Sauce Review: Sweeet Heat Barbecue Sauces

This is a sauce review for 3 sauces from the Sweeet Heat Barbecue Sauce company out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.   I was contacted by the owner, Demond, who also runs Streetside BBQ, a popular catering company in Philly, to get his sauce reviewed.  So let’s go ahead and take a look!

Outside the Bottle

There are three varieties I was sent, the Sweet St. Louis in this brownish-orange color label and then Kansas City Classic which has this kind of teal aqua type color and then the Spicy Homemade Honey which is purple.

Now seems like the Sweet St. Louis is their more traditional sweet sauce standard but wait – it’s actually a glaze-like tomato-based sauce with rice wine & vinegar so it’s a little different than a classic BBQ of what you think of as – maybe a North Carolina.  It has a pig on the label (i.e. great for pork).

The Kansas City Classic is a bit thicker – it’s their more traditional style sauce – but not like what you find at the market – it’s more like a “homestyle” thick & sweet type of sauce.   It has a cow head on the label (implies good for beef).

Spicy Homey Honey is described as a sweet savory tomato-based sauce.   It also features a cow head (suggesting you beef it up).

The quality and the brand design – everything about it – looks really great super high end and very well- designed with the different colors and the different icons in the middle.  The fonts and design are spot on.

The pig and cow head confused me a bit.  I had almost expected one of them would feature a chicken.  Maybe that is in production next?    But I do like Demond getting specific and almost recommended the type of meat that the sauce would accompany best.  Many sauces try to say “good on everything” and that is rarely true.

General appearances aside, let’s look at the brand name:   Sweeet Heat with not just two but three Es is – definitely stands out.  Only one tiny (but potentially major) is that the search engines aren’t going to like this.  Google tries to spell it correctly, thinking it’s doing the world a favor.   Go ahead and test it right now – type “Sweeet heat bbq sauce” in Google.   Tried to imply you meant to search for something else.  This is where a little Google advertising might help.

If you aren’t going to be relying on the internet for sales, maybe it’s not a huge problem.  But in the age of trying to get things search engine optimized – it may be a little bit tricky and might not be “optimal” for search.

Inside the Bottle

Alright so now let us go inside the bottle taking Sweet St. Louis first.   To test these sauces I used turkey burgers – which are a little healthier but less tasty than a beef burger.  Although it will have less flavor, it will serve as  a blank canvas!

The taste has got a little sour and a little tang to it – and the rice wine is nice.  It is kind of this a complex flavor – and it kind of warms up the back of your mouth a little bit.    It runs thin, and for many purists this is totally fine – but many folks simply love their sweet and thick BBQ sauces.

It is not really hot but it is a super flavorful and definitely what I would call a sweet North Carolina type of sauce I would think so that is to me how I think of the sauce – sweet, very flavorful, and that reminds me what I see out of a North Carolina – with a strong presence of vinegar which gives that bit of sour.

So, I would definitely call this a vinegar-based sauce, and it’s one of the better ones I have had.  I’m not sure the bottle describes this well, although I do like the flavor here.  But when I see St. Louis sometimes I think more traditional barbecue sauce flavor – so I’m expecting sweet and smoky in the flavor and this sauce takes you somewhere a little different.   But that’s not gonna drag us down too far here.  I’m going with a 4 for this particular sauce.

Alright, so the next one we are going to go to as the Kansas City Classic.   Like the St. Louis – sweet St. Louis sauce, Kansas City Classic is also a bit thinner than expected.  You can see it move around in the bottle pretty quickly when you pour it on something.  You can immediately tell it’s good quality ingredient and a nice rich-looking texture with a lot of specks and a lot of natural ingredients so you can actually see.

Everything is very nice and when I take a look and try this on cooked Kansas City Classic, I really like the texture that is in there.  You can taste all of the ingredients.  I think what hit me first is dried onion chunks but I like the whole-peeled-tomatoes as a base – they adding a nice texture to it.

But what I read was a little misleading.  The bottle is kind of telling me it is a more traditional style thick tomato-based part of the sauce and well, I don’t think it is that thick.  It is thinner than usual.  I tried to shake it up a bit just to try that to see if there is something clumpy on the bottom because some of these have very natural sauce.

When you shake it up it is a lot better – so definitely it is not as thin as I originally noticed, but it’s not what you think of when you compare to like a Sweet Baby Ray’s or a Kraft even – Bull’s-Eye Barbecue Sauce.  You think as these thick sauces which have a lot of thickness and flavor and a kind of oozes out of the bottle.  This one is definitely a much more natural choice which I really enjoy and it lets you know that on the front of bottle – but maybe isn’t giving you that full indication that is going to be a little different than your traditional stuff.  For a solid flavor and a slightly unexpected thinness, I’d give Kansas City Classic a 3.

Spicy Homey Honey

This has an uncooked flavor which is great.  It’s thick – more of what most people think of when they think of thick.   The consistency is spot on.  The flavors are great – sweetened with molasses, brown sugar, and good stuff – not your traditional high-fructose corn syrup.   Uncooked it a has a deep rich flavor and on meat. It’s why there’s a cow’s eye on the front.  I really like how they connected this particular type of Spicy Homey Honey – back to the flavor that I expected.    This is one I can recommend to anyone who likes a traditional BBQ sauce – but could handle something a little different – like a bit more molasses flavor and real ingredients.

Bottom Line:

So overall, Demond’s company is doing things very good and producing a very high quality product.  They have got what I would call a vinegar sauce in the Sweet St. Louis.  They have got a traditional sauce which I think of as the Spicy Homemade Honey and then you have the Kansas City Classic which is – It is thin but chunky so there is kind of this homestyle texture to it – maybe KC Homestyle.  Then you get your Spicy Homey Honey which is deep and ark and mysterious – so overall, a great set of brands.  I am not sure they are connecting them to what is in the bottle perfectly, but it does a good job showing a well thought out design and a professional look and feel.

If I had to go for ratings for each of these individually, I would say the Spicy Homey Honey has got a 5, and then you got the KC Classic which I would give a 4, and then the Sweet St. Louis I would give a 3.

 

 

 

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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