Friday, March 4, 2011

Smoked Rib Roast & Pepper Sauce Taste Test

We had friends, Laurie and David, and her sister and brother-in-law over for dinner to make up for their missing out on the prime rib Christmas dinner. We had the same basic meal of smoked rib roast, twice baked potato, homemade rolls, Caesar salad, and cake for dessert – provided by them.

But before we ate and since there were five hot sauce eaters in the house, we did a little taste test – a favorite thing to do around here. Since I’d gone to the Pepper Palace during our Gatlinburg trip and bought Fire Ant Juice to go with the three I had on hand, I couldn’t let the tasting opportunity pass by. For this tasting, I used Fire Ant Juice. Sriracha, Franks, regular Tabasco, and asked each participant to rate them best to worst. We had unidentified cups of each sauce and pieces of homemade bread and oyster crackers for dipping. This is a post-test shot.

After tasting, each person recorded their scores on the tally sheet and here are the results – lowest point count was best.

The results were:
1. Sriracha - 9
2. Tabasco, Fire Ant Juice – tied at 13
3. Frank’s - 15

Sriracha was the clear favorite being selected 1 or 2 by everyone, but as David pointed out, the best sauce still depends on what it's being used for.  And what does this test prove – absolutely nothing as evidenced by the vast number of, sometimes very different, hot sauces stocking the store shelves.

For the rib roast, I once again used the reverse sear method in my smoker as described in my Christmas meal post.  A major storm system moved through the area while I was cooking and we needed the rain, but not an inch plus in a couple of hours.  I didn't spend much time hanging around the smoker and from what I saw on TV the next day, it looks like we dodged a bullet.

Bev made up the potatoes the day before using the Pioneer Woman’s mashed potato recipe for the stuffing. The Caesar salad was just romaine lettuce, Newman’s Dressing, and homemade croutons. We also decided to add a first course of French onion soup, which we had in the freezer. I'll blog about it next time I make it, but I used a recipe from Cook's Illustrated that caramelizes the onions in the oven for 3 hours and makes an outstanding soup.  I didn't have any gruyere or other swiss cheese, so I used a combo of mozzerella, for stringy, and romano, for flavor - it worked very well.  Forgot the photo.

The three shots of my plate all came out blurry and I failed to get any of the other dishes, so please pop  on over to Big Daddy Dave's for shots of everything.

It turned out very well except the beef base I used resulted in an au jus that was so salty it almost ruined the meat - it will be made with consumme from now on.  Can you believe I would only eat beef well done until I was 16 years old - age does bring a little wisdom.

I didn’t get a shot of it either, but Laurie’s cake was outstanding.

A final muffuletta comment.  I went back to our trip to Nola and compared my muffuletta to the one from Central Grocery and they both looked similar and good until I saw the one made by Rawtalent, it's awesome.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.



  1. My husband is the king of hot sauce, I'll pass on your taste testing info to him.

  2. Every time I come here, you make my mouth water from your grilled meats to that stuffed sausage! Every thing looks so excellent. How are your little seedlings doing? What zone are you in, can you plant yet? I have to wait until April 15th, as I am in Northern VA but some of us more wiser gardeners wait until May 1st, just to make sure. We can get some very late frosts.

  3. I like your fun idea of a hot sauce tasting. I too really like the sriacha sauce. Looks like I see green grass beyond that tarpd smoker set up. I was just noticing yesterday that I have one little patch of green grass where some of the snow has melted. Tell Bev I l-o-v-e that dress she has on in the photo over at Daves. It's fabulous. I really wish we lived close enough...I'd force her to take me shopping with her. :-)

  4. Sriracha is my favorite sauce out there! I could put it on just about anything!! Your dinner with your friends sounds wonderful!

  5. You are very hospitable folk. I've seen the photos and once again must say you and Bev have done a wonderful job of entertaining friends. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  6. I love a good taste test! Especially when it involves hot sauce. Glad to see that sriracha is the winner because that's actually all I have on hand here!

    That standing rib roast sounds amazing...what lucky dinner guests you had!

  7. Oh dear, a taste test with hot sauce is right up my alley! I love sriacha sauce, but for chicken wings you need the vinegar in Franks or it's equal (in my opinion).
    I'm popping over to look at the other site now. Have a great Friday!

  8. We have the bland New England taste buds around here. I can do spicy foods, but my dearly beloved breaks out in cold sweats and all kinds of fun stuff....

  9. HI Larry, Love your new header... Daffodils are so pretty in early spring. Ours have not bloomed yet up here.

    Sounds like a fabulous visit with friends.... And your dinner sounds wonderful...

    Have a great weekend and stay DRY...


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