Red’s Judas Ketchup is a smoky ketchup produced by Red’s True Barbecue, the American-style smokehouse restaurant chain who have a number of restaurants across the country. I’d never heard of Red’s before so paid a quick visit to the website and within seconds their menu had my mouth watering. They specialise in authentic barbecue food from the Southern states of the USA, which means smoked meats cooked slow and low. Menu items include ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket and burgers (including a donut burger!). They also produce a range of sauces to accompany their mostly meat based dishes, which includes their Judas Ketchup.
Judas Ketchup comes in a pretty typical 320g squeezy ketchup bottle and is on sale at Asda for a very reasonable £1.87. Their packaging has a light hearted evangelical theme (their logo is crucifix made out of a knife and fork) and has a Southern states feel. The label describes the product as a “Tomato sauce with smoked paprika and chipotle chilli” and has the following prayer on the back “Red’s authentic BBQ flavour. Taste and be saved. To worship Fries, Burgers or Meats. They’re going to taste better with a dollop of your new favourite ketchup. Amen.” I really liked this humorous theme across the packaging and their website (I found myself reading it in a stereotypical Southern drawl!), but am I ready to convert to their religion?
The ingredients are what you would expect from a typical ketchup with the addition of Chipotle chilli puree and Smoked Paprika.
Ingredients: Water, Tomato paste, Sugar, Spirit vinegar, Smoked Paprika (2.1%), Salt, Cornflour, Chipotle chilli puree (1%), Cayenne Pepper.
I’ve tried several chilli ketchup’s over the past year some which were very nice but the majority have left little to be desired, however as a big fan of smokey BBQ style sauces I was eager to give this a try.
On first taste you instantly get the sweetness of tomatoes and a typical flavours you associate with a decent ketchup, this is then followed by a smoky depth that you would associate with a BBQ sauce, but this isn’t a BBQ sauce it’s a ketchup and that’s exactly what it tastes like. However, unlike many supermarket brought ketchups you can actually taste the sweetness of the tomatoes over the vinegar which sets this apart from your typical middle of the road ketchup.
In terms of heat there is a very very mild burn, which to be perfectly honest was difficult to detect. I would have liked the ketchup more if the heat was turned up several notches and lingered on the tongue for a few minutes, which it did not. I tried this ketchup with some chicken thigh and sweet potato fries. It went especially well with the fries and I would not hesitate to use this anytime I have chips, fries, wedges etc. It would also go nice on a burger, however I prefer a more spicy BBQ sauce with the majority of barbecued meat.
So has Red’s Judas Ketchup done enough to convert me to their religion and have me worshipping at the altar? Well, at £1.87 a bottle this a very affordable sauce and one that I could putting out when having family barbecues. It would be ideal for people who want something smokey to dip their chips into but without the heat. It is a very respectable tomato ketchup with a subtle smokiness but for me it needed to be a little bit hotter to have me shouting “HALLELUJAH!” from the rooftop.
Nonetheless this has been a good introduction to Red’s products and I am really keen to try more of their sauces and some of the mouthwatering dishes on their menu, so there’s still a chance I will become a believer.