The Meatwave

Pitmaster Harry Soo's Slap Yo Daddy Original Championship Barbecue Sauce

Pitmaster Harry Soo's Slap Yo Daddy Original Championship Barbecue Sauce

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Pitmaster Harry Soo's Slap Yo Daddy Original Championship Barbecue Sauce

Slap Yo Daddy BBQ

$6.95 for 15oz at Slap Yo Daddy BBQ

Tomato Puree, Sugar, Molasses, Apple Cider Vinegar, Honey, Soy Sauce, Prepared Mustard, Distilled Vinegar, Dried Garlic, Dried Onion, Spice, Ground Mustard Seed, Xanthan Gum, Cocoa Powder

Pitmaster Harry Soo's Slap Yo Daddy Championship Barbecue Sauce


Harry Soo got into barbecue a bit by chance when his co-worker Janice asked him to help out at an annual fundraiser for the African American Association at their work. Harry had a love for watching competitive barbecue contests on television, which led to his contribution in the fundraiser to be smoked brisket. After getting a lot of compliments from the crowd and deciding to add competing in barbecue to his own personal bucket list, Harry formed the Slap Yo Daddy team with his fried Mark in 2008. Mark exited the team in 2010, was replaced by another friend named Benny, who left a year later and Harry decided to go it on his own from there. In his time competing in barbecue, Harry and team have gained a lot of notoriety by racking up tons of awards along with high profile calls such as taking top honors in a winner-take-all Rib Throwdown on the first season of BBQ Pitmasters, Arizona and California Team of the Year nods in 2010 and 2011, and Reserve Grand Champion out of 162 teams at the Great American BBQ in 2009. Beyond competing, Harry teaches regular barbecue classes and sells his line of rubs and sauces online.


The first thing to strike you in the aroma of this sauce is its savoriness. There's a heavy hit of soy sauce mingling with the usual barbecue sauce players that are all present—sweet tomato, molasses, and a medium vinegar tang. While the aroma is mostly sweet, upon taking in a few deeper whiffs, there's a mustard pungency also at work along with a common onion powder smell. There isn't much of a hint that there's any heat in this sauce save for a very mellow earthiness hanging out in the background, alluding to some peppers could be at play in the taste.

Thickness & Texture

This maroon sauce is pretty smooth and has a very glossy sheen to it. You can see a ton of spices that are mostly small and medium specs that come in orange, white, and black. The sauce's thickness is medium thin and its consistancy is syrupy. These two traits combine to create a fast and steady pour off of a suspended spoon that switches to fast drips towards then ends leaving a thin coating of sauce left clinging to the silverware.

Out of the Jar

The initial flavor isn't quite like any other barbecue sauce I've tasted. Like in the aroma, that's mainly thanks to a large amount of soy sauce that creates a savory and salty profile right out of the gate. That flavor forms an odd union with molasses next, then finds a bit better barbecue footings as sweet and fruity tomato makes an entrance. These flavors all happen very quickly, but then it takes some time settling on the tongue for the tanginess of vinegar to come out along with a spice layer that's mustardy, garlicky, and oniony. There's a little ramp up in the sweetness and tomato as the sauce exits the tongue followed by a mild increase in tang with just the slightest peppery kick at the end. The whole time that salty savoriness of the soy sauce never ceases, leaving its mark from start to finish.

Pitmaster Harry Soo's Slap Yo Daddy Championship Barbecue Sauce

Slathered & Cooked

This sauce coated the chicken in an even, medium layer that baked down well over indirect heat. When moved directly over the coals, there was fast and heavy caramelization that looked like it might have ventured into burnt territory, while there was only minimal sauce loss overall. Like it was out of the jar, the soy sauce was the central element in the flavor, but unlike out of the jar, a lot of the nuances that came out over time never showed up in the same fashion. This left a mostly sweet and savory profile that got boosts from the caramelized bits which added more intense pockets of sugary and fruity flavors.

Put to Use

Harry Soo popped onto the competition scene about the time my interest in watching competitive barbecue was piquing, so I was very familiar with the Slap Yo Daddy team. I always found an affinity for them because they continued to smoke on Weber Smoky Mountains—the same smokers I use at home—and didn't seem to follow all the competition standards, yet they won a lot. This sauce kind of confirmed what I was seeing on television—with its super savory soy sauce profile, this is not what you'll find adorning the usual competition barbecue, and that makes it both exciting and challenging. I commend that Harry is doing his own thing and churning out a sauce that tastes different and great, but I also was left not being totally sure it was working 100% for me. The savoriness left me wanting one spoonful after another, but with each of those tastes I felt like I missing some of the nuances and better balances of flavors found in other sauces I'm drawn to. If you're looking for something outside of the box, but still delivers that sweet tomato taste, this is worth a shot, especially on ribs or other heavily seasoned smoked meats where an extra spice layer may add what's missing for me in this bottle.

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