can find Big Rick’s original, hot, honey and chipotle sauces, all decorated with sketches of himself, his dog and other family members, at All Things BBQ and other local retailers. The products are also available on the Big Rick’s website.

Brewer’s Best, www.brewersbestbbq.com: Former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer also competes on the barbecue circuit, and in 2012, he started bottling and selling his signature barbecue sauces. He makes them in several varieties, including sweet, mild, hot, xxx hot, mustard hot and mustard mild. Brewer’s Best is available at several local retailers, including The Spice Merchant, the Save-A-Lot stores at 13th and Grove and at Pawnee and George Washington, at Walnut Valley Meats in El Dorado and at All Things BBQ.

Chile Slinger, www.chileslinger.com: Smoking aficionado Mark Chambers came up with his recipe in the early 1990s, tinkering with it in a hunting cabin in the Chautauqua Hills. His original and chipotle sauces plus his own rub are now are for sale all over the state and available locally at places like All Things BBQ, Douglas Avenue Chop Shop, Natural Grocers, Whole Foods, Woodard Mercantile and Yoder Meats.

JP Custom Smoke, www.jpcustomsmoke.net: John Patty retired a few years ago from the gas company and now focuses on building custom smokers for his business, JP Custom Smoke, and competing on the barbecue circuit, where he’s won many awards. He also has a line of rubs, including one for pork, one for beef and one for chicken. His products are available online, at both Walton’s stores in Wichita and at All Things BBQ. He also sells his products all over the country and overseas.

Kansas Cabin BBQ & Rubs, www.kansascabin.com: Wichita native Loren Tracy III was unhappy with his career in psychology, so six years ago, he decided to start selling his homemade barbecue sauce at a neighborhood farmers market. It took off, and today, he has a large industrial kitchen and often produces 2,000 gallons of sauce a day. He sells his six sauces (the most popular is wasabi flavored) and six rubs at both Walton’s stores in Wichita, at local Williams Ace Hardware stores, at All Things BBQ, at Douglas Avenue Chop Shop and online.

Smokin’ Elvises, www.smokinelvises.com: Ray Arnoult and pitmaster Doug Smith make up another competition barbecue team that also has started selling its sauces and its rub. Their inventions have been on the market for about three years and now are sold all over the world. People can buy Smokin’ Elvises products locally at All Things BBQ and on the company’s website.

T.D.’s BBQ, t-d-s-bbq.myshopify.com: This food truck out of Wellington has just started offering its tornado-themed rubs. “EF-6” is a rib rub and “Twisted” is a meat rub. The rubs are available at the truck’s online store and at Hobbs Mechanical in Wellington. The owners also sell the rubs from the food truck.

Y’et Yet, www.yetyet.com: Jack Jacobs, who grew up working at his family’s Garden City Restaurant, operates his 14-year-old business out of his home in Butler County. He makes salsas, chili blends and sweet-and-spicy barbecue sauce. Find his products at All Things BBQ, Williams Ace Hardware at 6230 E. Central and Treescapes at 1202 N. Andover Road in Andover. Jacobs also said interested buyers can call him at 316-733-5933.

When Pigs Fly, www.whenpigsflywichita.com: Brian Choy, owner of When Pigs Fly barbecue restaurant at 7011 W. Central, just started selling his rub in bottles. It’s available at All Things BBQ and at local Walton’s stores. He has it at his store, as well, and may soon have it on shelves at Dillons.