Duke’s Roadhouse BBQ Sauce Review
When you think of BBQ sauce you tend to think of dusty Texas steakhouses or small family restaurants in the south where they roast pigs whole and secret recipes are passed down through the generations like family heirlooms. Chances are you don’t think of New York. Well maybe it’s about time you did. Duke’s New York Roadhouse BBQ Sauce attempts to make the case that Northeast BBQ can play ball with the big boys.
There are a number of different types of BBQ sauces and Duke’s Roadhouse BBQ Sauce places solidly in the sweet category. Its third ingredient after water and tomato paste is molasses, immediately followed by evaporated cane juice, and later pineapple and orange juices. While sugar the first flavor you taste, this is almost immediately cut by a nice smokiness and an interesting variety of spices. The smoky flavor can be attributed to liquid smoke, while the spices remain more of a mystery.
One of things I don’t particularly like about Duke’s Roadhouse BBQ Sauce is that they rely heavily on other company’s sauces to boost their flavor profile. Worcestershire sauce, and a pepper sauce are included in the recipe. To me this feels a little bit like cheating, especially since you can clearly detect the Worcestershire sauce in the overall flavor profile. That’s not to say that Duke’s Roadhouse BBQ Sauce is devoid of originality.
One of the nicer aspects of the sauce is that there are crunchy bits of onion dispersed throughout it. They don’t seem to do all that much for flavor, but the texture shift is rather nice. Besides smoke and unidentified spices, Duke’s Roadhouse BBQ Sauce has a slight fruitiness to it and an acidic aftertaste (vinegar) that lingers in your throat.
The bottle recommends Duke’s BBQ Sauce on just about anything that walks, swims, or flies. My girlfriend whipped up a really tasty batch of pulled pork that relied heavily on Duke’s, and a can of beer. The sweetness of the sauce was retained in the pork while not completely overpowering the flavor of the meat. For an incredibly good sandwich mix Duke’s smothered pulled pork with chunky cranberry sauce on a toasted roll. Officially heaven on a bun.
Duke’s claims to be “New York’s original roadhouse,” something which I can’t confirm or deny. Either way they’ve only been around for 15 years which is in my opinion to short a time to be advertising proudly on a label. Their sauce is tasty, if a little too sweet for my preference. If you like sweet BBQ changes are you’ll enjoy Duke’s Roadhouse BBQ Sauce, otherwise I’d probably pass on it.
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