It's grilling season. Consumer Reports has been putting some barbecue sauces to the test and while this is a subjective thing, they do have some recommendations.
Brad McCallister's restaurant specializes in authentic, 100% hickory-smoked barbecue and the boss knows his sauce.
"In a summer week, we go through 30 gallons of sauce," Brad says. "It's the last item that they put on their food and it will be the last thing they taste before they leave here."
Consumer Reports just taste-tested eight barbecue sauces, including Kraft Original, KC Masterpiece Premium Original, and Emeril's. Prices range from under $2 a bottle to more than $5.
Consumer Reports' Erin Gudeux says, "A good barbecue sauce should have a nice balance of flavors, with no one thing sticking out. And after cooking, many times, they can get even better."
Trained taste testers evaluated each sauce in three different ways: on its own as a condiment; as a basting sauce for broiled chicken and as a sauce for slow-cooked meat.
Not every barbecue sauce got high marks for flavor. Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce was at the bottom of the ratings.
"The texture is rather gelatinous," said taste-tester Lynn Meyers. "Almost like it's been thickened."
It also had 420 mg of sodium per serving -- more than any other tested.
In the end, testers rated two barbecue sauces excellent. Foxworthy's Redneck Original, at $4.50 for an 18-ounce. bottle, was very flavorful and got even better with cooking.
Gudeux says, "It had a big, roasted garlic flavor; a very bold flavor that would go with just about anything."
Top-rated, for about half the price, was KC Masterpiece Premium Original Barbecue Sauce. It's a balanced sauce with a sweet molasses flavor.
You can find KC Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce in stores, but you have to work the Web to find Foxworthy's Redneck Original. Click here.