The grocery-store shelves and kitchens of Kansas City may be telling a different story than the rest of America. Because odds are, the best sauce in your fridge isn't KC Masterpiece.
But don't tell that to Consumer Reports [h/t to MO Rage], which ranked KC Masterpiece among its "very good" sauces - a list that also included Great Value Original and Archer Farms Texas Style, the generic offerings from Walmart and Target, respectively.
Granted, this was a list compiled of nationally sold barbecue sauces, most from major food-industry producers. Consumer Reports measured the sauces on stand-alone flavor, on chicken tenders and on slow-cooked chicken thighs. So if you're using your barbecue sauce exclusively for dipping your chicken tenders, these are probably the right rankings for you. If you also want to spend as little as possible on a bottle of red gold, then Walmart's eight-cents-per-serving option is apparently the way to go.
But if you have even a bit of liquid smoke in your veins, this is the kind of list that should rankle you. When I say you, I'm talking to you, too, Texas, which is represented by the nebulous Archer Farms and Stubb's BBQ -- the KC Masterpiece of the South. And Memphis? You can rest easy; you don't even have a horse in the race. Your name has not been slathered in ketchup masquerading as barbecue sauce.
Can we start a new category when it comes to barbecue sauces? There are dipping sauces, and there are barbecue sauces. Dipping sauces are what come in little packets and are basically served with anything. Barbecue sauces are what have you licking your fingers on the way to and from the smoker. We need to stop confusing the two because there's a whole generation of backyard grills at stake.