The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Tue May 16, 2017

Sauced: Cowboy Prairie Fire & Giveaway

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Cowby Prairie Fire

Sauce Stats

Cowboy Brand Prairie Fire Hot and Spicy Barbecue Sauce
Produced by
$15 for 3 18oz bottles from Duraflame
Tomato Puree, Cane Sugar, Brown Sugar, Water, Vinegar, Molasses, Apple Juice, Worcestershire Sauce, Salt, Natural Smoke Flavor, Spice, Citric Acid, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder, Natural Flavor.
Dark maroon
Meatwave Rating
out of 10
Pretty Damn Good
More Sauce Reviews

A familiar bold sweet, tangy, and spicy barbecue flavor profile sets itself out from the pack with its clean, unprocessed flavors.

Cowby Prairie Fire


The Cowboy charcoal story dates back over 100 years, starting in Southern Ohio when Jess Rollins went from farmer to farmer, burning their cleared trees into charcoal that could be resold. Then in the 1930's, Roland Crace brought some manufacturing into the business by moving the onsite charcoal burning into centralized kilns. In the 1950's, operators of the West Virginia charcoal plant, Don and Joe Crace, expanded the business under the name Pioneer Charcoal. The two also created Hickory Specialties in the 1970's to initially market their liquid smoke product, but later shifted that brand into the briquettes business. That business was sold to Bob Evans Farms in 1992, and in the same year, Don Jr. and Sam Crace started the Cowboy Charcoal brand, shifting the focus primarily to the production of lump charcoal. Today Cowboy Charcoal is a subsidiary of Duraflame, and along with continuing to churn out lump charcoal, they also sell briquettes, woods chips, and recently added three varieties of barbecue sauce to their expanding product inventory.


A bowl of molasses greets your nose on first whiff of this sauce. That deep sweet aroma is backed by a hearty, non-sweet tomato that brings to mind the smell of tomato paste. There's also a smoky and earthy quality giving the sauce a more prominent barbecue stamp. Worcestershire is also clearly present, but plays more of a background roll, along with the heat from peppers, which get overtaken by the overpowering sweet molasses.

Thickness & Texture

This dark maroon sauce is semi-glossy with the sightless texture to it. It's opaque, making it hard to see any spices at all. It's medium-thick consistancy has the sauce falling in one large glob at first off of a suspended spoon, followed by quick drips. The final couple of drips release very slowly, and when all is said and done, a medium coating of sauce is left clinging to the silverware.

Out of the Jar

An upfront syrupy sweetness gains balance with a heavy acidic tomato in the initial taste of this sauce. Molasses comes in quickly as well, giving the sweetness a depth of flavor. As the sauce settles on the tongue, complex Worcestershire begins to play prominently right before the sauce turns more tart by a strong vinegar tang. That tartness amplifies as the sauce turns spicier and spicier, ending with a tangy, tongue tingling heat that retains a more mellow molasses component.

Cowby Prairie Fire

Slathered & Cooked

The sauce coated the chicken in a medium, uneven layer that baked down well over indirect heat. When move right over the fire, the sauce picked up some caramelization and suffered just a little burn off. The flavor retained its robust tomato and molasses profile. The first few bites were primarily sweet, but the peppers started to then kick in and introduced a heat that balanced with the sugars. There was also a nice tang in there as well, which, when combined with the spiciness, left the lips a little tingly.

Put to Use

The initial taste of Cowboy Prairie Fire has the makings of the type of bold, in your face flavors of many standard supermarket barbecue sauces—it hits the tomato, molasses, and sugar hard. But after a couple more spoonfuls, you can taste way more craft, and way less processed flavor than the norm, which raises this sauce in the overall ranks. while coming out of the gate with a big and bold profile, the ingredients all taste fresh and clean, and there's a underlaying complexity from Worcestershire and a nice progression of flavors ranging from sweet to tart to spicy that makes the sauce unique from common rivals. Still, it treads familiar ground, albeit in better fashion, with a strong flavor that's well suited for beef, chicken wings, pork, and ribs. While its intensity can be an asset, it could also be a fault by overpowering some more lightly flavored items like pulled pork, grilled chicken, fish, or veggies.


Meatwavers can give an extra big thanks to Cowboy Charcoal for overloading the Meatwave with their sauce, meaning we have more than normal to giveaway. So with your chances good on winning, all you have to do to enter to win one of two bottles is to comment on this post with the barbecue restaurant, city, or state you most want to visit Deadline for entries is 11:59pm on Tuesday May 23, 2017. Read the official rules for more details. One entry only per individual. Good luck!


