The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Thu Jul 3, 2014

Sauced: Absolutely Perfect Blue Ribbon St. Louis BBQ Sauce Plus Giveaway

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Absolutely Perfect Championship Blue Ribbon St. Louis BBQ Sauce

Sauce Stats

Championship Blue Ribbon St. Louis BBQ Sauce
Tomato Paste, Light Brown Sugar, Apple Cider Vinegar, Cane Sugar, Water, Honey, Orange Juice Concentrate, Worcestershire Sauce, Kosher Salt, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Modified Food Starch, Xanthan Gun, and Spices
Meatwave Rating
out of 10
Doesn't Get Much Better Than This
More Sauce Reviews

Calling a sauce "Absolutely Perfect Blue Ribbon" takes a whole lot of confidence, and luckily this sauce lives up to its name with an incredibly well balanced bright and tangy all-purpose barbecue sauce flavor.

Absolutely Perfect Championship Blue Ribbon St. Louis BBQ Sauce


Absolutely Perfect has 30 years of history behind it—founder Ken Mellow started working on this sauce after getting his first grill and then tinkered with it throughout the years to find the right barbecue flavor with a bit of innovation as well. In 2006, the sauce started making the rounds in competition, going on to win numerous awards included 2nd place at Memphis in May. The sauce, along with a rub, is now available online and in select stores in the St. Louis area.


Blue Ribbon has a very bright, fresh aroma. There's a fruity base with hints of orange behind the more dominant tomato, and a light vinegar tang that mixes in seamlessly. There's a light sweetness, mellow spice, and added depth by way of Worcestershire, onion, and garlic.

Thickness & Texture

This orange-red sauce sits right in the middle of the thickness scale. It has a quick and steady pour from a spoon that slows to a few final drips, then leaves a light coating of sauce left clinging. There's a very slight texture to this otherwise smooth and glossy sauce, and although it's opaque, disperse specs of black pepper can be seen throughout.

Out of the Jar

The flavor out of the jar starts much like the aroma, and then builds on it. Blue Ribbon begins bright and fruity, with a sweet tomato base that has a distinct orange tanginess. It's sweet, but not overpoweringly so. The sugars find balance though as soon as the vinegar hits, which creates perfect contrast between sweet and tart that doesn't drown out the fruitiness much at all. As the sauce settles on the tongue, the Worcestershire that was faint in the aroma department starts to play a bigger role. It adds a complexity that is only deepened as garlic and onion notes come out, as well as an earthiness from dried chilies. Those chilies then deliver a touch of heat as the sauce leaves the tongue, and a mellow burn lingers that continues to hold all sweet, tangy, and fruity flavors that came before.

Absolutely Perfect Championship Blue Ribbon St. Louis BBQ Sauce

Slathered & Cooked

This sauce kept delivering on the "blue ribbon" name on the grill as it coated evenly, baked down perfectly, and held up over direct heat, developing attractive caramelization without burning. The flavor kept up its bright and balanced character, holding on to all fresh, fruity, and tangy components with a mellow spice. It was a very attractive chicken leg that had a flavor that matched its looks.

Put to Use

I was dubious when I got an email requesting I review a sauce called "Absolutely Perfect Blue Ribbon." Sure, barbecue folks like to brag, but that's some hubris to label your sauce with not one, but two such bold claims. As I went through the entire sauce review, I kept trying to find faults, but came up almost empty—this sauce lived up to its name. Bright, fresh, and well balanced, this was a top notch sauce both out of the jar and on the grill. I can't imagine anything that wouldn't get a lift from a little Blue Ribbon—it would do equally well on ribs, chicken, seafoods, burgers, veggies, you name it.


As if this sauce wasn't "perfect" enough...I got two bottles in the mail to be able to give one away to you deserving Meatwavers! To enter to win this bottle of sauce, comment on this post with your top must-have item for a 4th of July cookout. Deadline for entries is 11:59pm on Tuesday July 8, 2014. Read the official rules for more details. One entry only per individual. Good luck!


  • 01
  • k says
    Grilled corn!
    Posted Thu, Jul 3 2014 12:37pm
  • 02
  • Andrew Beck says
    Even though it's not for me, a must have option is something for the vegetarians. It's sad when you see them loading up a plate with starchy sides or horrible commercial mock meat products.
    Posted Thu, Jul 3 2014 1:19pm
  • 03
  • Faye Brenner says
    The top most "thing" I need at my 4th of July picnic is my son!
    Posted Thu, Jul 3 2014 1:49pm
  • 04
  • Matt says
    Posted Thu, Jul 3 2014 1:54pm
  • 05
  • Josh Cobuen says
    A good quality Bratwurst!
    Posted Thu, Jul 3 2014 2:46pm
  • 06
  • Brian Paige says
    Gotta have Dem Ribs...
    Posted Thu, Jul 3 2014 4:41pm
  • 07
  • AL says

    Posted Thu, Jul 3 2014 6:47pm
  • 08
  • Dustin Moskowitz says
    A nice cold beer!
    Posted Thu, Jul 3 2014 8:38pm
  • 09
  • James says
    Spatchcocked chickens!
    Posted Thu, Jul 3 2014 9:11pm
  • 10
  • Eric says
    A variety of beef
    Posted Thu, Jul 3 2014 9:49pm
  • 11
  • Mark Hanes says
    Blake wants some grilled onions with smoked turkey and ribs.
    Posted Fri, Jul 4 2014 10:08am
  • 12
  • Derek says
    Ribs are #1 on my 4th of July menu.
    Posted Fri, Jul 4 2014 10:48am
  • 13
  • Larry Wagner says
    The best thing for me is sharing with family and friends my love for BBQ and Smoking. Sharing ribs, pulled pork, brisket, and chicken or turkey and listening to everybody raving about the taste and how I should open a restaurant are great. But, for me, its more rewarding showing and teaching them how easy it is to produce great smoked products without spending a fortune. I make some of my own rub and sauces and buy store products like Blue Hog sauce and Uncle Henry Rubs.
    Posted Fri, Jul 4 2014 3:44pm
  • 14
  • Tricia Z says
    Certainly for any cookout I must have sweet corn and barbequed chicken. And something delicious and cool for a drink.
    Posted Sat, Jul 5 2014 4:40pm
  • 15
  • David says
    For me, the must have is rope sausage. I can eat barbecued sausage until my stomach explodes. Both of my kids prefer hot dogs.
    Posted Sat, Jul 5 2014 4:49pm
  • 16
  • jason says
    Burgers. Got to start with them.
    Posted Sun, Jul 6 2014 7:23am
  • 17
  • Angela says
    Although they aren't grilled, a bushel of crabs with cold beer is the cat's meow on the 4th....
    Posted Sun, Jul 6 2014 1:28pm
  • 18
  • Kenny says
    Fourth of July calls for variety. Slow smoked ribs are a must, with chicken, hamburgers, and hotdogs on the grill and a cold beer in my hand.
    Posted Sun, Jul 6 2014 6:31pm
  • 19
  • Charles Lott says
    There must be ribs on the 4th of July!
    Posted Mon, Jul 7 2014 2:48pm
  • 20
  • Don Catharine says
    My must-have for the fourth. . My family.. both kids home from college.. BBQ was cooking all day.
    Posted Mon, Jul 7 2014 3:04pm
  • 21
  • Trevor Ford says
    For a cook out, I must have beer.
    Posted Mon, Jul 7 2014 9:51pm
  • 22
  • Josh says
    Congrats to Don on winning the sauce. This contest is now over.
    Posted Mon, Jul 14 2014 10:35pm

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