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John Henry's Texas Pecan BBQ Sauce

John Henry's Texas Pecan BBQ Sauce

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John Henry's Texas Pecan BBQ Sauce

John Henry's

$7.99 for 13oz from John Henry's

Ketchup, Brown Sugar, Worchestshire Sauce, Liquid Smoke, Garlic Powder, Salt, Onion Powder, Sugar, Black Pepper, Cumin

John Henry's Texas Pecan BBQ Sauce


From his earliest days, John Henry could remember the great barbecue that surrounded him while growing up in East Texas. He began to develop his love for cooking barbecue on his great-great-grandfather's farm where they cooked hogs in a smokehouse on the property. John Henry continued his gastronomic journey form there, leading him to become the head of the Culinary Services Department for the Houston Community College Systems, where he taught many students that went on to have their own culinary success stories. In 1989, President Bush tapped John Henry to organize the inaugural dinner, and then again to travel to China with the president to cook his barbecue there too. There's currently four different barbecue sauces under the John Henry brand, along with numerous seasonings and other sauces. John Henry also continues to help aspiring chefs through classes and running a co-packing business, producing sauces and products for many other brands beyond his own.


A mellow combo of tomato and molasses are the first notes to come into the forefront in the aroma of this sauce. It only takes a slightly deeper whiff for a savoriness and smokiness to come out, with the unmistakable footprint of Worchestshire being clearly at play. Right behind those is a slight black pepper sharpness, while there's a bit more complexity going on in the spice department, but the rest is hard to discern by the smell alone.

Thickness & Texture

This maroon sauce has a glossy sheen and its semi-opaqueness doesn't make it hard to see some of the spices, with large black and white specs being the most visible. The sauce has a medium-thin thickness with a very smooth, syrupy consistency. This has the sauce falling in fast and even stream from a spoon, which changes to many fast drips before slowly releasing a couple final ones and leaving a thin coating of sauce left adhered to the silverware.

Out of the Jar

The initial sugars from a sweet tomato start quickly fade in favor of tangy vinegar in the first seconds of tasting this sauce. The sugar presence is still felt though as the sauce never becomes overly tart. Its because of this that the full breadth of ingredient can be tasted at this point, with Worchestshire adding the initial depth that's built upon with smoke, garlic, onion, and cumin. The longer the sauce stays on the tongue, the more presence black pepper gets, starting with just a little peppery tingle, growing to a mild kick when combined with a heightened vinegar presence. The aftertaste also retains clear reminders of the tomato, sugar, smoke, and Worchestshire to deliver a full bodied barbecue experience.

John Henry's Texas Pecan BBQ Sauce

Slathered & Cooked

This sauce brushed onto the chicken in a thin and even coating that set quickly and baked down like a champ over indirect heat. When moved over the harsher direct heat environment, the sauce caramelized pretty quickly, but never ventured into burnt territory. There was enough sauce loss that a full final brushing was required to rebuild a respectable sauce layer before taste testing. The first bites of the leg brought with them a very clean tomato and molasses taste that gained depth by way of Worchestshire and smoke after a few more nibbles in. That pepper tasted out of the jar entered the picture by the time the chicken was done being consumed, but mainly the story of this sauce was sweet tomato from start to finish. The caramelized bits were notable, offering both a more intense flavor and bit of crunch that was very pleasing.

Put to Use

I would assume someone who teaches others how to craft sauces has a pretty good hold on the matter themselves, and John Henry's Texas Pecan BBQ Sauce is proof of that. This sauce doesn't fit into any one superlative, but it does show a depth of understanding of how to craft a balanced and damn good tasting product. Like most really great barbecue sauces, this one releases a series of complimentary and contrasting flavors n a progression that makes sense and builds depth in very tasty manner. This was represented most when in its raw state, while a boost of sugar after being cooked held back some of the complexity, but also brought molasses into the forefront. Because of that, I would use what's in this bottle first as dip or finishing sauce so I could get the most flavor out of it, but the barbecue chicken was also pretty tasty, especially the deeply browned bits, so it's not going to do you wrong baked on chicken, ribs, and the like.

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