By Mike Thayer
What is the most popular thing to add to meats cooked outdoors?
It’s true, the most popular thing to add to the plethora of meats cooked outdoors is BBQ sauce. If you had guessed ketchup, believe it or not, you would be wrong.
The person who invented BBQ sauce is unknown, but whoever he was, he was a genius! References to the sauce started appearing in 17th century English and French literature about the formation of the American colonies. The rest is history and boy has BBQ sauce been kicked up a notch with all kinds of flavors and varieties created over the last 400+ years!
A traditional flavoring for pork, beef and chicken, sauce can range from watery to thick, from being heavy on the vinegar to being loaded with spice. Ranging in flavor from sugary to savory, to HOT!, heck, there’s even mustard and mayonnaise based BBQ sauces. It’s a regional thing, there’s Carolina BBQ; Tennessee whiskey BBQ; Texas BBQ; and the favorite of many, Kansas City Style BBQ.
What is your favorite, do you like sweet, tangy, KC style, Carolina style? Have you tried enough variety to know?
In the coming weeks, I'm going to be sampling it all, making comparisons and letting you know what I think the cream of the crop is. Will it be KC Masterpiece? Sweet Baby Ray's? Stubbs? Something else?
In my first tasting challenge, I sampled KC Masterpiece and Sweet Baby Ray's. You can read that review here.
The meat vehicle of choice to take these sauces on a test drive is a generous helping of Beef Lit'L Smokies from Hillshire Farm.
Here's the description from the bottle: Made Right. This is the real deal, the original. And its tangy tomato, vinegar, molasses and black pepper are gonna treat you right.
This sauce was created in Lubbock, Texas fifty years ago, by C.B. Stubblefield, known simply as “Stubb”. It's one of the sauces you'll typically see in just about any grocery store lineup of BBQ sauces nationwide.
So how did it taste?
This is THE worst off-the-shelf BBQ sauce I've ever put in my mouth. It's VERY tomato forward. Far too much so. When I put a Lit'L Smoky drenched in the Stubb sauce in my mouth, I insulted that Lit'l Smoky by dressing it in this stuff. Stubbs Original is better suited to make Sloppy Joes, or a spaghetti sauce that would need some serious doctoring. You get the vinegar and black pepper notes, but let me sum it up this way. If I'm making Sloppy Joes and I'm not making my sauce from scratch, and my only sauce choices at the store is a can of Hunts Manwich or a bottle of Stubbs Original? I'm buying the can of Manwich. The 18 ounce bottle of Stubbs Original cost me $2.96 and gets a one star rating. It is NOT a repeat buy.
This is another sauce that's typically stocked at your local grocery store. No description is featured on the bottle and the list of ingredients puts this sauce in the KC BBQ style of sauces, a thick, tomato based sauce that’s got some spice but is heavier on the sweet. Comparable to KC Masterpiece, that's not a good thing, it's a kid friendly sauce - heavy on the sweet. Also like KC Masterpiece, this sauce needs some doctoring before putting it on anything, there's just not enough spice or vinegar twang to make this worth buying. Costing just $1.18 for a 16 ounce bottle, it's a bargain buy and it's better than Stubbs, but that's not saying much. I give Kraft Original just 2 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. Pass this sauce by next time you're viewing the BBQ sauces on the grocery store shelf.
Stay tuned for more sauce tastings!
$pend Wisely My Friends.....