  • 01
  • Jeff Whiteside says
    Being a native North Carolinean, I'm ashamed to say I've never been to Skylight Inn in Ayden, NC. I made the trek out last December, but they ended up being closed.
    Posted Tue, May 16 2017 11:00am
  • 02
  • note says
    Joe's Kansas City BBQ, the original, in the gas station.
    Posted Tue, May 16 2017 11:46am
  • 03
  • Andrew Barnett says
    I haven't had a chance to try Q39 in Kansas City yet.
    Posted Tue, May 16 2017 12:13pm
  • 04
  • Gus says
    Kruez Market, Lockhart, TX. Even though they would think I'm crazy for using sauce
    Posted Tue, May 16 2017 2:43pm
  • 05
  • Kevin says
    Blacks in Lockhart, TX
    Posted Tue, May 16 2017 6:30pm
  • 06
  • Kedryn Evans says
    I haven't ever had Texas bbq. I would like to try that!
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 1:08pm
  • 07
  • Kim says
    I'm in CA and would love to visit Black's Barbecue %u2013 Lockhart
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 1:12pm
  • 08
  • Pamela Riggin says
    Stubby's & McClard's in Hot Springs! Sooo good!
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 1:12pm
  • 09
  • Linda C says
    The Salt Lick in Driftwood, Texas
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 1:22pm
  • 10
  • Ruth Crain says
    I would love to try this sauce!
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 1:28pm
  • 11
  • Melissa Hanifan Freeman says
    I have been wanting to go to Atomic Grill in Morgantown, West Virginia!! I hear it is the best BBQ around my state!!
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 1:33pm
  • 12
  • Colleen Schilinski says
    I'd love to try any Texas B-B-Q Restaurant. I only hear many good things about Texas Restaurants, so someday I'll have to venture out that way, and try a few out.
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 1:35pm
  • 13
  • Sondi Boswell says
    I would love to try this sause
    Here in Utah there isn't a lot of good BBQ places but I would try L & L BBQ in Orem Utah
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 1:42pm
  • 14
  • Barbara Riffe says
    I have heard so many wonderful reviews on a place in the middle of WV called THE GRILL. I so want to go.
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 1:44pm
  • 15
  • Ruth Crain says
    I forgot to pick my restaurant which would be Wiser's Choice in Laceyville, PA. I would love to try this sauce!
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 1:44pm
  • 16
  • Sandy N says
    I'd like to try any TX BBQ restaurant!
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 1:58pm
  • 17
  • Walter Jowers says
    Like to eat at the Rendezvous in Memphis, TN.
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 1:58pm
  • 18
  • Kari Judd says
    I want to try Q39 in Kansas City!
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 2:01pm
  • 19
  • David Bell says
    Killeens in Houston
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 2:06pm
  • 20
  • Marcquitta Hamm says
    Killeen in Houston
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 2:36pm
  • 21
  • Becky Coyne says
    I would like to try some in Memphis!
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 2:39pm
  • 22
  • Richie Brownlee says
    Rendezvous in Memphis, Tennessee
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 2:54pm
  • 23
  • brian says
    BTs Smokehouse in MA
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 3:28pm
  • 24
  • Sandra Davis says
    I want to try Central BBQ in Memphis, TN!! I have heard great things about it!!
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 4:30pm
  • 25
  • Lindsay Gerber says
    Would love to get to Texas for what I hear is some of the best BBQ!
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 5:05pm
  • 26
  • Ben Friedrich says
    I want to visit Austin, Texas! I hear the BBQ is pretty good there. :-)

