When I met Jamal Etienne-Harrigan, the first impression I had was “Dang, this dude is OBSESSED with perfecting his Uncle Jammy sauces.” We finished recording an episode with Hop Nation USA back in 2018 and spent time geeking out afterward about what makes the perfect rub and sauce.
Attention to detail and a never-quit attitude has lead to the most diverse line of sauces and rubs to come out of the Steel City. A blend of non-traditional ingredients such as papaya, pear, Arrogant Bastard Ale will take your cook to a new level. Wait, beer isn’t something new. True but most “beer-infused sauces” are, unless directly from a brewery, mostly hyped using macros from Budweiser, Coors, or Miller. You deserve better and Uncle Jammy will help.
Over the last month, I’ve done several cooks with his sauces and rubs to see what fits best with my style of cooking and the palate of my family. Typically I cook a lot of beef and pork over chicken because pleasing everyone with the bird is a daunting task but surprisingly we hit a home run. You can check out the cooks on our Instagram account. My group of picky eaters came out with their favorites and here are the results.
These can be found on the Uncle Jammy website which has all of the information you need to make an educated decision.
- Area 51 – “Other-Worldly Avocado-Jalapeno Sauce made with Gold Tequila, Lime Juice, Mustard Seed and Spices” While this was a good compliment to chicken drumsticks explore using this as a dressing… in a chicken salad or on carne asada.
- Say Yes to Sriracha – “Sweet Tomato/Sriracha BBQ Sauce with a Chili-Garlic Flavor & Tangy Finish”. The sweet tomato balances out the sriracha and on chicken wings with Wing Dust you may sweat a little bit.
- Hooray for IPA – “Tangy Tomato-Mustard Beer BBQ Sauce with Southern Tier 2X IPA’s superior flavor with hints of Cayenne, Garlic, and Onion”. This was the first of Uncle Jammy’s sauces I ever had (I love 2X IPA) and continues to be one of my favorite sauces because it’s very versatile on chicken and pork. Your pulled pork needs, no wait… requires this.
- The Gods Must Be Cajun – “Sweet & Spicy Dynamic Soulful BBQ sauce with Cayenne, Thyme, and Oregano”. This isn’t your typical cajun sauce. I enjoyed this on pulled chicken plus finishing chicken breast with the skin on but what surprised me is a light LIGHT glaze on a NY Strip Steak and on shrimp really make for a fun meal. Yeah I know you’re a die-hard salt and pepper person, heck, I’m a competitive steak cook, but try something new.
- Your Arrogance Amuses Me – “Sweet Fruity Spicy BBQ sauce made with Papaya, Pear, Arrogant Bastard Ale and hints of Basil and Ginger”. If you love spice pour the love on otherwise a light brush of Arrogance will go a long way. The sweetness isn’t as strong as I was expecting and found this works well in combination with River City Rub on pork.
- Hello Golden BBQ – “Tangy and Sweet Mustard BBQ Sauce with Apple Cider Vinegar and influences of Sage”. All-day every day put this on your pulled pork. Brisket is also suggested but no, pull your pork and slap on the sauce. Less tangy and a tad more on the sweet side but I’m giving you a secret to my pork going forward, I’m using this.
- It’s a Stout Thang – “Our first Beer Based Rub Oatmeal Chocolate Stout Rub with Calypso Hops & Grains of Paradise”. I was hoping for more of a chocolate or stout profile but found it slightly lacking pop as a stand-alone rub but paired with the River City Rub something was happening. I’m going to keep playing with it.
- River City Rub – “Sweet and Savory versatile Rib and Pork Seasoning, made with Smoked Paprika, Brown Sugar and Sugar “. If you’re looking for a default bbq/pork rub add this to your arsenal.
- What-A-Wonderful Wing Rub – “Spicy Rich, Savory, Buttery Cayenne Pepper Rub”. It’s hot. I’m not going to kid here. It packs some punch for the average human but if you’re a spice head you’ll get a twang but love the flavor. It’s a heat that has taste. While you can use this on chicken we really enjoyed this on popcorn which is a food group in my house.
- Burgh Seasoning – “Rich Onion flavor, paired with Black Pepper and White Pepper with hints Chili, Basil & Mustard”. Burgers (80/20 blend) and popcorn are the way to go and but I’m hesitant to steak due to the onion. As I type this I may have to add it to a layer with the Stout rub.
You can find Uncle Jammy sauces and rubs at Pittsburgh area Giant Eagle/Market District and Whole Foods locations plus Jamal is a staple at many South Hills farmers markets. This summer GetGo and Chef Tom have tapped the sauce king for Uncle Jammy’s Chicken Sammy made with Hooray for IPA.
Take a moment and also read local coverage in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette where you can go in-depth with his history and his creative process.
Disclosure: Sauces and rubs were provided unsolicited from Uncle Jammy and did not influence the review.
If you would like to send product samples of sauce, rubs, meat, tools, shirts (2XL), stickers, books, anything that doesn’t require a back brace to lift, send it to the following address.
Yinz Love BBQ
c/o Sorgatron Media
1619 Broadway Avenue – Suite 100
Pittsburgh, PA 15216