Bob Gibson was big… around 6 foot 3 and weighed between 275 and 295. Nowadays, he’s dead, but oh boy back in the day, growing up in rural Alabama as a rail line worker, he’d invite folks over to his house where he’d barbecue practically all weekend long. Hell yeah! They say he never met a stranger (because everyone already knew of him – get it?) For more on the history of Bob, watch this nicely done 4 min video.
Anyway, what started as a backyard BBQ turned into a hugely popular restaurant (one frequently called one of the top ten BBQ joints in the country) and a wide offering of sauces, including the 4 recently mailed to me:
- Championship Red Sauce
- Habenero Red Sauce
- Original White Sauce
- Backyard Mustard Sauce
I’ll get to the other sauces soon enough, but let’s jump into the tasting of the Championship Red Sauce, shall we? While the BBQ joint in Decatur Alabama receives accolades for being a fine purveyor of slow cooked pork and poultry, it is now a fairly substantial merchandiser. Which kinda sucks.
As high tech as me having this blog could be considered, I’m still a traditionalist in some respects. I like my rock-stars to be completely crazed lunatics that are caught up in drugs I’ve never heard of. I’d rather play real live tennis or go to a bowling alley, than play it a pretend version on a video screen… gamers. And for BBQ – I like underdogs – and I give natural BBQ sauces a boost. I’m sick of eating things I can’t spell – which is where this particular sauce lose a lot of it’s appeal for me. There’s a bunch of preservatives (I guess you gotta have a shelf life), a bunch of artificial flavors, some Worcestershire sauce, and TWO STEAK SAUCES?! It’s like Bob’s relatives were raiding the pantry to find the crap to load up this bottle. And it’s obvious with the two “Best Ever” Awards emblazoned on the bottle I’m sure the stuff has sold very well and perhaps prepared very well at the festivals… but I think the sauce itself is kinda weak.
Don’t fall for this bottle marketing BS:
“It took my family over 70 years and four generations to perfect this barbeque sauce recipe. Not until we were convinced that this thick red sauce was the best barbeque sauce in the world would we place the Bog Bob Gibson’s name on it. We hope you enjoy this unique flavor.”
If you watch the video above, it looks like it took about nine months to make the sauce. Hmm. The internet age is here, and I’ve got my eye on you, BBG! And also – you spelled barbecue wrong. C’mon Bob!
The sauce did win several awards, which I would attribute to BBQ technique and not the sauce itself (my guess is that it’s substantially different that the crap they put in bottles). Those awards include some big ones:
- Won First at American Royal International Barbecue Contest Kansas City, MO
- Rated Best at Memphis in May International Cookoff, Memphis TN
On to the Rating
Enough stumbling around and vague chit chat. I’d give Big Bobs Championship Red Sauce a 2 out of five.
OK presentation and representation of the overall brand. These guys win awards and should certainly brag about em… I’d recommend working in a little more Bob into the overall picture.
BBQ Sauce Consistency
The video told me alot… they aimed for a thick sweet sauce, and ended with a somewhat thin liquid (at least the bottled version). Use some Xanthan gum next time! Just don’t get it from China. 😉 Also you couldn’t see to many spices flowing out with this sauce – it screams I am mass produced all over it. Bob – what the fuck, man?
Taste and Smell
First sniff is like ketchup with hints of Worcestershire – simple, plain, nothing special. After reading the ingredients (after I ate) and seeing (and imagining) steak sauces being dumped into this sauce, I pictured A1 steak sauce combined with Open Pit BBQ sauce. Then I threw up. Just kidding. I thought of a drunk dude in a kitchen mucking around with the items available to him – yummy – here’s some soy sauce, oh and some steak sauce, molasses, oh Natural Smoke – nice!
I cooked up a few bucks worth of drumsticks to test it out, and – it was OK. I tend to think most BBQ chicken is good. Especially when I cook it. But this variety lacked zing or standout qualities. I really can’t say it was good; it seemed fairly plain. When I basted on the sauce I needed tons of it, because it was so thin (even with my new kickass bristle baster). And the ingredient overload just kinda makes me think the restaurant is numero one for these guys, and they probably don’t use anything like this mass produced variant of the real thing. Bob and Family. Hook us up with the real thing!
Water, high fructose corn syrup, tomato paste, distilled water, brown sugar, molasses, salt, worcestershire sauce, onion, soy sauce, modified food starch, spices, 2 types of steak sauce, smoke flavor, sodium benzoate, potssium sorbate, beef flavor, garlic, lemon juice concenrate, natural and artificial flavors.
Calories per 100 grma serving 52
Total fat 0g
Sodium 280 mg
Total carbs 12g
Vit a 8% Vit C 4% Calcium 2% Iron 0%
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