Kongo Kick> – When it comes to “hot” barbecue sauces I just do not feel there is ever a clear win. Those that know me well know I will not play if I cannot win. So when Mark Graham asked me to make one for Grilla I was apprehensive. The reality is that they are never hot enough for the people who love heat and the mention of heat drives away all other consumers. Thankfully early on the name for this sauce was decided on and that allowed me to set the tempo for what the sauce should be, a great barbecue sauce with a kick at the end. I went through about 15 different pepper blends before finding a combination that I felt added a great dynamic to the sauce while also allowing the heat to gradually build as it was being eaten. Most people are surprised that there is some habanero in this sauce as they assume it would be painfully hot. I love the flavor of habanero’s but not always their heat. I was able to find away to add a great robust chili middle flavor profile and use the habanero as the light clear bite at the very end. Think of a great bass guitar solo where the drummer joins in and ends it all with the crash of a cymbal. That is exactly what Kongo Kick does and I love this sauce for that reason. It was yet again me trying to balance all of this flavor chaos like a conductor while not letting any one thing outshine another. Even if you do not like “hot” barbecue sauces you should give this one a try, it has a whole lot more going for it than just heat.