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Sep 18, 2009 07:28 AM

Talk on BBQ sauce in TEXAS

Let’s talk barbeque sauce. I’m not talking about bad sauce to cover up bad barbeque. I’m talking about the stuff that could be assigned it’s own food group – the stuff that could and should be enjoyed like sipping a fine shot of tequila. It does exist; perhaps from a bbq joint that happens to server bad meat or maybe from a joint that actually serves great meat, or maybe from your own kitchen.

TX relies on a certain amount of sweetness with heat more-so than using a large amount of vinegar as does the SE states. Personally, I like a nice blend of it all – cooked enough that it melds together as one product, but not so much that the individual flavors cannot be distinguished - initial taste of a rich, deep sweet that only a quality molasses can bring, followed by the vinegar twang at the sides of the tongue and finishing with a lingering heat of different peppers – red, black, white.

All said, I’m in the camp that professes smoked meat should stand on it’s own in flavor and quality, but there have been times that I can’t decide if I’d rather eat the meat or drink the sauce.

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  1. Real Texans don't use BBQ sauce. If the BBQ is so bad that it needs sauce, then you shouldn't be eating it in the first place.

    1. When the 'cue is great, I like just a little shake of Tabasco, or Cholula, or Tapatia, or Yucateca, or Marie Sharp's.

      And that's about it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jaymes

        Today at lunch I ate a large order of ribs at The Country Tavern and never even thought about picking up the sauce. Unnecessary.

      2. Gee, I'm sorry......... The topic did not include a question of whether to eat sauce on bbq or not, but an intended discussion about the sauce itself............

        1. Like you, I like the sauce to stand on it's own: I rarely put on good 'cue beef or pork, but I find it enhances the sausage or poultry offerings when I stray, or just squirted on the bread as I mop up the plate.

          Sweet or not it does not matter, I look for a low heat and a peppery tang on the tongue. And I hate store bought offerings: I will likely drop a joint for pulling crap like that on it's customers.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dfwdean

            For me, "sweet or not" definitely matters. Like I said above, I do sometimes like a squirt or two of a thin, vinegar-based hot sauce. So when it comes to an actual sauce, the thinner the better. Really sweet is a definite deal-breaker. Louie Mueller's sauce is thin and tasty. And Snow's in Lexington is also pretty good.

          2. Despite what I wrote above, I will have to say, the sauce at (the original) Sonny Bryans on Inwood Road is excellent.
            And, that's because they use the beef fat drippings from the BBQ in the sauce. I always wondered why I got terrible heartburn after eating there. When they told me their "secret", I then realized why.

            3 Replies
            1. re: twinwillow

              Good topic. I agree with the 'doesnt need sauce if its good' faction, but I do like to dip once in a while. Sometimes a heavy smoke can be overwhelming, and a sweet flavor can cut that. But not slathered. And I am sorry, nothing holy or just about Sonny Bryans since he sold and eventually passed away.

              I prefer a home made product, but I also like Sweet Baby Rays, but I juice it up with some cayenne. Curley's Hot and Spicy is delicious. I am not sure you can buy that here, I think its regional. You can order online...


              1. re: DallasDude

                For me, it also depends upon the kind of meat one is eating. I really do prefer no sauce at all on perfectly-smoked brisket or hot links. But I do often put sauce on pork ribs, which lend themselves to a little sweetness.

                Although not too much. I find that heavy, thick sweet sauce unpleasantly cloying.

              2. re: twinwillow

                Agreed. Sonny Bryan's sauce is the standard by which all others are judged, at least in my Q book. Only the dear, departed Solley"s (I go back to the days when it was Salih's in Preston Center) had a sauce that came anywhere close.