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I see all kinds of products online and social media. I caught wind of a new sauce that was being produced by a family from Virginia. It promised to be less sweet than regular barbecue sauce. I love trying products that are different and I really want there to be more small business productions of food to get more variety in what is available.  I ordered my first bottle of Koss Sauce.

For a smoker like me there are 3 tests for a barbecue sauce.

  1. How does it taste on its own?
  2. How does it cook and taste on meat?
  3. How does it make it as a sauce put on the table?

I opened the bottle and took a taste. I had guests at the time and they were surprised when I said “Wow!”. The reason I was surprised is that this is a complex sauce. When you first taste it, you get a nice tart almost citrus flavour. As it settles on your tongue the sweet notes come in. Best of all, the flavour finished with with a wonderful warmth. Not a fiery heat, just a pleasant spicy warmth.

I had not been lied to. It was less sweet than the regular barbecue sauce. It has a real balance between tart, sweet and spicy. Even my heat averse guests found the level of spice pleasant and not overpowering while the chili heads found the heat long lasting and satisfying.

Another interesting note out of the bottle is its viscosity. It is not the thick ketchup like sauce you buy commercially. It has a consistency closer to steak sauce. It is thick enough to coat a spoon but still pours easily.

The colour is attractive. It is less red than commercial sauce and is more golden.

The first test was passed. This is a truly balanced and tasty sauce that hits its own flavour profile rather than falling into the sweet tomato sauce trap of most commercial sauces.

For the second test, I made Barbecue Chicken Lollipops from a prior post using the Koss Sauce. In this recipe, the sauce is generously brushed over chicken drumsticks and then cooked at 350 F for 30 minutes.

This is a tricky recipe with most commercial sauces. The high sugar content runs the risk of charring. The Koss Sauce just went to a wonderful gold colour and set up a perfect glaze on the wings. It definitely looked good!

When I took the first bite, the tart notes really brightened the flavour of the chicken while the sweetness remained balance. The best part was the perfect heat level remained. You felt like you were eating barbecue but there was a great unique flavour and a pleasant after warmth.

Test two passed.

The meal I was serving was pulled pork sandwiches. I put several sauces on the table including the Koss Sauce.

I must say that this is where the Koss Sauce really shone. Pulled pork has a fair amount of sweetness on its own and has a high fat content. The tart/sweet balance of the Koss Sauce really loves pork! The tart cut the fatty feeling and the tart enhanced but didn’t overpower the pork. I haven’t had a better sauce on pork.  I really can’t wait to try this with ribs.

Third test blown away.

The Verdict

This is a great change from the tomato, sweet, spicy commercial sauces. It is a touch less sweet but has a great flavour balance whether you use it for a sauce, brushing sauce or marinade. It was very good with chicken and terrific with pork. The thickness is perfect for cooking with or on the table as opposed to heavy ketchup like sauces. I really like the way it cooks. It glazes well with less charring than sweeter sauces.

I love having a variety of sauces available and this is going on my list.

Bottom line. I loved it.

Before someone asks, I received nothing for this review. I paid for my sauce.

The Old Fat Guy

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