The story goes… “Rufus Teague made some sauce. He put some in a jar and shared it with the boys. They kept on painin’ him ’til he fixed up another batch. Next thing he knew, he’s makin’ sauce all the time. It’s damn good. It didn’t happen overnight, but Rufus Teague’s sauce has sure come a long way. From the ol’ pot he used to stir it in, to winning competitions all over the place, this sauce hasn’t changed much. If he was still around, there’s no doubt he’d be tellin’ everybody within earshot of how he knew he had something with this recipe from day one. And remember, “Good sauce makes bad barbeque good and good barbeque gooder.” Not only do they make barbeque sauces but they also have steak sauce, meat and fish rubs.
I received a package in the mail from the Rufus Teague company, expecting it to be a single bottle of sauce, I was surprised to see they sent me all 4 barbeque sauces. So at this point I had to think of how I would review them all. It’s only fair to them that I review all 4 at the same time but I had to do things a little different. I decided first off to open each bottle and smell each sauce, then I poured some on a spoon and tasted each, and lastly I dipped a piece of bread in each sauce and tasted them again. Where I am in NW Ohio, I have had a hard time finding these sauces so I had to make sure I tested them correctly and didn’t use them all up too quick. So my review will consist of an outline of each sauce individually and how I felt about them. Plus, I chose to cook baby back ribs and use each flavor of sauce as a glaze on a single slab of ribs and I cooked 1 slab without any sauce so I could dip the meat in each sauce as a “Standalone” sauce. So here we go…..
All of the sauces come in bottles that resembles a pint of liquor, so I liked the look from the start. The front label has the name and a little of the story I shared at the beginning of this piece. The Whiskey Maple has a tan/sand color ban on the bottom with what looks like a whiskey aging barrel. The side labels contain nutrition and volume info. The back label finishes the bit I shared above as well as the ingredients. What surprised me was the use of raisin paste and anchovies. The color of the sauce was rather dark, far darker than most barbeque sauces, which I found intriguing. Upon opening the bottle and taking a whiff I noticed right away what actually smelled like whiskey. This stuff even smelled different from any barbeque sauce I’ve ever smelled before. As I moved on to the taste portion of this review, I poured some on a spoon and tasted it as well as dipping some bread in it. I couldn’t help but think that this didn’t smell nor did it taste like a barbeque sauce to me. But, hey, what do I know.
Because of the feeling I had about this sauce I also cooked a steak to try it on. A sirloin steak seasoned with black pepper, seasoned salt, garlic powder and onion powder. I used this sauce as a standalone sauce for the steak, and as I expected it was the BOMB on a grilled steak. I just found what I’ll use on my grilled steaks from now on.
For the ribs I used a mix of sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. I wanted the meat and sauce to shine through. During the last 30 minutes of cooking I glazed the ribs with the sauce. This sauce is so complex and unbelievable, to my surprise, again, this sauce was the perfect match on the ribs as a glaze. It cooked in and was simply finger-licking-good! The maple taste really came through, I’m guessing from the caramelization process while cooking. The whiskey flavor diminished a bit but it was still there and you noticed it.
When it came to the naked ribs, the ones I used to try each sauce as a standalone sauce, I didn’t like the sauce matched with the ribs as much. It was totally better cooked in as opposed to a dipping sauce. I know what you’re thinking…. but you liked it on the steak! Yes I did. All I can say is the steak and the ribs are 2 different taste and it complements steak better as a standalone sauce than it does ribs, in my opinion.
Overall, I will keep a bottle of this sauce for grilled steaks and glazing ribs. Instant favorite.
This is without a doubt the sweetest of all 4 sauces. Upon smelling it you could smell the sweetness and the hickory smoke, it had that…. yum I want to try this now, smell. Trying this sauce on the spoon and bread, my thought was “typical sweet barbeque sauce.” It wasn’t typical at all.
The label has the same layout as described above with a gold/yellow band on the bottom with a Honey Bee to represent the honey. The ingredients in this version that caught me off guard were the raisin paste, orange juice, and celery salt. The color was somewhat dark but not as dark as the Whiskey Maple.
On the ribs as a glaze it made them almost addictive, especially if you like sweet ribs as opposed to spicy or savory ribs. My son and daughter became upset when they realized I only had this sauce on a single slab. They were asking for more with this sauce. The sauce was good also as a standalone sauce on the naked ribs as well. The sauce was never overpowering and it had this sweet, tangy, almost candy flavor on the naked ribs as well as the ribs it was used on as a glaze.
Overall, this is a great barbeque sauce for anything! You can’t go wrong with Honey Sweet.
Touch O’ Heat:
This sauce fooled the heck out of me. I opened it, and it smelled like tomato paste to me, nothing special at all. I was looking for a little spice smell and I didn’t get it. Allow me to say, this is coming from a person who likes hot and spicy things so I may have just been immune to the smell. The color of this sauce was more of what you’d expect from a barbeque sauce, on the red side. At this point I’m thinking I had already tried the best sauces Rufus Teague had to offer. Touch O’ Heat passed the spoon and bread taste test with flying colors. I smiled because I liked this one as well.
The label again was the same except for the orange/red color band at the bottom with the drawing of peppers to identify its flavor.
As a glaze on the ribs it had a bit of sweet while also having a little kick of heat. This one made me think of a Texas’ style sauce. In Texas, they are not big on the sweet but they like the savory flavor with a “Touch O’ Heat” in their sauce. In many parts of Texas sauce isn’t even used or welcomed on barbeque. I could use this sauce on ribs, brisket, pulled pork, burgers, dogs and anything else. Using it as a standalone sauce on the naked ribs was just as good even though I enjoyed it as a glaze a bit more.
If you’re in an area that doesn’t sell a Texas style sauce get a bottle of the Touch O’ Heat.
WARNING! this sauce is not for those who don’t enjoy spicy things. Upon opening this bottle and getting a whiff I could tell this stuff was serious! It smelled more like a pepper sauce (not a hot sauce) than a barbeque sauce but you still had a tinge of sweet. This was the reddest of all the sauces. The spoon and bread test made my taste buds stand at attention due to the flavor and the heat. Most hot barbeque sauces are only heat and lack seriously in flavor, but not this one, it was full of flavor.
The label again is the same as the other 3 with a fire-red banner and flames at the bottom, with what I assume is a devils pitchfork. Yes this is hot!
On the glazed ribs the sauce mellowed out just a tad, and I do mean only a tad. I was surprised by the full flavor it had outside of being hot. It had some of the classic flavors of barbeque sauce and the slightest touch of sweet. Using this as a standalone sauce was ok on the ribs, I think I would enjoy it better on wings. Something about a sauce that’s hot being paired with wings.
this is a sauce for anyone who likes barbeque sauce with heat but still want to enjoy the full flavor taste.
No matter what your preference is as it relates to a barbeque sauce, Rufus Teague has a sauce that is right for you from sweet to heat. I have certainly found myself a couple new sauces I will keep on my shelf. My taste buds were treated to a hip-hop, rock, jazz and classical concert in testing these sauces.
I recommend you give these sauces a try. If your area stores are like mines and they don’t carry these sauces, order them and give them a try. You can order by clicking each sauces name below.