A Brief History
In the realm of ketchup, there’s one name that stands out—Hunt’s. Founded as a fruit packing company in California in 1888, the Hunt brothers built a legacy that continues to this day. Despite changing hands over the years and eventually becoming a part of ConAgra Foods, Hunt’s retains its original spirit with a range of canned tomatoes and their delicious offshoots like ketchup, pasta sauces, and barbecue sauce. Presently, Hunt’s offers three distinct varieties of barbecue sauce in their lineup.
An Aromatic Delight
As you take your first whiff of Hunt’s Original BBQ Sauce, the unmistakable essence of barbecue fills the air. The fragrant combination of tomato, vinegar, and sugar is present, albeit in a subtle manner. Rather than overwhelming the senses with bold flavors, this sauce exhibits a more refined character reminiscent of an enhanced ketchup. Its primary aroma is that of luscious sweet tomato, accompanied by a gentle tang of vinegar. Subtle notes of molasses, onion, and smoke add depth to the overall experience.
Consistency and Texture
Hunt’s Original BBQ Sauce boasts a smooth and glossy texture that strikes the perfect balance in terms of thickness. When poured from a suspended spoon, it flows smoothly in a syrupy consistency, gradually forming a medium, semi-transparent coating. This thin layer of sauce reveals tiny specks of spices peppered throughout, adding an extra touch of visual allure.
Straight Out of the Jar
The ketchup-like aroma of Hunt’s Original BBQ Sauce gives a hint of what to expect in terms of flavor—it is essentially a mildly seasoned ketchup. However, it is even less intense than regular ketchup, as the tomato’s natural intensity is softened by the addition of corn syrup and a dash of vinegar. Although the vinegar offers a mellow tang, it fails to balance out the overall sweetness. A subtle touch of molasses does little to counter the monotone corn syrup flavor. As the sauce lingers on your tongue, you may detect a hint of onion, but it lacks significant spice or heat. Ultimately, the aftertaste leaves a lingering sensation akin to super sweet ketchup.
Slathered and Cooked
When applied to chicken, Hunt’s Original BBQ Sauce forms a thick and slightly uneven layer. While it did not bake down over indirect heat and quickly burnt away over direct heat, it did yield a visually pleasing caramelization on the chicken leg. However, much of the sauce’s original flavor dissipates during the grilling process, resulting in a lackluster taste. The sweet tomato notes remain, but other flavors are diminished, leaving stickiness as the sauce’s primary attribute.
Put to the Test
Ketchup serves as a solid base for barbecue sauce, providing a pleasing flavor and texture to build upon. However, Hunt’s Original BBQ Sauce falls short in this aspect—it fails to develop into a fully flavored barbecue sauce. While the key ingredients—vinegar, molasses, smoke, and spices—are present, they are greatly overshadowed by the excessive amounts of corn syrup. Furthermore, most of the flavor vanishes after grilling, rendering the sauce’s affordability as its only redeeming feature. With a price tag often below two dollars, it may seem like a bargain, but investing in a sauce that adds little to your barbecue experience may not be money well spent.
Published on Thu Jun 18, 2015 by Joshua Bousel
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Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ: Delve into the world of authentic barbecue with a touch of wildness. Discover unique flavors and techniques that will elevate your grill game. Be prepared to embark on a journey of irresistible smoky goodness.
Remember, the journey to a remarkable barbecue experience begins with the right sauce. Indulge in the delightful sweetness of Hunt’s Original BBQ Sauce, but keep in mind its mild and subtle nature. Pair it with bold flavors and inventive ingredients to create a masterpiece that will leave your taste buds craving for more.
To learn more about the art of barbecue, visit the official website of Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ.