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Taste test: barbecue sauce, Part 2

Serving size 2 tablespoons 2 tablespoons 2 tablespoons
Calories 40 50 45
Fat/Fiber 0g / 0g 0g / 0g 0g / 0g
Sugars/Sodium 8g / 110mg 10g / 270mg 9g / 300mg
Carbs/Protein 10g / 0g 12g / 0g 11g / 0g

This is the second installment in our sampling of barbecue sauces. We tasted 10 brands last week and 10 more this week. When given a choice, we tried the "original" variety of each brand. Our tasting turned up three favorites last week and three more this week. Judges picked sauces for their flavor and usability, preferring blends that could be brushed on any number of barbecued meats or fish.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent


(out of 100)

Suckin' Sauce 80
Kraft 64Jack

Daniel's 56

The cashier told us this sauce was flying off the shelves at the Fresh Market. It didn't take our panelists long to figure out why. This was a rich, vinegar-based sauce with thinner texture and bold flavor. "For fans of vinegar-based sauce, this would be good with Carolina-style dry rub," said one judge. "I'll bet this would keep meat tender and moist." Another said the sauce reminded her of the barbecue flavors at Sonny's Bar-B-Q Restaurant. One panelist detected a hint of citrus in the taste.Judges described this sauce as "a happy marriage between sweet and spicy." They liked the touch of smoke in the flavor as well as the thick texture. "This would definitely stick to chicken or ribs or whatever you are cooking," said one panelist. "It's sweet with a little bit of hickory and bacon taste," said another.Sweetness made this sauce a hit among our judges. It was almost too sugary for a couple of them. "It doesn't have a real barbecue flavor, but it's sweet and might cook into a great coating," said one. "I love the honey base to this sauce and I can see using it on vegetables as well as chicken, pork or fish," said another. He suggested the sauce would be best as a finisher on the grill rather than a marinade.

they buy?
Three of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.One of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$5.49 for a 16-ounce jar from the Fresh Market.$1.65 for a 17.5-ounce bottle from Publix.$2.29 for a 19-ounce bottle from Publix.

Also Sampled: Hannaford (99 cents for an 18-ounce bottle from Sweetbay, 42 points); Michelbob's ($3.29 for a 17-ounce bottle from Sweetbay, 53 points); Rufus Teague ($5.99 for a 16-ounce bottle from the Fresh Market, 33 points); Great Value ($1.98 for a 40-ounce bottle from Walmart, 44 points); Cattlemen's ($1.58 for an 18-ounce bottle from Walmart, 38 points); Sweet Baby Ray's ($1.77 for an 18-ounce bottle from Publix, 54 points); and Garland Jack's Secret Six ($2.19 for an 18-ounce bottle from Publix, 52 points).

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Julie Overton, consumer and mother of four; Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island; and Wayne Conery, manager of the R Bar on Treasure Island. All foods were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or e-mail them to Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

Taste test: barbecue sauce, Part 2 06/26/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 4:30am]
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