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Proven Flavor Makers From James Cruse

Ben Que'n

Ben Que’n

Product Reviews

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If the name James Cruse is new to you then you might want to start watching the BBQ competition trail a bit more closely. This fellow has been on fire for the past few years as he has introduced his Louisiana flavors to a ton of different BBQ judges with most of them liking his style a lot!

His team, Bluff City Smokers, has made the finals (placing in the top 3 overall spots) in the rib at the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. In 2021 his team actually won the Rib category. That same year James went on to finish up sixth place overall at the World Food Championships in barbecue (first place, pork). In 2022 James was a cast member on the third season of Food Network show “BBQ Brawl.” James told us his biggest accomplishment in BBQ is winning 3 grand champi-onships at Hogs For The Cause in his back yard of New Orleans.

All ‘Round
This rub’s name explains its purpose exactly. This could easily be the base layer or start to any flavor profile you are looking build. The ingredients list really fooled us as the sweets are in the list but the gentle kick of heat is found further down the list but surely comes quickly upon first tasting.

Super good on every protein we tested with but we found it best when used by itself on a batch of boneless skinless chicken thighs we grilled up. The color left behind from this award winner is a game changer as it made everything pop a little more vs. most seasonings.

Grand Champ
James tells us this is his money maker. He adds this on top of the All ‘Round on most of his championship winning pork recipes. It works great as well when used by itself too. We found we loved it on ribs and pork steaks. We also liked this one best when combined with the All ‘Round used as a base. Loin back ribs love the sweetness of this stuff right by itself and we can see a KCBS sweet rib lover scoring high with this stuff in the recipe mix.

Chop House
This is spice combination is really good on just about any beef protein. This very different salt, pepper, garlic mixture has several added components like bell pepper and celery to make it stand out. We cooked up burgers, steaks, and even a brisket and they all came out very tasty and not over salty once finished up. We even add this to a few chicken thighs and found we were impressed as well.

If you are looking to try some already proven winners then these are a must for your spice cabinet. James has over 30 Grand Championships using these creations as part of the process and he believes you will like his creations as well. You can find more info about these championship winning rubs by visiting


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