Consumer Reports test 10 BBQ sauces

May 27, 2011 1:49:32 PM PDT
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. Their trained sensory panelists spent weeks tasting the store-bought barbeque sauces.

"The testers tasted the sauces on broiled chicken tenders and on chicken thighs cooked in a slow cooker. But we rated them on how they tasted straight up," said Ellen Klosz of Consumer Reports.

Included in the tests were sauces from names like Emeril, Jack Daniel's, and Stubb's - and supermarket staples like 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," said Klosz.

In the end, Consumer Reports rated four sauces very good - no matter how you use them. Among them were 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," Klosz said.

If you like a thicker sauce, the least-expensive tested - Walmart's Great Value Original Barbeque Sauce - is a tasty choice, too.

Consumer Reports says the two other all-around good sauces are the KC Masterpiece Original - it's a bit sweeter, with a lingering heat - and Emeril's Bam B-Q Sauce. Emeril's is the most unusual, with hints of cumin and celery seed, a bit of sweetness, and a touch of smoke.