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Testing testing: barbecue sauces


Last Updated: 12:01am BST 18/08/2001

Marks & Spencer Sticky Barbecue 20-minute marinade 315g, 1.29

If, as the manufacturers suggest, you use the whole bottle of this stuff to marinade your chops or chicken, the viscous sweetness of this dark-brown sauce will be all that you taste.

A little goes a long way and adds a pleasing smokiness to meat when used in moderation. Not so good on vegetables. Indefinably M & S.

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Simply Delicious Organic Barbecue Sauce 280g, 1.59, Sainsbury's

This russet-coloured sauce is tart and tangy in the bottle but it doesn't stand up to barbecue smoke. Best used as a cook-in sauce or marinade for the oven, or smeared on burger buns lain on the grill for that additional peppy, charred taste.

Old Ranch House Smokey Barbecue Sauce 200ml, 79p, Waitrose

This "tangy tomato-based sauce with a hickory smoke flavour" does exactly what it says on the tin (well, bottle, actually).

The manufacturers obviously recognise homo culinarius's tendency to cremate food rather than cook it when barbecuing, and recommend basting towards the end of grilling.

Adds a tasty tang to burgers when used as a ketchup.

Crazy Charley Cajun All-Purpose & BBQ sauce 454g, 3.95, Jenners Food Hall, Edinburgh (0131-225 2442)

Well, Crazy Charley, I wish there was money involved in your boastful claim that this is "the best sauce you've ever tasted, I guarantee". Because if there were, I'd be coming round to collect. I guess that's why they call you crazy. This sauce contains upsetting chunks of unrecognisable vegetables that add nothing. If the food cooked is boring taste-wise, the ingredient list on the bottle makes good reading: brewed coffee; ketchup; and natural smoke flavour.

Ben's Homemade Red Barbecue Sauce

  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 oz butter
  • 4 fl oz/100ml bourbon
  • 4 fl oz/100ml tomato ketchup
  • 4 fl oz/100ml maple syrup
  • 2 fl oz/50ml balsamic vinegar
  • Juice two lemons
  • 4 large chipotle peppers (available for 2.60 for 60g from the Cool Chile Company 0870 902 1145), finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Saute the onions and garlic in the butter until golden. Add the bourbon and bubble until reduced by half. Then add the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer on a low heat for about 30 minutes. Leave to cool, then baste on to chicken thighs, pork chops or ribs while grilling.

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