BBQ Bonanza! Blackener Skillet by Mack Daddy’s

Teddy Roosevelt spoke softly and carried a big stick. Thomas Gates of West Melbourne speaks softly and carries a big skillet. A huge skillet. A skillet you call “sir.”

The Mack Daddy’s Blackener Skillet, which Gates crafted 25 years after a cooking malfunction while vacationing on Captiva Island drove him to become an inventor, is the Arnold Schwarzenegger to the Danny DeVito of regular skillets.

At 12 pounds, the cast-iron is twice as thick as regular skillets, and were it not for the fact that its rectangular shape is also oversized, it could certainly inflict serious damage as a personal protection device.

However, the Blackener is not a fighter, but a lover. Made to last a lifetime, the Blackener has plenty of smitten fans and has sometimes been the cause of additional ill will during divorce proceedings, because both parties so adored it that they wanted to keep it after the marriage was dissolved.

“I have people who tell me they are still using the skillets they bought 25 years ago,” said Gates, of Melbourne.

Back during that Captiva vacation, Gates had wanted to blacken grouper. The conventional cast iron skillet he used just didn’t hack it. First, the grouper became immediately obscured by smoke, but when Gates finally saw the fish again and turned it over, he realized the fish had cooled down and there was not much blackening happening.

Gates marketed the Blackener for many years at outlets such as Home Shopping Network, but eventually went on to other pursuits. A good skillet is hard to find, however, so the Blackener is back.

“It is twice as thick as a regular skillet,” Gates said.

The thickness is necessary to produce a true blackening experience. Once this skillet is hot, it stays sizzling. Its rectangular shape allows the cooking of more hunks of prime rib or pieces of fish or whatever it is you would like blackened.

While the versatile Blackener can be used indoors like an ordinary griddle to cook anything from grilled cheese sandwiches and fajitas to pancakes and pizza, Mack Daddy’s Blackener shines atop the outdoor BBQ grill or even the campfire.

Because it is so thick, the Blackener holds heat much longer than conventional skillets or griddles, which begin to cool down immediately after a piece of cool meat is placed on them because the meat absorbs the heat.

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“This drop in temperature is not desirable when blackening,” said Gates.

“You want food to cook as fast as possible. It is important to get your skillet hot, but just as important to keep it hot while blackening.”

The skillet is manufactured in Tennessee by Lodge Manufacturing Company, which has made cast iron cookware for more than 100 years. The product arrives pre-seasoned and ready to go. An accompanying recipe cook provides blackening tips and recipes that include the deceptively simple yet amazingly tasty “World’s Best Baked Potato,” created by Gates himself.

Maintenance is pretty much non-needed.

“Use hot water and a plastic scouring pad,” said Gates, who then rubs the skillet with a light coat of vegetable oil after each use. That’s all, folks.

At $49.95, Mack Daddy’s Blackener is not cheap, but it is an investment in perfectly blackened meals for a lifetime. With Christmas just around the corner, Santa may have a heavier sled this year with these Mack Daddy’s Blackeners, created by the BBQ masters themselves.

Mack Daddy’s Blackener is only available online at Need more information? Call 321-412-1790.

Taste Test, Taste Test – This BBQ is ALL about it!

Love to BBQ? Well, now you have found the best tasting BBQ companion — Mack Daddy’s BBQ Hawg Sauce! Go ahead …. test it out for yourself.

The Miami Herald Reviews the 7-Time Award Winning BBQ Sauce and the Sauce-Maker himself, Tom Gates, a Melbourne FL resident. Mack Daddy’s BBQ sauce is gluten free and can be found in Bass Pro Shop Stores! Yum, Yum, GOOD! Mack Daddy’s BBQ team will be listing some new BBQ recipes on their website this holiday season. Be sure to check back and visit our Recipes tab for football tailgating recipe ideas, Holiday dishes and more!

gluten free award winning bbq sauceMiami Herald’s Mack Daddy’s BBQ Article:

▪ THE PRODUCT: Mack Daddy’s Hawg Sauces: Original BBQ, Hot BBQ, Just for Kids, Tangy Carolina and Sweet & Sassy.

▪ THE STORY: Melbourne resident Thomas Gates two years ago went pro with the barbecue sauces he’d been perfecting for years on his kitchen stove. His line of award-winning Mack Daddy’s Hawg Sauces is now bottled and sold nationwide, including a recent deal that placed the 16-ounce bottles at all Bass Pro Shops throughout the state.

Of the five flavors, I got the most mileage out of the Tangy Carolina, a mustard-based sauce sweetened with honey and pineapple juice and given a bite from apple cider vinegar, with just enough chili powder, paprika and cayenne to keep things kicking. I found myself dipping everything from grilled bread to rotisserie chicken right into the Tangy Carolina.

Mack Daddy’s Award Winning Hawg Sauce NOW Sold in Bass Pro!

Mack Daddy’s Elite BBQ Sauces can be found in:
Petty’s Meat Market, Melbourne
Bass Pro Shops: ALL FL Stores, Springfield, Missouri; Dallas, Texas; Las Vegas, Nevada; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Rancho, California; Memphis, Tennessee; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Tacoma, Washington.
Green Turtle Market, Indian Harbor Beach, FL
Downtown Produce, Melbourne, FL
Melbourne Beach Grocery Store
• ACE Hardware Stores
Strike Zone
Thrifty Market

mack daddys hawg sauceManufacturers’ reps often bestow appreciation gifts on customers, stuff like calendars, mugs and pens. Thomas Gates gave out the barbecue sauce he himself had made.

“I was passing out barbecue sauce in mason jars, and people loved it,” said Gates, who with his wife used to slave over a five-gallon pot to concoct complex sauces that could entail as many as 35 ingredients.

“It would take about three to four hours just to put the ingredients in the pot because there were so many ingredients,” said the Melbourne resident.

“I would tweak the recipe every time I made it over the years to improve the flavor. My goal was to try not to make it too sweet or too hot or too spicy and make it appeal to as many people as possible.”

Gates’ special sauce was indeed so appealing that some of Gates’ customers would ask for a case at a time, which had Gates making about 100 cases a year, all to give away.

“I would almost choke but I couldn’t refuse when people asked,” he said

All five flavors are packed in 16-ounce bottles (19-ounces net weight), with prices ranging from $5.99 to $7.99, depending on the retailer. Mack Daddy’s are very versatile sauces, too.

“People use our sauces to cook with, and they also use them as condiments or dipping sauces for a variety of meats,” said Gates.

Click Here to Read Full Article
(courtesy of FL Today, Melbourne)