This is the first of several products we will be reviewing from Monty’s Gourmet Foods. We have a soft spot for Monty’s stuff if for no other reason because he was the first person in the industry whose products we reviewed, so we’ve always appreciated his early patronage of our efforts with this blog.
Monty has expanded his line of products from hot sauce and picante sauce to include a collection of BBQ sauces as well. Now we have reviewed some very spicy and hot BBQ sauces before, but one little taste and we knew at least this much.
This wasn’t one of those.
For as much as we wanted to try the hottest one of the bunch, we felt that it would be good to start with one that was milder, then work our way up the heat scale. We both really like the flavor of mesquite, especially when it’s done right, so Monty’s Smokin’ Mesquite BBQ Sauce seemed like the perfect way by which to reintroduce ourselves to his products. As for this sauce, this is its description from Monty:
It’s finally here! After 2 years in the making, Monty has finally come up with his own brand of Kansas City style BBQ sauces. This one is the mesquite flavored with a very rich all natural blend of smoky goodness.
You can use this as you would any kind of BBQ sauce, but you can also use it as a dipper for chicken fingers, or even french fries!
Enjoy The Smoke!
So what is this mystical blend of BBQ goodness? The list from the bottle goes like this:
Ingredients: tomato sauce (tomato paste, water), water, sugar, vinegar (10% acidity), molasses, dehydrated onions, salt, mesquite smoke flavors, caramel color, dehydrated garlic, chile pepper blend, spices, xanthan gum, dehydrated bell pepper
Not a fire-laced roll-call to inspire worry in the mind of any true chilehead, but we like that this sauce is as all-natural as you can hope for in most BBQ sauces. So…we had to decide what we could use to best accentuate the flavor of this sauce. The answer came to us as we were perusing our freezer for some of the “usual suspects”…
We found these at Sam’s Club and just had to try them out. It was a delicate cut of turkey wrapped with a strip of bacon, with one of those pop-up thingies in it to let you know when it’s done. High in protein and not bad for fat (even better if you don’t eat the bacon), it’s a fairly healthy cut o’ meat. So, we warmed up our grill and got ready to do some BBQ turkey a la Monty.
The only thing that can be tricky about grilling something you never have before is that you can’t be 100% sure of when it’s cooked to the level you want it. It’s especially true when doing it from frozen, regardless of whether you have a pop-up thingie or not to help you. But first we had to taste the sauce before it ever touches the meat. It’s a great flavor, really. A well-blended sauce that isn’t too sweet nor too bland. The mesquite flavor is noticeable but not overwhelming. It’s a nice BBQ flavor that would indeed be good whether you use your grill with it or not.
Back to our turkey on the grill, we found that while it took a long time to cook to get done, applying the BBQ sauce was no different with this cut of meat than with any other. As the meat was close to done (i.e. after the pop-up thingies popped up!), we used the BBQ brush to lovingly coat these turkey mignons with a thick covering of BBQ sauce. As you can see from the picture above, they look pretty darn good. But how did they taste?
Taste: As hinted above, this is not a spicy-hot BBQ sauce. In fact, it’s fairly mild…perhaps 2/10 on the heat scale at most. That said, what it lacks in heat it makes up for in flavor. Damn, this sauce is good. The non-chileheads at this meal (and there were 3 others besides us) ALL loved this BBQ sauce and finished their turkey in very short order. There’s just a hint of spiciness, which is helped by the grilling process, so it’s a sauce with some widespread appeal.
As for what else this could be used for, it’s up to your imagination and creativity. For Joe, he liked much better than ketchup as a french-fry dip or regular condiment. Linda remarked that it would be a good addition to liven up a mundane meatloaf dinner cooked in the oven.
Overall recommendation: Welcome back to high-rotation usage in our house, Monty, as this BBQ sauce is a good one. Certainly, it’s a better option than anything you would get in a supermarket. It’s not all that spicy, so this might be a good “beginner’s BBQ sauce” for those looking to make the leap to the hotter stuff a little bit later. Great flavor, which was made better by cooking, this BBQ seems to be a pretty useful one to have either for coating your favorite meat on the grill or just pouring it over stuff right out of the bottle. Either way, it has some pretty darn good mesquite flavor. Enjoy!