Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q Habanero Red Sauce (3/5)

Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q Habanero Red Sauce

I’ll save some of my typical upfront meandering, simply because I already did that in my last Big Bob Gibson post. Well, I do have one tangential thought to bring up… being a web-based reviewer of products.

When I sat down to write this, my second Big Bob Gibson review, the phrase “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” couldn’t escape my head. Stupid? Maybe. But please, Lucy, let me esplain.

Big Bob Corp was kind enough to send me a box of 4 sauces for free all the way back in September – a gesture of kindness and faith in the goodness of man – to send a sample of their goods to a decent guy with a thing for BBQ sauce, hoping to get some positive web marketing on it… But I slammed their “Championship” Red Sauce, giving a 2 of 5, and here I am giving this one a mediocre 3 of 5 (only because it’s just slightly better than the non-hot version). Damn.

Although no one knows exactly where it came from, the ‘gift horse’ phrase is defined as getting something for free, and then examining it for defects… haah! And here I am, doing exactly that! So I started thinking, I must be an asshole.

But no – it’s not that – I’m being honest with my reviews – my mind was simply playing tricks on me because it’s a biased situation to be in…like when the reviewer gets a bonus for a positive reviews… or when the referee bets on the score on a game he referees … or when Whole Foods’ CEO anonymous tells people (via web forums) to buy his stock online.

Sketchy situations… even if I am only talking about BBQ sauce – are always good to avoid. But I make it clear on the Sauce Submission page that reviews have to be 100% objective.

As I’ve said before, enough blabbing… on to the 100% objective review!

The National Barbecue Association voted this one the “best hot barbeque sauce” in 2001, 2002, and 2004 and I gotta say… “say what?” Did you drink before the judging? Do you stick your fingers into the top of the bottle and then lick your finger and award the prize? Do you review sauces uncooked AND cooked? Do you ignore the ingredients? Was it the same as the stuff that is in these bottles?? You may make actual money of your website (unlike me) but according to Alexa, my site is also more popular than yours. So there. That’s the Power of the Pen, or the web, or something.

Gotta say that off the top of my head I can name two other, much better, hot BBQ sauces: Russ and Franks Fiery and Caribbean Calypso Island Hopping BBQ Sauce.


When I sniff the sauce, I ask myself … “Does it smell good, like fresh ingredients, or like chemicals and something unnatural.” This one falls into the latter category, much like its older brother Championship Red Sauce.

Before Cooking Flavor

Tastes a little cheap before the cooking. Not a lot of depth to the flavor. Really nice heat though.


A little thinner than usual and an unnaturally smooth consistency. No way you are going to see any bits of ingredients (like onion, garlic, pepper) that you might see in a premium sauce. It does, however, hold very well to the meat without excessive sauce drippage and waste.

After Cooking Flavor

This sauce does transform fairly nicely after the heat of the grill. I tend to use chicken with skin to keep the reviews somewhat uniform, and this was no exception. A few wing pieces later and I’m tasting something with a nice caramelized BBQ’d sugar flavor and a fair amount of heat remaining for a nice enhancement – not too overpowering.


Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Tomato Paste, Distilled and Malt Vinegar, Brown Sugar, Molasses (cane molasses, invert sugar, water), Salt, Soy Sauce, Dehydrated Onion, Steak Sauce (water, tomato paste, distilled vinegar, corn syrup, raisins and concentrate, salt, herbs and spices, orange base, orange peel, caramel, dehydrated garlic, dehydrated onions), Spices, Modified Corn Starch, Onion Powder, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate (To Protect Freshness), Natural Smoke Flavor, Tomato Paste, Mustard, Corn Syrup, Dehydrated Habanero Pepper, Garlic Powder, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Caramel Color, Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten, Soy Protein and Wheat Gluten, Sugar, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Tamarind, Turmeric, Apple Concentrate, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Beef Extract, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate, Rye Extract. Kitchen Sink.


19 oz bottle. Serv Size 37.24g. Calories per serving 50. Grams of Fat 0. Sodium 290g. Carbs 11g. Protein 0g.

Marketing and Packaging

Seems like they’ve done a nice job pricing, promoting, and distributing the products, but it seems they have put together a cheaply produced version of what might actually be the real sauce you would get if you went into one of their restaurants. First three ingredients in the product says it all: Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Tomato Paste..

I’d love to see them come out with the opposite of this product, perhaps a line of Bob Gibson’s Natural Sauces (or see below) Gluten-Free Sauces. Because they sound very classy, and have the name recognition going for them, Big Bob Corp could probably command a nice premium price for a sauce of a higher caliber. Put em into Whole Foods where people pay extra for healthy stuff.

Site Editor, BBQ Sauce Lover, Family Guy, Hi Tech Marketer by Day. He recently wrote the Ebook “How to Market Your BBQ Sauce” which can be purchased on this site.



  1. Did you ever try Bob Gibson’s White BBQ Sauce for chicken?

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