Monday, March 05, 2012
I was waiting for the weekend and a chance to crack open a bottle of Outta the Park barbecue sauce. The whole family enjoys getting to check out new sauces, and since this one is from North Carolina, we were especially curious to see how it would stack up.
Outta the Park has some pretty sweet awards including Scovies three years running, and a couple of my barbecue friends had been telling me that I should check them out.
Beth (she and her husband created this sauce) dropped an email to see if I do check out sauces and if I'd like for her to send a bottle. Good timing on that. I do review sauces when my schedule isn't maxed, and this happens to be a break week. That means lots of grilling and saucing.
Sauced Chicken with Outta the Park
I decided to go with the Outta the Park hot, since my youngest is out of town. He did not get my hot genes, so I do milder products when he's home from college. When he's away, I play with the heat.
When I opened the bottle, I picked up three scents - sweet, hot, and vinegar. They were balanced, and I was guessing that the heat level was going to be fairly low (more about that later).
This sauce is made from all natural ingredients. Like seriously all natural. Paired with my boneless skinless chicken breasts which are both healthy and super fast and easy to grill, I was looking forward to a good meal that would also be good for me and my tri levels (which get a bit high when I'm not paying attention).
All Sauced Up and Sizzling on the Grill
Since I had chicken strips, I sauced them before putting the chicken on the grill. If you use whole breasts, then wait until the last 10 minutes or so to add sauce, or the sugars will burn. Then, you'll have ugly chicken and won't be able to get the nice flavors of the barbecue sauce.
Boneless Skinless Chicken on the O Gas Tailgate Grill
I was stepping in and out checking the chicken, since it turned off cold last night. It's our spring break. Go figure. Right.
In any case, every time I stepped out, my mouth would start to water. As the BBQ sauce heated, it really did smell great.
It didn't take long before the chicken was ready to bring in the house and try. That's another nice thing about the boneless skinless chicken. Quick and easy. And, if you have a nice sauce, you get all the flavor you could ask for.
Yum! Time to Eat Our BBQ Chicken
Outta the Park definitely had that small batch fresh taste. You can actually see seasonings in the sauce and those are not chemically treated either. It's like having a barbecue sauce made yourself or by a friend.
The flavor had the balance that I mentioned when I opened the bottle. That puts Outta the Park in an interesting category - between a Kansas and North Carolina sauce. It is thicker with a natural ketchup base (but not quite as thick as most Kansas sauces), but it has that signature twang of vinegar from NC (but not so much that it freaks out people from other parts of the country where vinegar is not common).
One thing that did catch me by surprise is that Outta the Park Hot packs more heat than I would have guessed just by smelling the sauce. I found it just perfect set against the sweet notes and the hint of vinegar. It's the balance I'd like to catch on a sauce of my own.
As far as the heat, I'd say it runs just a tad hotter than grocery store sauce hot (which tends to be not very hot). If you love some bite, then go for Outta the Park hot. If not, then get the mild one. You get quality either way - just a difference in the hotness.
Thumbs up on Outta the Park. It moves to my top pick barbecue sauce list.