It’s Memorial Day and I have celebrated by eating a big plate of barbecue and trying out a new sauce: Smokin’ Joe Jones Barbecue and Dippin’ Sauce. I sampled it at the Fancy Food Show where it captured my attention because it’s a “no sugar added sauce”. Since I have diabetes, I usually try to steer clear of traditional sweet barbecue sauces because they’re typically high in carbs, so I was happy to find one with only 2 grams of carbohydrate in 2 tablespoons. I liked what I sampled at the show, but was eager to give it a true test and eat it on some pork.

We had some barbecued pork butt that a friend brought us, so I just spooned a little bit of the sauce on the pork rather than basting with it, and I liked it a lot. It’s a real thick, dark sauce and looks a little bit like fudge topping. It’s a tomato-based sauce, but has a good bit of tang from vinegar and mustard, and a rich smoky flavor. The sweetness comes from the low-calorie sweetener sucralose (brand name Splenda), but it’s the next-to-last-ingredient listed, meaning that it doesn’t have a lot of it. It did not taste artificial to me, but I suppose it might if you are not used to Splenda.

My usual preference is for thinner, vinegar-based sauce, but it was great to enjoy my barbecue with this thick, rich sauce with just the right balance of heat and sweet and tanginess.

Smokin’ Joe hails from Yazoo City, Mississippi and claims that his sauces come from recipes passed down from his grandmother. The other sauces in his line are Mild, Spicy, and Hot. Check them out on I think Granny would be proud.