The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is held every year at the Memphis in May
month long festival in Memphis, Tennessee. More than 250 teams compete for the honor of
preparing the “Best Pork Ribs”, “Best Pork Shoulder” or “Best Whole Hog”. There are also several
subcategories including “Best Sauce” divided into Tomato, Vinegar and Mustard based sauces.
While you and I may never compete at Memphis in May or even have sauce recipes worthy of
competition, we do have the next best alternative… a friendly neighborhood supermarket that
carries bottled barbecue sauce.
But therein also lies a slight problem. Which barbecue sauce should we purchase? Well, the
Gochiso Gourmet created the Kaneohe in August Barbecue Sauce taste off just for you.
Because Auntie Marialani’s Homemade Pineapple Mango & Hawaiian Rum Barbecue Sauce might
be hard to procure in the Upper 48 States, I limited the contenders to national brands that are
readily available in your neck of the woods. The lineup included:
Bull’s-Eye Original $3.79
K.C Masterpiece Original $3.85
Stubb’s Original $5.59
Jack Daniel’s Original #7 $3.67
Cattleman’s Classic $3.59
Safeway Select $2.87
The taste testers were all members of the Gochiso Gourmet Ohana. All six sauces were
microwaved for 1 & ½ minutes until the sauces were warm and the tasting was blinded to all
tasters except for yours truly (I only knew which sauce was Stubb’s Original due to the
pronounced color difference). Tasters were asked to rank all six sauces from 1 through 6 – no
duplicates with 1 the best and 6 the worst as well as a numerical score from 0 through 5 with 5
being the best barbecue sauce they ever tasted and 0 being the worst they ever tasted –
duplicate scoring allowed.
Really smoky, tomatoey, starchy finish, smoky, sweet with nice spice, good all around sauce,
balanced heat and sweetness, most “barbecue” taste.
K.C. Masterpiece Original:
Kinda bland, strong spice – clove?, more heat than others, smoky sweet and thick, too sweet
drowning out other flavors.
Doesn’t taste like barbecue sauce – tastes more like salsa, strong vinegar and heat with a good
balance of spices, too thin and citrusy though good and spicy, too vinegary and not very
tomatoey, doesn’t have barbecue taste.
Jack Daniel’s Original #7:
Weird starchy taste, strong clove and dark spice and not very balanced with weak tomato and
acid, too much starch, nice heat and sweetness – rich smoky taste, too tart.
Tart vinegar flavor with acidic finish, Good balance of tomato, spice and smoke, citrusy sweet
spice, tomato, vinegar and heat.
Good balance of tart, sweet and smoke, ketchup like sweetness, sweet with not much smoke
flavor and no aftertaste, slightly too sweet.
Drum Roll Please
With the best place rating as judged from 1 to 6…
Bull’s-Eye Original 2.4/6
Cattleman’s Classic 3.0/6
Safeway Select 3.6/6
Stubb’s Original 4.0/6
Jack Daniel’s Original #7 4.4/6
K.C. Masterpiece Original 4.8/6
With the highest average numerical score…
Cattleman’s Classic 3.18/5
Bull’s-Eye Original 2.94/5
Safeway Select 2.9/5
K.C. Masterpiece Original 2.6/5
Jack Daniel’s Original #7 2.3/5
Stubb’s Original 1.46/5
Therefore, according to the independent rating of the Gochiso Gourmet Ohana, you probably
can’t go wrong with either Bull’s-Eye or Cattleman’s bottled barbecue sauces. Now what do I do
with all of these opened bottles of barbecue sauce? How about trying…
The Gochiso Gourmet’s Easy Barbecue Pasta
1 lb Barilla Plus spaghetti (or pasta shape of your choice)
3 - 12.5 ounce cans chicken breast (or 2 pounds cooked, shredded chicken breast)
1 tbsp canola oil
1 & ½ to 2 cups barbecue sauce
½ cup sliced green onion
Boil pasta according to package instructions then drain.
In a large pot, heat oil and sauté chicken until just heated. Add barbecue sauce until heated
then toss in the cooked, drained pasta. Toss in the sliced green onions.
Can be served as a side pasta course or as a complete meal. The Barilla Plus pasta provides 4gm of
dietary fiber per serving and since this dish is low in fat (very low in saturated fat), it can be
served warm, at room temperature or cold.
Almost Like Memphis in May