Sunday, October 23, 2011

BBQ Sauce Taste-Off

I've never been a huge barbecue fan. It's just never been my thing, and I'm not sure why. I can eat it to be polite if I need to, I just don't crave it. Or I didn't. Then a friend of mine took me to Maddy's in Decatur this summer, and I've started craving it. Yum! Then, when we visited DH's uncle and aunt at Labor Day, her "party favors" were small bottles of her homemade barbecue sauce. Okay, well, that's great, but what do we eat it on? I have no idea how to cook a pork roast. A week or so later, I read someone's blog raving about Kirkland's (Costco brand) pulled pork. It comes already smoked and shredded; all you have to do is heat it up. Okay, fine, I'll take the hint!

The problem, of course, is that not growing up eating it at home and never really being a fan, I have no idea what brands or even styles of barbecue sauce I might like. I don't even know what to look for. Wouldn't you know it, the papers had barbecue sauce coupons in them for the next few weeks, so I could sample several without spending a ton of money. Wasn't that nice of them? I knew there was no way to pull off a double blind taste test, but DH did do the tasting blind. I mixed up a couple of bites of pork with each of the five sauces, and off we went.

Turns out, Aunt E knows what she's doing! Hers was our favorite, so I will definitely have to ask for the recipe. Following close behind, though, was Sweet Baby Ray's, which I had never even heard of before Pinterest. I am now a believer! Still not as good as Aunt E's (or Maddy's), but very good, plus quick and easy. The Kroger KC Style was just okay. Surprisingly, the KC Masterpiece Original has very little flavor of any kind. It's almost like it just made the meat more moist; very strange, and very disappointing, considering I love the KC Masterpiece BBQ Lays chips so much. And bringing up the rear was the Kroger Traditional, which neither of us liked at all. So there you go, the results of our own little private taste test.

Currently feeling: ready for some barbecue


  1. At least you've got the base idea right! Here in eastern NC, the barbeque is pulled pork in a vinegar based sauce, not a tomato/red sauce. Nathan likes the SC style sauce, which has a mustard base. I prefer a good "red" sauce, and we both agree the vinegar stuff is gross.

  2. We are fans of Sweet Baby Ray's but our absolute favorite for pulled pork is a brand called Bone Suckin' Sauce. It is a little hard to find around here (only see it at Cracker Barrel or the Le Gourmet Chef place at the outlet mall) but I think it can be ordered online too. Have fun finding your favorite!

  3. I definitely prefer my homemade sauce (which really is just ketchup and a bunch of spices) over anything commercial. And I'll admit to being a little crazy, I buy a #10 can of ketchup at Sams Club and make a monster batch, then seal it up and pressure can it for my pantry and for gifts.

  4. Hmmm, I like Bullseye so much I've never even tried another one!!


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