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. Flavors vary 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?
I've made this a challenge or sorts, sampling all those sauces, 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 today are two hot links from Yoder Meats, absolutely delicious on their own, but also fantastic with some BBQ sauce! It's a classic pairing.
Head Country Original BBQ Sauce: This is a very well-balanced blend of sweet and savory with subtle spice and that's the description right from the bottle because it is that spot on. I'm thinking to myself, "Why haven't I tried this sauce before now?' This is competition bbq quality sauce, it is the sauce flavor judges are looking for when they sample contestant ribs, chicken and brisket. This is my favorite of the challenge so far and I'm speaking from experience having been a certified Kansas City Barbecue Society Competition Barbecue Judge. Costing $3.49 for a 20 ounce bottle, I'm giving Head Country Original BBQ Sauce 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. It's on the higher end of bbq sauce pricing but it's well worth it, the flavor is balanced, smooth, and well, in my humble opinion, the perfect compliment to properly prepared barbecue, no matter the cut of meat.
Kingsford Original Smoke Hickory: I have to be honest here, going in I thought this was going to be another excessively hyped up "Name Brand" but over-the-top sweet sauce that would be more of a frosting than a BBQ sauce. I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't too sweet at all and the hickory smoke notes definitely came through. It is a thick sauce that lends itself to being a good glaze for the last 10 minutes of cooking time as opposed to a being a mopping sauce but that's OK, because the dirty little secret is truly great barbecue doesn't really need a sauce. A good sauce however, does make ordinary barbecue better and Kingsford will serve that purpose. Costing me just $1.74 for a 20 ounce bottle this sauce is respectable, worth a repeat buy and gets 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. Nobody can fault you for having this sauce on hand.
$pend Wisely My Friends.....