How do you like your smokey, sweet goodness?

28 Apr

I’d love to say that I make my own secret recipe barbeque sauce. Truthfully, I don’t eat barbeque sauce very often. Don’t get me wrong—I love smokey, sweet goodness on my meat. Yes, I do. However, I think I have a problem with too much “smoke”:  My body has a smoke quota.

I also have to admit that in my early days, the only experience I had with barbeque sauce was when my mother (who is one of the best cooks I know but maybe not a barbeque sauce expert) in a pinch, would buy a bottle of Bulls Eye, pour it on some Foster Farms chicken legs (Ack! Foster Farms the Chicken Torturers) and shove it under the broiler; serving them with steamed broccoli as part of a super-quick meal.  (Thank goodness my mother would never curse us with Kraft Mac n’ Sodium Cheese or a Swanson’s mega-processed frozen meal. She would say that you can make something quick without sacrificing good nutrition.)

Since then, most of the barbeque sauces I’ve had have either been too smokey (remember my quota), too sweet or…too something.

Well, life imitates childhood: The other day, my daughter told me she wanted chicken for dinner and, not having a better idea, I dug back to my childhood and revived that “recipe” for barbeque chicken legs and steamed broccoli.

The major grocery store chain aisle was full of every adaptation of Bulls Eye barbeque sauce. Surprisingly, all of it was on a lower shelf at the major grocery chain store—instead of the more desirable eye-level shelves. (Perhaps Bulls Eye doesn’t need eye-level thanks to women like my mom.) Anyway…lots of the brands used high fructose corn syrup or began their ingredients listing with smoke or some sort of processed sweetener: forget it. (My daughter all of the sudden doesn’t like spicy/hot anything so hot/peppers were crossed off my list.)  There was a multitude of designer sauces: Which to chose? My eyes stopped at Guy Fieri’s line (I am only familiar with Guy Fieri’s various product/restaurant lines as he became a celeb after my time at Food Network and I don’t watch his show because I’m distracted by his bracelets.).

Lots of peppers in most of his sauces but I found “Kansas City Smokey & Sweet” had no peppers; only “pepper” at the end of the list. I paid the $5 (eeek) and took her home. Chicken went under the broiler (I brush on the sauce after I broil the chicken so the sauce doesn’t burn and set off the smoke alarms—another childhood memory). My daughter liked the sauce and I have to say, it’s a well-balanced barbeque sauce; very traditional but for an off-the-shelf-quick-chicken leg meal; it’s a good value.

Good job, Guy Fieri.

Hankering for a non-traditional but delicious alternative to smokey barbeque sauce? Fall in love with any of the raspberry chipotle sauces out there. I like Kozlowski Farms‘ version, however, Target’s Archer Farms is a good value and  Costco carries one that I’ve had at a local restaurant that’s really, really good. Dip your roasted pork in it. Dribble it on oysters. Sip it straight out of the bottle!

Thankfully, my smoke quotas don’t seem to factor in when it comes to dark, smoked chipotle pepper sauce goodness….

4 Responses to “How do you like your smokey, sweet goodness?”

  1. Brian April 28, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    The Kansas City Smokey & Sweet was the best of the line-up, in my opinion. I know a lot of folks have a low tolerance for “natural smoke” flavor – I’m not one of them.

    At least you can still chomp down on some smoky chipotle peppers! Chipotles in Adobo are candy in a can for me! My favorite chile pepper for salsas and hot sauce.

  2. mrspaddington April 28, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Brian! I’m actually looking forward to trying Guy’s more spicey/hot alternatives. Any suggestions? OMG…I’m imagining a chipotle apricot chutney right now…

    • Brian April 28, 2012 at 10:28 am #

      I’m afraid I can’t really say any other Fieri BBQ products are all that spicy. His salsas are just so-so, although I personally liked his “Old Skool” salsa and his “Mean Green” verde salsa.

      • mrspaddington April 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

        Yeah….lest we forget he caters to the mainstream. I am at the other end of the spectrum: I like to feel my scalp lift a little when I bite in…!

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