Waterloo man brings flavor to the grill - Republic-Times | News

Waterloo man brings flavor to the grill

By on May 2, 2018 at 2:16 pm

Pictured is Ryan Ledendecker with his Old Glory barbecue rub. (submitted photo)

A Waterloo man’s latest endeavor — Old Glory BBQ Rubs — is adding a new flavor to the world of barbecue.

Ryan Ledendecker, 36, launched his company this year after creating his first in a series of products. Revolution Rub, Ledendecker said, provides a twist that makes his seasoning “a little different than the rest.”

“I wanted something that was versatile where you could put it on any meat, eggs, a dip, whatever. I didn’t want it to overwhelm whatever dish it’s on but to enhance it,” he explained. 

Ledendecker, who graduated from Waterloo High School in 2000, said perfecting the rub required about a year’s worth of trial and error with help from a food scientist to tweak it and dial it in.

“I wanted to get it launched at the beginning of the year and could’ve pulled the trigger. But I wasn’t quite happy yet. It just wasn’t the right blend,” Ledendecker said.

The rub contains a blend of sugar, spices, paprika and other elements common to barbecue rubs, Ledendecker detailed.

“I think what sets mine apart is the cumin that comes through,” he added, describing the rub as giving the meat a “Southern touch with a Midwest feel.”

Ledendecker explained that the rub best complements pork and chicken but is geared toward any meat. On May 12, he will put this to the test during the Beer-B-Que Competition on the courthouse grounds in Waterloo. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4  p.m.

“It’s something special when you can use your own rub in a competition. It’s something to be proud of,” he said.

Ledendecker also boasted that his rub is going with a team to an upcoming competition in Minnesota.

“They gave it a try and I was fortunate enough for them to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to use this,’” he noted.

In June, Ledendecker plans to launch his second rub that will best complement beef. He also plans to introduce a barbecue sauce at a later date.

“I like selling things. I have the means to market my products through bigger barbecue networks and it just made sense,” he said of choosing to sell barbecue rubs. “And it can be rewarding.”

Ledendecker developed an interest in barbecue early on, even grilling regularly as a kid. But the local pit master began to give his passion serious attention only a few years ago.

“The next level of barbecue interested me. There’s so much to it,” he expressed.

During last year’s Songs4Soldiers benefit concert in Columbia, Ledendecker provided catering to the bands, including to national act Bret Michaels and his crew. Ledendecker said he enjoyed the experience even though he did not get to talk to Michaels.

“Doing that for the public was a big deal for me. I was really nervous but also excited. And I’m glad everything went off without a hitch,” he said, adding he will do the same at this year’s concert.

Ledendecker was a Republic-Times columnist from 2011 to 2016, dedicating his first and last column to his late grandfather, Don Woolard. 

“He’s the one who told me to pursue my dreams,” Ledendecker recalled.

For more information or to purchase an Old Glory Revolution Rub, go to oldgloryrubs.com

His rub can also be purchased on the shelves at Schneider’s Quality Meats in Waterloo.

Sean McGowan

Sean is a die-hard Cubs fan, despite the relentless peer pressure coming from the rest of the Republic-Times staff. He and his wife, Jacqui, have been married for two years. Originally from the west suburbs of Chicago, Sean and his wife moved down to Normal to attend Illinois State University and stayed central Illinois residents for the past four years. email:sean@republictimes.net