When it carries the name, Ad Hoc, synonymous with the high-quality famous at Thomas Keller’s lauded, family-style Yountville restaurant, you know it will come with good taste and a high premium.
Recently, I got a chance to try out samples of both — the 13-ounce jar of barbecue sauce, which sells for $16; and the 3-ounce canister of rub, which is $12.
The hubby, aka Meat Boy, smeared the rub on racks of ribs, then brushed on the sauce after they came off the grill.
The thick sauce is Southern-style with a sweet-tangy profile. The fruitiness of the apple sings through, while the bacon adds a bit of smokiness. It’s not super sugary like other barbecue sauces, either.
The rub does lend a nice little kick of spice and heat, tempered by subtle sweetness. It’s essentially a straightforward mix of dark brown sugar, cayenne, crushed red pepper, smoked paprika, allspice, salt and garlic. You could actually duplicate it in your own kitchen, especially since the recipe for it is included in the “Ad Hoc at Home” cookbook (Artisan) by Thomas Keller.
The barbecue sauce recipe is not in that book, though. The jar of sauce is not inexpensive, but if you’re not inclined to cook down your own from scratch, then this is a tasty alternative, either for yourself or as a gift for your fave grill-meister.
With the rub, though, you might be better off buying the cookbook instead, especially since the $50 book is now selling for $28.47 on Amazon.com — nearly the price of two cans of rub right there.
After all, you can give a person a barbecue rub for one-time grilling fun. Or you can teach a person to make barbecue rub — and other outstanding Ad Hoc recipes from the book — for a lifetime of deliciousness.
Which is the better value? You be the judge.