Bar-B-Que

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.

Red's Judas KetchupJudas 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.

Flavour
(7/10)
Heat
(1/10)
Packaging
(8/10)
Value (9/10)
Overall
(7/10)

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Jack Daniel's Barbecue SaucesToday we have two sauces from Jack Daniel’s both are Barbecue sauces, both look very similar, I have a couple of question when we get products like this in for review.

  • Are they any good…
  • What is the difference between them

The first one we are going to try is:-

Jack Daniel’s Hot Pepper Sauce

On popping open the bottle the initial smell is a slightly sweet vinegar mixed with tomatoes and I think I can smell the tamarind, but that soon makes way for a more fruity smell. The sauce is thick, thicker that tomato sauce and slower to pour from the bottle.

First taste is a type of sweet and sour feeling that makes way for the heat from the chilli, then in the background there is the hints of the Jack Daniel’s whiskey giving a little dryness to the back of the throat. A second spoonful and I can taste the fruit and tomatoes. Not bad, a much more complicated taste that I expected.

Ingredients: Water, Brown Sugar, White Wine Vinegar,Tomato Paste, Dextrose, Concentrated Orange Juice, Salt, Molasses, Dates, Mango Puree, Modified Maize starch, Chilli Powder, Colour (Ammonia Caramel), Jack Daniel’s Tennessae Whiskey (1%), Onion Puree, Maize starch, Stabiliser (Xanthan Gum), Concentrated Tamarind Extract, Red Chillies, Ground Ginger, Preservative (potassium Sorbate), Sprit Vinegar.

I am quite enjoying this sauce, it is sweet and sticky as I would expect from this type of BBQ sauce, but with a more grown up flavour..

Flavour
(7/10)
Heat
(1.5/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (9/10)
Overall
(7/10)

Now for the second sauce, will this be just a copy of the first with just a little extra heat from the now named chilli variety.

Jack Daniel’s Extra Hot Habanero BBQ Sauce

The smell is completely different, much more earthy and dark. I am not getting the sweet vinegar as I did from the first one. Lie the first this is thick sauce that seems to take ages to pour. First taste is not as instantly sweet, much dryer. There is not a lot more heat, but this one is making my mouth water (May have to have ribs later).

No where as sweet, and even a little bit more grown up than the first, once I have swallowed, I can taste the some residual flavour from the lemon and the whiskey. Of the two this is the one for the ribs and the bbq’d beef, while the first was much more what I expected for chicken and burgers.

Ingredients: Water, Dextrose, Tomato Paste, Concentrated Raisin Juice, White Wine Vinegar, Concentrated Orange Juice, Salt, Concentrated Lemon Juice, Onion Puree, Habanero Chilli Powder (1%), Jack Daniel’s Tennessae Whiskey (1%), Modified Maize starch, Colour (Ammonia Caramel), Dates, Flavouring, Concentrated Tamarind Extract, Stabiliser (Xanthan Gum), Preservative (potassium Sorbate), Chilli Powder.

I am a little surprised how much I enjoyed these, neither are hot sauces in the terms of chilli sauces, but they are much much better than the standard fare BBQ sauces you are offered at this price range.

Flavour
(7.5/10)
Heat
(2/10)
Packaging
(6/10)
Value (9/10)
Overall
(7.5/10)

Did I forget to mention this are about £1.99 for a 260g bottle and are available in most major supermarkets. Given a choice of supermarket sauces, I would put both of these in my basket, they may not be quite up the of the artisan products we normally try, or what I can make given a few hours in the kitchen but at only £1.99 they are a bargain

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SLOW FIRE - by Ray "Dr. BBQ" LampeThere is a new wave of BBQ coming to the UK, for some of luck enough to have tasted this kind of BBQ in our travels we know this has been a long time coming.

Slow Cooked BBQ is a art form in the South of the USA and Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe has been making competition BBQ since 1982, in 2000 he tuned his hobby in to a profession, he has appeared on TV and Radio programs (Including the BBC) and has now completed it sixth book, which for me is the one I always wanted.

I have a number of BBQ grills and one very large and heavy offset wood burning smoker, but I have to admit I just don’t know how to get the best results out of it.

Well this book covers the tools and basic techniques you need to get started, it covers all the types of smokers & BBQ’s  you are going to see, there benefits and uses.

Sauces and Spicy BBQ rubs are a big part this kind of BBQ and Ray gives you a selection of then that covers what you will need while learning.

Then we are on to recipe sections, starting with one of my favourites Ribs, followed by Pork. Beef, Birds and then anything that did not fit these categories.

Now no BBQ is complete with out some side dishes and Ray gives us a selection of tasty ones you wont find at many UK BBQ’s.

I think it will take me the next couple of years to experiment with the recipes in this book, I have my eyes on a few new toys to play with, like a pellet smoker, or a nice Big Green Egg ceramic smoker.

I think this is the best slow cook BBQ book I have come across, it is an idea starting point for someone like me who wants to learn how to do this properly.

You can pick up your own copy at Amazon

Recipes & Descriptions
(9/10)
Photo/Illustrations
(9/10)
Design & Layout
(9/10)
Value
(10/10)
Overall
(9.5/10)

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Competition BBQ in the US is massive. There are hundreds of competitions each year with the top ones offering prize purses in the tens of thousands of dollars and attracting hundreds of teams from around the world.

There are several competition circuits in the US, the biggest being the Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS) who sanction competitions around the US, Canada and now even in mainland Europe. KCBS competitions are based on cooking 4 categories, chicken, ribs, pork shoulder and brisket. I could write an article on each of these individually but that’s not for today.

Royal Q Pit Crew Collecting a Trophy

Cooking competition BBQ in this style is about long slow cooking using smoker-style BBQ pits. Competitors may take up to 18 hours to smoke a whole brisket for turn in, during which time they will lovingly follow a process that they will have spent much time and effort perfecting.

Judging is typically blind (in most circuits) with entries submitted in unmarked boxes. Turn-in times are fixed and rigorously policed.

In the UK we have a small but growing competition circuit, with several teams also competing in the US several times per year as well. Recently in the first ever European KCBS competition, British teams took second and thirds spots, beaten only by a top American team who had made the journey over.

Editor Note: We would like to welcome Steve to our writing team, Steve is the Founder and Chief Cook at the Royal Q Pit Crew, one of the UK leading BBQ teams, we hope to follow Steve and his team mate Neil Welsh as they compete in BBQ competitions and hopefully teach us the skills of Competition BBQ.

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