Captain Curt’s Famous Boss Sauce (4/5)


This tasty sauce has a really nice look, smell, and flavor, but had a few negatives that dropped it below a five star sauce.  The downs were mainly with the ingredients selection and the label.  These days, people are starting to get more conscious of what goes into their food, and barbecue sauce companies aren’t exactly leading the pack when it comes to ingredient naturalization (although BullsEye recently switched from HFCS to pure sugar in some products).  This one puts in HFCS and MSG and has a very long list of ingredients.

The sauce tastes almost like Old Bay Seasoning (extremely popular in the Baltimore area for coating seafood – most often crab), but there is no indication on the label that people are going to leave with such a unique flavor on their lips.  There’s a lot of complexity to the taste and the only flavor hint provided is the bold word “MILD” which isn’t necessarily enticing. A few mods, and it’s a five star sauce, Curt.


I think it smelled like a cross between Old Bay Seasoning, traditional tomato-based BBQ Sauce, and just a tiny hint of lemon.  A unique flavor and a pleasing smell – not too vinegary like many sauces.


Decent – but for some reason, this sauce poured on my steak and chicken acted a little bit like water repellent on a windbreaker.  I had the grill going for awhile and this didn’t seem to caramelize like most sauces.  Perhaps water being the first ingredient (not too common) is the culprit.  Maybe it’s one of the other 50 ingredients in this compound blend.


Before the grill and after the grill tastes were similar although the grill simply turned the flavor volume down a few degrees.  When the first three ingredients are water, sweetener 1, sweetener 2 – that is likely to happen.  Some other sauces get better with heat, I’d argue this sauce is better straight out of the bottle.  This could make a nice BBQ bath for a slow-cooked Boston Butt – something that sits in the sauce for hours in a crockpot.


Water, HFCS, sugar, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, white distilled vinegar, spice blend (dextrose, salt, cellulose gum, spices, onion powder, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, caramel color, garlic powder, lemon powder, spice extractives, red #4, no more than 2% silica gel as anti-caking agent), starch, soybean oil, Worcestershire sauce, pickling spice, MSG, liquid smoke, garlic powder, ground celery seed, onion powder, ground celery, chili powder, sodium benzoate (preservative), citric acid, paprika, ground bay leaves, red pepper, ground cumin, ground cloves.  Contains: Fish and Soy

Marketing and Packaging

Presentation and concept of the bottle itself is simple and fun, but the photography on the label is of very low quality.  Either the picture was taken with a very bad camera or in the process of creating the label some of the colors lost their saturation.  The white plastic tops adds to this unprofessional look and to me, and makes it seem a little bit “cheap.”


More about this vendor:

Curtis Briggs founded Curt’s Bar-B-Que Restaurants over 20 years ago in Chicago Illinois.  After many years of satisfying the palates of people from all over the world, Captain Curt, as he is know today because of the overwhelming demand for his sauce, started packaging his famous Delectable Boss Sauce” over a decade ago from a family recipe developed by his grandfather, enhanced by his father, and handed down to Curt as a young man in his hometown of Pine Bluff Arkansas.

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. Dan Warner says

    I have ordered Captain Curt’s before by mail. Do you have a a phone number for them?

    Dan Warner

  2. Neighborhood: Chatham/Avalon Park
    8210 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60619


  3. Paul Robertz says

    Update: I just stopped by Captain Curt’s Barbecue Shazzam on my way home from work tonight, and was happy to learn that there are now 7 flavors of Captain Curt’s Boss Sauce. 3 are reviewed here. A 4th, Lemon Honey, has been available on their website for some time. The cashier told me to step over to the pickup area for free samples of the 3 sauces which are new for 2011. Captain Curt himself gave me a warm greeting, a tray of fries, and his own explanations and rymes for each of the 3 new flavors as he poured some on my fries: Apple Cinnamon, Caramel Rose, and Coffee Cream. The last of these is fantastic, so I took home a bottle to enjoy later.

  4. Betty Caldwell says

    When are you going to start shipping pork hot links online?

  5. try this link: Hot Links on

  6. Carolyn Watson says

    you need to take your web page down because of false advertisement that yo can get the sauce by calling your number. All I got was the run around. I have called for several weeks. The owner answered the phone then he past the phone to his wife which she was whinning about the person that take the orders has moved to Mexico. Then she told me should would call me back, continuously never called back. I will never recommend, inquire and of your products again.

  7. HARRY A CAIN JR says


  8. I grab some each time I am in Chicago , it is the best ever. Brenda Dozier

  9. I am been looking for the “hot” BBQ sauce, but I can’t find it. Jewel has every flavor except for hot. This is one of the recipes to my sauce that I make.

  10. How can I order a gallon of mild sauce. I’m in Phoenix AZ

  11. everett lenoir says

    where can i find captain curtis hot, please give location as to where buy or order

  12. Appears that the stores are shut down, not 100% sure if/where you can buy the sauce:

  13. Robert J. Gee II says

    Buy it at Jewel anywhere in Chicago

  14. James Houston says

    I am also upset with being unable to get in contact with anyone to place a order!!!

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