The same local BBQ rub declared best, worst in America

Local pitmaster’s product elicits far different reactions from two separate panels of barbecue competition judges


A chef and pitmaster for a local barbecue restaurant is scratching his head after one of his products that previously captured first place in a national competition came in dead last out of nearly 200 rubs in another competition, the results of which were released in May.

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Chris Cavender, founder of the online-order company UrbanQ Smokehouse and pitmaster at 1572 Roadhouse Bar-B-Q near Waynesville, did score some great recognition for some of his other products at the 2018 American Royal World Series of Barbecue sauces and rubs competition. 

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His UrbanQ Myassis Dragon sauce placed 6th out of 134 tomato-based sauces to enter the competition, and his Smokey Maple sauce placed #4 out of 84 entries in the “specialty sauces” category.

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But UrbanQ’s “It’s All About The Meats & More” rub came in last — 196th out of 196 — among all rubs in the same competition

The ranking was based on the combined scorecards of a panel of six barbecue judges.

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The rub is exactly the same ingredients and formula as the rub that won 1st place in the 2016 National Barbecue Rubs of Honor competition, out of 32 entries. At the time, it was entered under the 1572 Roadhouse label for that competition. But only the label was different.

“It’s pretty amazing how judges’ palates can differ,” Cavender said. 

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He does have one theory. The formula for It’s All About The Meats & More is made for cuts of beef, with an emphasis on salt and garlic. It does not contain sugar or paprika, as most rubs for pork and chicken do. The judges who ranked the rub poorly may have been reacting to that, Cavender said.

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So, is the It’s All About The Meats & More rub the best or worst in America?

There’s only one way to find out. The rub is available for $5.95 per bottle on the UrbanQ mail-order web site. 

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