Monday, February 16, 2009

Review: Mild to Wild Chipotle Sauce

Mild to Wild Chipotle Sauce

Manufacturer Mild to Wild Pepper & Herb Company

Quality **** (4.5 out of 5)
Viscosity *** (3 out of 5) This is a measure of thickness, not quality
Aroma *** (4 out of 5)

Appearance *** (4 out of 5)

Packaging ** (2.5 out of 5)

The first thing that you notice when you are deciding on a BBQ sauce is the labeling. When a product is labeled for every possible use it’s usually a signal that it is excellent for none. Although I had some trepidation about the multi-purpose labeling for Mild to Wild’s Chipotle Sauce, being a heat freak I had high hopes.

The sauce came in a small plastic bottle. I’m not sure, but it may have been a sample size. Because of that, I’m not going to go into depth on the packaging.

The labeling is pretty bare bones. It doesn’t really catch the eye. If there is going to be a move to grow out of the products current niche market, a label redesign may be in order.

As I alluded to, this is a product from a small manufacturer. There are two types of people who try to make a go at something like this. The first is typified by a local sauce manufacturer that recently released their first product. They have no idea what they are doing and it shows. They did no research on styles of sauce and didn’t even realize that they existed. They cut every corner possible on the manufacturing and ended up with a subpar sauce that tastes like it was made by Dupont.

Mild to Wild seems to be the exact opposite. Theirs is an obvious labor of love. When you visit their website what stands out the most is pride. The recipes are the owners. The owner grows the peppers. The owner walks the fields. The owner takes the orders. Mild to Wild exemplifies the type of manufacturer that this site was created to support. Does the sauce warrant the time and energy that the owner puts into it?

Oh yes.

The smoky aroma blends with tomato when you remove the lid. If you hadn’t read the label you would certainly know that this was a chipotle sauce at this point.

Pouring with ease, the sauce does pool a bit. Not enough to be a problem, but it is noticeable. Also noticeable are the specks of ingredients that give a little visual nuance to the dark red sauce.

As it should be with a chipotle sauce, the heat here is a background component. The smoky sweetness of the peppers blends perfectly with the tomato providing a rich and deep flavor that manages to avoid overwhelming the meat. I used it on chicken and it was fine.

This is a rare sauce that lives up to its multipurpose labeling. I heartily recommend this sauce and I’m looking forward to trying the other products from Mild to Wild.

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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