(WXYZ) - Grilling season is upon us, and if you're looking to spice things up, the right barbeque sauce can do the trick. Consumer Reports just tested 10 to see which deliver mouth-watering results.
Trained sensory panelists spent weeks tasting store-bought barbeque sauces. The testers tasted the sauces on broiled chicken tenders and on chicken thighs cooked in a slow cooker. But the ratings are based on how they taste straight up.
Included in the tests were sauces from names such as Emeril's, Jack Daniel's, and Stubb's, and supermarket staples such as KC Masterpiece and Kraft Original. Barbeque sauces can be a combination of tangy, sweet, spicy, and smoky, but to be good the flavors should be well-blended and complex.
Not surprisingly, no two sauces were the same. Consumer Reports found most improved when cooked with meat. But Jack Daniel's Original No. 7 Recipe was one of the exceptions. It was gelatinous, with an overwhelming ashy, smoky flavor, and the cooking didn't help either.
The top sauces
In the end, Consumer Reports rated four sauces very good no matter how you use them. Among them is Target's Archer Farms Texas-Style Barbeque Sauce. The Archer Farms sauce was spicy and smoky, with lingering heat and a splash of cider vinegar. It worked well as a dip and in cooking.
Saving you money
If you like a thicker sauce, the least expensive tested is Walmart's Great Value Original Barbeque Sauce, and it's a tasty choice, too.
Two other all-around good sauces are the KC Masterpiece Original and Emeril's BAM B-Q sauce. The KC Masterpiece is a bit sweeter, with a lingering heat. Emeril's is the most unusual, with hints of cumin and celery seed, a bit of sweetness, and a touch of smoke.
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Copyright © 2007-2011 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc.
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