Saturday, July 09, 2011
When Amanda contacted me about Shirley J's just-add-water (or whatever you like) BBQ Sauce Mix, I was curious. I could see the ideas for making custom barbecue sauce mixes or for traveling, camping, or RVing with barbecue sauce mix (without the weight and glass bottles). Amanda asked if I'd like to try it out and share my thoughts with Barbecue Master blog readers, and I thought this would be a really good product to check out.
The container of BBQ Sauce Mix came in, and it's a generous container of sauce mix. The container you see above is about 8 inches high and around 4 inches all around. With the standard mix of one part Shirley J BBQ Sauce Mix to three parts water, that's a lot of barbecue sauce in the cabinet and ready to make fresh whenever I want.
I often test out barbecue sauces with boneless, skinless chicken breasts or grilled chicken tenders. They are easy to grill, quick, and I can really taste the flavors of barbecue sauces, since the chicken is mild as far as flavor grilled this way.
It was super simple to put 1/4 cup of the Shirley J BBQ Sauce Mix in a mixing cup and then top it off with water to the one cup measure and stir well. The result was a nice basic barbecue sauce close to a mop sauce in terms of texture. In other words, the sauce was fairly thin (like traditional NC barbecue sauces) at one part powder to three parts water. But, you can use more powder for a thicker sauce or use other ingredients to make variations.
The flavor of the Shirley J BBQ Sauce Mix was nice. This is one that would be fine for all family and friends. It's mild but does have flavor.
On the second grill, I used Shirley J BBQ Mix but mixed it with butter and beer on burgers. I heated my custom mixture in a sauce pan and then let the burgers sit in the homemade mix marinade. Again, the sauce was good.
I checked out the Shirley J web site and also the sales brochure (which you see above). The company provides good ideas and recipes for using the mixes. That's always nice.
The thing I like best about the barbcue sauce mix is that it keeps on the shelf and travels really well. That's great for people who camp or RV and also if you don't go through a whole lot of barbecue sauce quick (like I do).
The second big plus I see is that this is a base barbecue sauce, and you can add your own signature to the sauce. Be creative with the liquids and with seasonings and such. You can have a new experience for every cook out or can keep track and keep adjusting until you hit on the perfect barbecue sauce for your own personal tastes.
Amanda also included some Onion Seasoning by Shirley J. I generally have fresh onions, but I didn't last week. I was making an aluminum foil pack of potatoes to go on the grill, and I wanted some flavor. I sprinkled on the Shirley J Onion Seasoning, and that worked out really well on our potato grill packs. Again, this is a nice shelf or travel option over fresh vegetables. And, it saved me a trip to the grocery store.
Shirley J has been around since 1978 (oh - the memories from that year), but they are just now offering the mixes to home cooks and grillers. They had been focusing on restaurants, so you may well have had some of these products when you've been eating out. Now, you can get the mixes at home and for travel.
Shirley J has loads of mixes including ones for breads and also sauces. One that caught my eye was the Universal Sauce. That one can be used to make white sauces or to make gravy with biscuits. I make homemade biscuits and gravy, but it's a lot of work especially for a big group. One of the ladies at church who is a great cook told me that making white gravy for a group works out better if you "get a mix" and keep it warming in a crock pot. I suspect she has discovered Shirley J. I'll have to ask next time I see her.