Hog Heaven Sauces Review, Part I

Today’s review will take a look at a pair of sauces from Perris, CA, courtesy of Ira Pupko and Hog Heaven Foods.  Let’s take a look at the Smokehouse and Apple-Chipotle flavors.

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The line of Hog Heaven sauces was created by Ira Pupko in 1991.  His goal was to create a line of sauces that complemented the BBQ he cooked for friends and family – to make it truly his.  His mission: to make the world a tastier place, one great meal at a time.  Hog Heaven currently has four different flavors – Smokehouse, Smokehouse Heat, Apple-Chipotle, and Apricot-Jalapeno.

Naked Observations

The sauces come in small jars, approximately half-pint in size.  (NOTE: I received an email from Ira stating that these are pre-release jars.  Once released to the public, Hog Heaven Sauces will be sold in 16 oz. jars.) The labels are attractive with vibrant colors.  I’ll break down the observations individually by sauce:

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Smokehouse (on the right)

  • Appearance – fairly thick consistency, dark red color
  • Aroma – overpoweringly smoky
  • A Taste – a little bit of sweetness, more overpoweringly smoky

Apple-Chipotle (on the left)

  • Appearance – very thick (thicker than the Smokehouse), deep dark red color
  • Aroma – sweet… like applesauce
  • A Taste – I like!  It’s like homemade applesauce and BBQ sauce mated.  The flavors work very well.

To the Meat of the Matter

Even though the Smokehouse was a touch heavy on the liquid smoke, I wanted to see if cooking the sauce down made any difference.  I took a couple of boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved them, and cooked them on the gas grill.

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Five minutes before coming off the grill, the chicken got a glaze of Hog Heaven – the pieces on the right were sauced with Smokehouse, and the ones on the left were sauced with Apple-Chipotle.

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The chicken sauced with Smokehouse had a nice flavor.  The overly smoky flavor that was noticed in a naked taste was nowhere near as prevalent, and it had a very subtle, very light heat on the back side.  The Apple-Chipotle sauced chicken was excellent.  A touch more sweetness than the Smokehouse sauce, with a little more noticeable heat on the back side.

I also tried the sauces as condiments on a couple of pulled pork sandwiches.  They both worked decently, although the Apple-Chipotle was clearly my favorite.

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Hog Heaven BBQ Sauce can be found on the web at http://www.hogheavenfoods.com/.  As of this writing, the site is under construction, so go check Hog Heaven out on Facebook and Twitter.

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