Kansas City’s barbecue sauce is tomato-based, thick, sweet and smoky. These Kansas City-style spareribs are a perfect example of that style of barbecue.
Now, you may not think of Dayton, Ohio as a barbecue hot spot, but Pig of the Month has plans to change that. The Richards family have been barbecue aficionados for decades. After years of tasting about every barbecue joint they happened to run across, they realized that like love, the best barbecue originates in the home. Imagine the weekends in their backyard! When their daughter, Lea left her Wall Street job to return home, the idea of going into business selling barbecue began to develop. Pig of the Month was born. “This is a lot more fulfilling than Wall Street ever was”, Richards said. I’d have to agree.
Pig of the Month offers internet orders for complete barbecue dinners, frozen rib racks, sides and even desserts. Of course you could also join the Pig of the Month club and have ribs delivered every month!
As a guy with a barbecue sauce fetish, I’m more interested in Pig of the Month’s sauces. I must have been in a Memphis-style mood, because their Love Me Tender sauce caught my eye. It’s a Memphis-style sauce that states to be “The King of Memphis Sauce”. That’s a bold claim. If you know anything about Memphis-style ribs, you are aware that they’re primarily served “dry”. That is…no sauce. They can be ordered “wet” or with sauce on the side, but the sauce had better be top notch and in true Memphis style. Those people are fussy down there! Let’s see if Lea pulled it off.
The 12 oz bottle is simplistic in nature with a label that is concise and clear as to what the product is all about. You have to love the characterture. It’s a cartooned, jovial pig’s head emblazoned on top of a, well wait…why yes, I think that’s Elvis in all his gaudy costumed glory. What says Memphis more than Elvis, besides blues and barbecue?
The sauce has a light reddish-brown color, typical to what you might expect in a tomato-based barbecue sauce. The fact that it is light-colored tells me that there is more than just tomato sauce and spices in here. It’s an even, medium consistency with an occasional speck of what looks to be black pepper. Its medium consistency means basting will be a bit easier than the thicker variety barbecue sauces.
The aroma offers an instant hint of Worcestershire followed by vinegar. I hope most of that goes away upon taste. Other than that, Love Me Tender offers no overwhelming aromas. That might be a plus. I prefer balance, not overwhelming when it comes to barbecue sauces.
The Shot Glass Taste Test
Straight out of the bottle, you get a slight tomato flavor that combines itself with the vinegar. The sweetness is perfect, about the halfway point if there were a sweetness scale. The heat is there, but it is minimal. Just the right amount for a Memphis-style barbecue sauce. What about the Worcestershire sauce that I had concerns with? Although it’s present, I find that it blended with the tomato flavors quite well. If anything, it toned down the tomato flavor while the tomato flavor toned down that of the Worcestershire. All in all, the flavor profile is well balanced.
Apply the Meat Taste Test
Having passed the shot glass test with flying colors, it was time to introduce Love Me Tender to the grill. Since this barbecue sauce is not a heavy tomato-based, nor extra sweet sauce, I would be able to use it as a basting sauce during the grilling process without fears of burning. Using a batch 0f chicken wings, the sauce cooperated quite well with the fire. The sauce’s consistency was perfect for basting and there was no noticeable “sauce burn”. Perfect! Now, let’s go eat.
I slathered on one final coat of sauce and commenced to devour. Not bad…not bad at all! I have to say that no single one flavor stood out. They all came together in perfect harmony. Although I like more heat on my wings than Love Me Tender offers, that’s really not what this sauce is about. I have to admit though, it did make for a damn good tasting wing.
The Final Verdict
Pig of the Month’s Love Me Tender barbecue sauce is a keeper. Although it may not be all frilly and fancy-pants in flavor, it is what a Memphis-style sauce is all about. Remember, the folks from Memphis believe the flavor layers of their meat rubs and smoke is sufficient to accent the flavor of the meat. Should you prefer to have it served “wet”, the sauce should only complement, not overpower. Love Me Tender does just that. I’m already planning my next rib dinner…Memphis-style.
I think you’ll find this sauce to be perfect on any grilled meat where you don’t want an overwhelming ketchup flavored barbecue sauce. As a matter of fact, I may start substituting Love Me Tender for ketchup. Whether it’s the King of Memphis sauces might be debated by some, I’ll nominate it.
In addition to Love Me Tender, Pig of the Month also produces several other barbecue sauces:
Cattle King Texas Brisket & BBQ Sauce
Colonel Mustard’s Carolina Mustard Sauce
Key West in a Bottle Citrus Grilling Sauce
And don’t forget their tasty barbecue delivered right to your door! Click below to visit their site and learn more.
I also reviewed Pig of the Month’s Key West in a Bottle at BarbequedChicken.com. If you’d like to read that review, click here.
What Ya Be Fixin’ Wit Dem Barbecued Ribs?
Put that slab ‘o ribs down! You’re not done yet! Where’s the sides? Your barbecue ribs sure taste better with a side dish or two. Here’s some good ideas:
Bacon & Shrimp
What’d Ya think?