You definitely can taste the smoke
I was in the mood for BBQ sauce last week, and decided to give a new BBQ sauce a try. I’m a fan of sweet sauces, but dislike anything that tastes like Kraft BBQ sauce. My favorite bottled sauce is Everette & Jones, but I’m fine with Kinder’s and even Sweet Baby Ray’s.
Blakey’s Original was on sale at Safeway, so I figured I’d give it a try. All in all, I was pretty pleased. It basically tastes like a generic BBQ sauce, but it has a bitter/smokey flavor that makes it unique. The flavor does come from liquid smoke or something similar, but it’s not as blunt as liquid smoke usually is. Given that all the profits go to the California firefighters, I felt it was appropriate.
I used the sauce for meatloaves and it worked pretty well. The 18 oz bottle is regularly $6 at Safeway, but was on sale for $4. I wouldn’t buy it for $6, but it’s fine for $4.
I got this BBQ sauce at Grocery Outlet before the pandemic. I was intrigued by the very minimalist packaging and the small jar – I don’t use that much BBQ sauce at once. I finally got to use it one day when I was craving – of all things – meatloaf. OK, I was craving something sweet for dinner, and the only meat I had at home was ground beef, so the only thing I could think of was meatloaf. I was very happily surprised. The sauce is thick and tangy, with a slight alcoholic-like flavor (it doesn’t have any alcohol, I checked). While it has “natural” smoke flavor and artificial flavors added, it doesn’t seem to have any preservatives and has sugar rather than corn syrup.
The sauce is available at Walmart at $3 for the 15.5 oz jar, and while I try not to shop at Walmart, I’d buy it again.
Beef back ribs are often on sale at Safeway. I’ve never gotten them before because they are sold “previously frozen” (though not actually defrosted), and I tend to stay away from frozen beef, as freezing interferes with texture. But I finally decided to give them a try. I cooked them by separating them into chunks of 2-3 ribs, rubbing them with a mixture of garlic & onion powder, salt and pepper and baking them, covered with foil, in a 375F oven for 2 hours. I then uncovered them, basted them with BBQ sauce, and meant to cook them for another hour. Well, the BBQ sauce was already burning after I checked on them 1/2 hour into the cooking so I took them out.
The ribs tested fine (despite the BBQ sauce burning), and they were tender enough (not overly so), but there was too little meat and too much fat in the huge bones. Even at $1.70 lb, it wasn’t probably a great deal given how much actual food you got out of them. I don’t think I’d buy them again.