    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 5:22pm
  • 27
  • Chad Boyd says
    I want to visit Memphis, TN. I have heard there are some of the best BBQ joints in the world there...and I need proof!
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 5:41pm
  • 28
  • vera wilaon says
    I seen them on the food channels and thing Memphis, RB should be very tasty.
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 6:51pm
  • 29
  • Sherri WEeks says
    I would love to visit Memphis and check out all of the delicious bbq they serve there.
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 7:48pm
  • 30
  • Brad B. says
    I would love to visit Franklin's in Austin, TX. Thanks
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 8:07pm
  • 31
  • cris says
    Kruez Market, Lockhart, TX
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 9:31pm
  • 32
  • Linda T. says
    Memphis, TN!
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 10:56pm
  • 33
  • lisa mcfarland says
    kansas city
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 11:31pm
  • 34
  • Ginnie Crawford says
    Id like to try Tillmans bbq in fort pierce, FL. Or any bbq in texas
    Posted Thu, May 18 2017 11:51pm
  • 35
  • Julie Wojtowicz says
    Omg!! Sounds amazing!! I could eat BBQ everyday of my life!! I am also trying new BBQ sauces can't find one I like! But yours sounds amazing! If I could go anywhere for BBQ .... thought question, because I would want to go to any place that has amazing BBQ. Actually this would be a good time for me now. I broke my right leg, fibula back in November and I am stilled laid up. My leg is just getting worse. But due to tough times I there is no way I could go away for a while,even though I haven't been on a vacation for over 11 it's lol! I think my landlord would be pissed off if I left for a vacation. I'm very behind on all of my bills! Oh well! %uD83D%uDE09
    Great now all I want is some BBQ. Omg sounds so good right now. Yummy %uD83D%uDE0B I wish I could
    Drive I would get the heck out of Michigan, can't drive becaue it's my right leg! Well if you have any samples of some BBQ Sauce, that will make me Happy %uD83D%uDE0A. My
    Dream one day is to go to a BBQ cook off (I would even know where to go for one of them, Michigan doesn't have any of those here). Lol. One day I'll make it to a cook off, might be a few years from now but when my bills and rent are caught up. Always told my daughter there is a such thing as a vacation, for the last 11 yrs (she is almost 11 yrs old now) I promised her one day me and her will go on a vacation. Anyways I would love a sample of you have any! Thanks, Julie

    Posted Fri, May 19 2017 12:53am
  • 36
  • Debbie Florio says
    I've heard nothing but good things about Cowboy Charcoal BBQ Sauce & Prairie Fire sounds amazing!!! I would love to dine at Kerlin BBQ in Austin, Texas!!!!
    Posted Fri, May 19 2017 7:46am
  • 37
  • maria leubner says
    I would love to visit central bbq in memphis tn!
    Posted Fri, May 19 2017 9:09am
  • 38
  • Margaret Maggie Porter says
    I want some real kansas city bbq!
    Posted Fri, May 19 2017 9:32am
  • 39
  • Robin says
    Franklin in Austin, of course.
    Posted Fri, May 19 2017 10:06am
  • 40
  • Tammy Stowell says
    Texas Roadhouse not very many good BBQ joints here in Wisconsin.%u2639%uFE0F
    Posted Fri, May 19 2017 11:56am
  • 41
  • Mark Gramaglia says
    Looks tasty!
    Posted Fri, May 19 2017 12:10pm
  • 42
  • Lisa Hall says
    Looks yummy, I love Franklins
    Posted Fri, May 19 2017 3:33pm
  • 43
  • Dave Hanover says
    I'd love to head to deep south Louisiana, and have some real cajun BBQ.
    Posted Fri, May 19 2017 6:31pm
  • 44
  • Lenae Schwartz says
    I think spicy foods are right for summer.
    Posted Fri, May 19 2017 6:39pm
  • 45
  • Anna Violette says
    Old Oregon Smokehouse, Tillamook Oregon
    Posted Fri, May 19 2017 7:59pm
  • 46
  • Theresa N says
    The BBQ Barn in my home town.
    Posted Sat, May 20 2017 8:34am
  • 47
  • Carol VanSickel says
    Cattleman's Steak House - Oklahoma City, OK
    Posted Sat, May 20 2017 11:30am
  • 48
  • pamela bailey says
    I would love to visit Central BBQ (Memphis, Tennessee)..I hear they have really good bbq .....thanks
    Posted Sat, May 20 2017 2:33pm
  • 49
  • Kristen says
    I want to try some BBQ in Austin TX
    Posted Sat, May 20 2017 11:41pm
  • 50
  • Tami Faurote says
    Would love to stop in at the Memphis, TN Central BBQ.

    Posted Sun, May 21 2017 9:03am
  • 51
  • Jennifer Keefer says
    I want to try the Horse Thief BBQ in Los Angeles
    Posted Mon, May 22 2017 2:32am
  • 52
  • Carol Ezovski says
    I want to go to the Smoking Pig BBQ in San Jose, CA
    Posted Mon, May 22 2017 11:41am
  • 53
  • Tonya Payne says
    Probably try several in Memphis.
    Posted Tue, May 23 2017 1:55pm

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