Monday, May 25, 2009

BBQ Sauce Taste-off: Bad Brad's vs. Head Country

I've loved Head Country BBQ sauce every since I first tasted it in 1981 or so. It is so perfect (to me) I measure all others against it. So let describe my perfect BBQ sauce...

I'm a fan of Kansas City style BBQ sauce - tomato based, gentle smokiness, slightly sweet, vinegar twang and a short spicy kick to finish. Head Country has this nailed, although maybe a bit of a thin consistency for most folks, it's perfect for me.

My method: I tasted both sauces (Head Country Original and Bad Brad's Hot) straight-up and with smoked sausage.

FYI - both bottle's ingredient list were identical (ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, liquid smoke, seasonings and salt) and in the same order, if that matters.

Bad Brad's is mighty tasty; deep smokey flavor, thick consistency, deep brick color and spicy. I like spicy foods, but I can't imagine a whole plate of ribs(pork) with this sauce. The lack of sweetness only intensified the heat and there was no acidic palate cleansing from the vinegar. In fact, I couldn't identify a vinegar component to the sauce. All-in-all a two note sauce that clung to the taste buds.

Does that mean I don't like it? Heck, no! I love this stuff, it's what I think of when I think of Texas Style BBQ. It'll be awesome on BBQ brisket or beef ribs. And I bet it'd make a lively chopped BBQ sandwich. But for sausage, which has it's own complexities going on, or for pork ribs ( I imagine) it's a bit overpowering.

Bad Brad's - 1 pt. BBQ sauce = $4.50
Head Country - 1 pt. BBQ sauce = $3.50

Another BTW...both pint bottles are 18 oz. When did that rule change?

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