Being from the Midwest, I love seeing products that are started in our region and grow into national household names. The last 20 years have brought us fame with singers,actors,sports figures and now barbecue sauce. There are two local icons in the barbecue sauce industry that have taken the nation over by storm, Sweet Baby Ray’s and Country Bob’s. Both having come from humble beginnings these two sauces are slowly become household names.
Sweet Baby Rays was started when Chef Larry entered the country’s largest rib cook-off and his fantastic sauce won. This sparked the idea to start selling the award winning sauce.The slowly began selling thru word of mouth and by 1994 they were selling throughout the Midwest. Since then they have became the fastest selling barbecue sauce in the country.
I first came across Sweet Baby Ray’s while waitressing in a small town cafe. We had a lunch special of barbecued pork steaks, the customers all kept commenting on how great the sauce was. I mentioned the many compliments I received to the cook and she informed me that it was Sweet Baby Ray’s and how that was the only barbecue sauce she used. I had never heard of the sauce before but I had to try it based on what my customers had told me. Words cannot describe the taste of this great sauce. It has a nice flavor combination of being both sweet and spicy. Neither of which is overpowering, just a perfect mixture of both.
I enjoyed the taste so much, I asked my local grocer to start carrying it and assured him he would easily sell this product. He gave it a try and now cannot keep this sauce on the shelves as it flys off as soon as it comes in. I have began using Sweet Baby Ray’s as a dipping sauce for french fries and well as chicken strips. I also use it on all of the meat that I barbecue. The sauce is nice and thick and stays on the meat well while cooking.
Sweet Baby Ray’s also comes in other flavors such as hickory, honey and hot-n-spicy. No matter what your taste is, you are sure to love Sweet Baby Ray’s
Country Bob’s began selling their product in 1977. It was started by Bob Edson who had been impressing his friends and family for years with his unique flavored sauces. In 1982 Bob formed a partnership and began expanding his horizons outside of the local area. The effort quickly paid off and the barbecue sauce is now filling up grocery store shelves alongside longtime favorites.
I tried Country Bob’s Barbecue Sauce because I was familiar with his other great sauces and seasoning salts. I found the sauce to be a little bit thinner than I would like. The barbecue sauce has a sweet and tangy flavor to it. It is made from all natural ingredients and is excellent to use in recipes that you would mix barbecue sauce in with. I liked this product for a regional favorite however I am not sure this would be a must have purchase.
My overall pick between the two is Sweet Baby Ray’s. Both sauces are fantastic and can be purchased at most major grocery chains.