Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Product Release: Kingsford BBQ Sauce

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  I received no compensation for this post other than the free product samples and I have no current affiliation with Kingsford.

Kingsford, the renowned charcoal producer, has introduced their own line of BBQ sauces and they sent me a sample batch to try out.  

2017 review of Kingsford BBQ Sauce

The flavors for this new, all natural line of BBQ sauces include:


The bottling is pretty typical of mass marketed BBQ sauces.  The well known Kingsford logo is prominent on the label which is a smart move given their 90 years of grilling tradition.  

Review of Kingsford's new line of BBQ sauces in 2017

Kingsford BBQ Sauce appears to be all natural based on their ingredient listing.
The rear label seems to back up the "Made with only REAL ingredients" declaration on the front. The ingredients are things you can find in a pantry.  They use sweeteners like brown sugar, honey, and molasses instead of high fructose corn syrup.  I'm just pointing it out, I'm not a corn syrup hater.


Review of Kingsford BBQ sauces showing texture and color of each
The sauces pour out moderately thick in texture and deep brown to red in color.

The spices and seasonings can be seen as the Brown Sugar Applewood sauce clings to this spoon.


Grilled chicken wings on a Big Green Egg kamado grill featuring a Craycort cast iron grate.
I grilled some wings on one of our kamado grills to taste test these new BBQ sauces from Kingsford.  The set up was "raised direct" - the Craycort Grate was on a Grill Dome Grill Extender in a Big Green Egg.

I brushed sauce onto the wings in the last 10 minutes.  Let's taste these wings.

Kingsford Brown Sugar Applewood BBQ Sauce

  • Darkest of the three with a deep, dark brown color.  Shows up as dark red when cooked on the wings.
  • Moderately thick sauce
  • Straight out of the bottle - the flavor profile that we experience was sweet up front, quickly followed by a heavy smoke flavor and finished with a slight tangy note.
  • Cooked on wings - More balanced than straight out of the bottle, most notably the smoke flavor isn't as strong and it transitions better from sweet to tang. 

Kingsford Original Smoked Hickory BBQ Sauce

  • Lighter in color but still a deep red with fine visible specks.
  • Moderately thick sauce.
  • Straight out of the bottle - Heavy up front smoke followed by a dark sweetness (molasses like) and finishes with a very mild, almost week, tomato flavor.  Alexis couldn't stand this one when tasted straight, said the sweetness was not pleasant at all.
  • Cooked - Sweet and smoky profile.  I like some sweet and smoky sauces but this one just isn't for me.  

Kingsford Honey Jalapeno Mesquite BBQ Sauce

  • Deep brownish red
  • Moderately thick texture
  • Straight out of the bottle - strong sweetness followed by smoke then back to sweet with mild heat for the finish
  • Cooked - smoky bbq sauce with a spicy finish, this was surprisingly (to me) my favorite when cooked.

Overall Thoughts

I have to preface my comments with the fact that I prefer to make my own sauces (competition, honey-roasted garlic, bourbon brown sugar, mustard, and Carolina Vinegar) or buy small batch sauces that we have to order and that cost almost 3 times as much as store bought BBQ sauces...and that's before shipping is added in. 

So I'm comparing these Kingsford BBQ sauces to other store bought brands in approximately the same price point.
  • I like the use of real ingredients that you can pronounce.  Quality wise, these are as good or better than other store bought BBQ sauces.  Taste is a matter of preference.
  • Kingsford BBQ Sauces are priced at $2.98 for an 18 ounce bottle, making it a bit more expensive than similar sized bottles of Sweet Baby Rays, Kraft, and KC Masterpiece as priced at my local Food City.
  • All three of the sauces are hearty and thick in texture which is good for using as a dipping sauce or as a condiment for a BBQ sandwich or burger.  But for using these as a glaze during the cook, I'd probably cut them a little bit with some apple juice, beer, or stock (I would do that with other store bought sauces too).
  • All three of these Kingsford BBQ Sauces are heavy on the smoke flavor and sweetness. I'm not a liquid smoke hater but the Hickory was a bit too strong for my personal tastes.  If you like sweet and smoky BBQ sauces then I think that you'll like this line.  
Kingsford BBQ Sauces were released for sale February 2017 and I know that Walmart is carrying them.  I'm sure other national chains are as well.