Friday, February 13, 2009

Review: Big Jakes Honey Mustard

Big Jake’s Honey Mustard

Manufacturer Erickson Foods Inc.

Quality *** (3.5 out of 5)
Viscosity *** (4 out of 5) This is a measure of thickness, not quality
Aroma *** (3.5 out of 5)

Appearance **** (4 out of 5)

Packaging **** (4 out of 5)

This is not your typical mustard sauce.

As I’m sure you are aware, mustard sauces are a significant category of BBQ sauces, usually found in the Carolinas. This aint that.

This is much closer to a KC style sauce on steroids with a strong mustard undertone and sweetened with honey.

This is not a mild sauce. The flavors are bold and change the flavors of the meat instead of accenting them.

The sauce comes in a strong glass bottle (15oz.) and pours easily in spite of its thickness. The rich, reddish brown color is as deep as the flavors. There are small specks of this and that in the sauce, offering visual variation. A bit of pepper here, maybe some onion there.

The sauce sticks to the meat while having enough mobility to move about and coat the surface. Once you pour the sauce you can tell that the predominant flavor is that of sweetened tomato. The mustard and vinegar undertones are there, but they are overshadowed by the tomato. Different then a ‘ketchupy’ aroma, the sauce smells intense, but ‘clean’, probably due to the use of honey.

Bold and intense, the sauce is best used sparingly and on strong meats (such as pork and brisket). The mustard is much more of a major player in the taste than it is in the aroma. There is no heat here, but the sauce is still piquant and packs a wallop. Batting lead off for the flavor team is the sweetened tomato. Strong and indeed sweet, the flavor lacks the treacle side effects of corn syrup. Advancing the runners is the vinegar and honey which sets the table for the mustard. Not a power hitter, the mustard swings for average, like a palette enhancing Kirby Puckett. The impact of the mustard is unmistakable and a welcome addition.

Is this a traditional mustard sauce? No. Is that a negative? Not in this case.

If you are looking for a nice variant to the traditional tomato based sauces, this is more than worthy of a place on your shelf.

Image pictured is of Big Jakes Garlic

General Notes:

I do the majority of the sauce analysis on this site. I have often been assisted by Will Breakstone of Willie B’s Award Winning BBQ (pitmaster, competitor and caterer). The foods used with the sauces are usually brisket, pulled pork and chicken. On occasion, other foods will be used if recommended by the manufacturer (ex. burgers, fries, meatloaf, etc.).

Most of the food used for the reviews is cooked on a Weber Smoky Mountain or a Lang 84. The basic BBQ accoutrements (such as tool sets, chimney starters, etc.) are by Weber. Knives are by Mercer Cutlery. Fuel is either a cherry/oak mix or whatever charcoal I’m in the mood for.


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