OK, they haven’t made a commercial barbecue sauce that is good as my home made. However, that is unfair. When I make my barbecue sauce I have made it to meet my tastes. If I want it sweeter or spicier, I just add more of some ingredients. I am just going to like my own better.
That doesn’t mean I don’t use commercial sauces. I may get busy or a commercial product has a particular flavour profile I want for a specific dish. I have bought the generic tomato based barbecue sauce from the super market (he hangs his head in shame). However, as I got more into smoking, I found I did not have to settle for the bland major brand sauces. There are some great commercial products out there.
Many of my smoking friends swear by Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce. I finally got around to trying it.
The first test of a barbecue sauce is tasting it by itself. Sweet Baby Ray’s has a nice warm hit of heat when you first taste it. Not burning, just warm. That mellows out into a pleasing sweetness. They did not misname this sauce, it is sweet but not sugary. At the end of the taste there is a complex almost fruity aftertaste that is incredible. This is a great sauce that could be used on the table for dipping barbecued food, in sandwiches or in other sauces.
The second taste is using it to grill or smoke with. I tried it on St Louis Ribs. It is very sweet so you have to be careful not to put it over high heat for very long or it will char. However, in the smoker, low and slow for the last 40 minutes of my ribs, this gave a great glaze that looked terrific. It caramelized perfectly and gave a great sticky bite. The hit of spice really helped cut the fattiness of the ribs. I would rate it as excellent for a barbecue sauce on pork. It would also do well on chicken.
In the world of commercial barbecue sauce, I would rate Sweet Baby Ray’s as one of the best.
The Old Fat Guy