McCane’s Southern Fixin’s Original Pit Sauce (4/5)

mccane-orig-pit-bbq-sauce
4-3

Stewart McCane calls his sauces the best thing you ever threw a lip over – which is certainly a bold statement.  But do his sauces have the boldness and flavor to back him up? Sure they do.

Smell and Aroma 4
A somwhat traditional scent like tomato sauce mixed with apple vinegar – also some additional spices add complexity.  Nothing malodorous nor fragrant – so nothing particularly remarkable. Overall it’s a pleasant scent reminiscent of spiced-up ketchup.

Taste 4
The Original Pit Sauce has a great balance of sweet and tang. A little hot sauce adds a little heat and especially after grilling, the heat really starts to open up the more you eat.  Adding cayenne pepper tends to do that… a slow building of heat versus the blast that you might get with habanero or jalapeno peppers.

Consistency 4
Good appearance.  Looks and feels very natural. Color is right and the amount of spices floating in the bottle gives the impression that this could be an all natural sauce.  Stuck well to the meat products on the grill.

Ingredients 3
Traditional fare but a few ingredients pop out at me including

Ketchup with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and additional HFCS (whether you mind it or not is not the question, some people do care if they eat this stuff).

Oleoresin Paprika I’ve just never seen it on a label before – apparently it’s a fairly natural coloring additive that is used in a lot of different places.

Caramel Coloring – Come on, do we need to add coloring?  this makes me wonder what the sauce would look like without artificial coloring.

Polysorbate 80 – an “emulsifier” according to this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polysorbate_80

Label and Marketing 3
Good.  A professionally-designed label and a clean appearance.  I like the name – Pit Sauce – a term not used very often… it brings to mind a big guy working 15 racks of ribs at once in a room filled with BBQ smokers.  Definitely one that targets the hardcore Q’er versus the backyard griller.  This is not good or bad, but depending on how sales are going, it might make sense to broaden the reach with a potential name change… (I know, bold statement).  Here’s my reasoning.  I think when people first glance at the name Pit Sauce – they aren’t going to be sure what that means.  I like that it’s different, but the word Pit could have a few meanings – the pit from a fruit or an olive, BBQ pit, arm pit, “it’s the pits,” or even a hole in the ground.  All I’m saying is that potentially changing this one word, could have a huge potential impact on sales.  People notice the little things.  One final thought here… a website would be a good thing!

Sauce Score: 4
McCane’s Original Pit Sauce has a nice complex flavor with great consistency and color. Lots of ingredients contribute to both the unique flavor but for the eagle-eyed sauce buyer, it could also be a negative.  In general, I look for high-quality ingredients versus mass-production.  I seek quality over quantity. The big thing holding back most sauces (including McCane’s) is the use of low-quality, cheap ingredients.  Some people can’t taste the difference.  Some people can.

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.

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