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?
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 is some crock pot 'pulled' pork, pork loin (1-1/2 lb.) that was rubbed with my signature dry rub (refrigerated for 24 hours) and then placed in the crock pot with a very simple marinade of Margarita mix (one cup) and cooked on the high setting for 5-1/2 hours. I chose pulled pork because it is arguably THE best foundation for testing BBQ sauces with.
From the iconic maker of grills, comes Weber's Sweet & Thick Original BBQ Sauce. You figure they know what they're doing right? The recipe boasts of NO high fructose corn syrup and from the ingredients listed on the label this sauce is made in a Texas style, with more spice and less sugar than a KC BBQ style sauce. And yes, Weber knows what they're doing, this is a very respectable sauce. Smooth with a really nice finish, what sets Weber apart from other sauces is the use of red pepper, you definitely get that in each bite, it's not subtle, but it's not overpowering either. I also appreciate that this sauce doesn't have any harsh, in-your-face 'sugarness' to it. Costing $2.87 for an 18 ounce bottle, I'm giving Weber Original 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. It's reasonably priced and delivers a nicely balanced marriage of BBQ flavor. It's a repeat buy.
Stay tuned for more sauce tastings!
$pend Wisely My Friends.....