Friday, July 23, 2010
The Bob Evans company got in touch to see if I'd like to try out their new Taste of the Farm Wildfire barbecue sauce. I check out bbq sauces often - from the grocery store, from vacation trips, and also order them online when I have a little extra spending money. When a company gets in contact, I just let them know that I tell my readers what I think no matter how I get ahold of sauce. Tastes vary, so it's a roll of the dice if someone sends sauce.
I am familiar with the Bob Evans company. My youngest son adores mashed potatoes. I make great homemade mashed potatoes, but that takes quite a bit of time. I've tried out most of the quick mashed potatoes in the refrigerator section of the grocery store, and my top pick on the quick mashed potatoes would be Bob Evans. I haven't seen the new barbecue sauce at our grocery store which is in a small town, so I was looking forward to see what Bob Evans would do with sauce.
Most times when I test a new barbecue sauce I try it on skinless chicken or on pork chops. Those meats are pretty neutral, and I get a good test of the flavor of the barbecue sauce. I never review without grilling with a bbq sauce, because cold sauce simply does not always taste the same as sauce grilled on food.
IGA had a sale on bone in chicken breasts, so that was my test grill food for the Bob Evans barbecue sauce.
The first note I would make on Bob Evans bbq sauce is that it is a thinner sauce - more like our mop sauces in North Carolina. When the sauce is cold, it is thinner than mainstream barbecue sauces like Kraft. When it's hot on the grill, it really is more in the mop range. With most store brand bbq sauces, I only sauce the last 5 minutes or so due to the sugar and thickness. This sauce could go on earlier and more often. I was offset on the charcoal (lower and slower in terms of heat due to the thickness of the chicken breasts), but Bob Evans did work like mop.
To get Bob Evans on thicker, then I'd go with skin on (something to stick to) chicken breasts or with pork chops (which are flat). Or, I'd look at Bob Evans as a mop sauce on a pork butt of shoulder where I'd generally use a North Carolina vinegar based barbecue sauce.
As far as the flavor on Bob Evans, the taste is nice. It gave a bit of extra umph to the chicken, but I'd say that Wildfire is not a good description of the barbecue sauce. In my mind, that would suggest a spicy or zippy barbecue sauce. This barbecue sauce is, in fact, quite mild. I noted this on the chicken test and also tried some barbecue sauce on a spoon just to double check. I did not find the fire in Bob Evans barbecue sauce.
For grilling, I would consider Bob Evans a mop barbecue sauce and a mild sauce that it would work for general crowds. I can't imagine anyone would find it hot at all. The flavor is pleasant though, so it would not be a problem with a mixed group of flavor lovers. I'd also mop it on often while grilling the next time and would also have some on the table, since it is a thinner sauce than typical for store brand barbecue sauces.