Franks RedHot Ketchup Style Hot Sauce – An Identity Crisis?

Dip. Spread. Pour. That’s the mantra printed on the label for Frank’s RedHot Ketchup Style Hot Sauce. But dip, spread or pour on what? What do we do with this sauce, Franks?

Frank's RedHot Ketchup Style Hot Sauce bottle

Frank’s RedHot Ketchup Style Hot Sauce bottle

Is Franks a ketchup or hot sauce or wing sauce?

Is this a ketchup (we’ll save the catsup vs. ketchup debate for another post), a hot sauce, or a wing sauce? Wait. You may be asking “why do you bring up wing sauce”? Well, there’s butter in this bottle – a “natural butter type flavor” to be exact. Enough “butter flavor” to invoke the classic taste of Buffalo Wings. And we all know that Frank’s RedHot is THE sauce used in the Original Buffalo Wings recipe.

From the label:

Frank’s RedHot Ketchup Style Hot Sauce gives you the great taste of Cayenne peppers with a thicker & richer ketchup-like consistency for dipping, spreading or pouring.

suggestions for franks redhot ketchup style hot sauce

The label also has suggested uses: Hamburgers, Chicken Nuggets (really?), French Fries and Omelettes. Interestingly, all the little graphics under the suggestions really look like the McD-place products. Hmmm.

Ingredients: distilled vinegar, aged cayenne red peppers, salt, water, modified food starch, canola oil, paprika, carrot fiber, xanthan gum, sodium benzoate (as a preservative), natural butter type flavor and garlic powder.

Thick, orange, gloppy

Thick, orange, gloppy

Texture & Appearance: Thick and catsup-y with an odd orange hue, probably from the butter flavoring.

Taste Straight Up: Tastes for all the world like a thicker version of their “ready made” wing sauce, with just a hint more ketchup for body and tomato flavor – but not much. Bottom line, it’s a thicker version of their wing sauce made for dipping.

Heat Level: Rated 1.5 out of 5 Stars – With a decent amount of heat from the cayenne peppers, this is tame enough that Micky D’s could serve it with those “chicken” nugget things and the kiddies would want more. Considerably less hot than Frank’s RedHot Original, it still has some of the familiar bite from Frank’s.

franks redhot ketchup style hot sauce

Frank’s RedHot Ketchup Style Hot Sauce

Label/Graphics: It’s the same iconic curvy bottle of Frank’s that we all know and love, with the addition of a badge of “THICK” in the corner, and big bold “Ketchup Style Hot Sauce” along the bottom. And, at this point, I have to point out that Frank’s alone has “invented” the phrase “ketchup style”. There is no other on the market, and for good reason. Technically, there is no such thing.

Overall Rating (Taste on Food, Final Thoughts): I whipped up some quick Ore-Ida fries to dip into this sauce. At first you get the unmistakeable flavor of Frank’s, then just when you think “well, this is Frank’s RedHot in Catsup”, the butter flavor kicks in, and you realize you are dipping fries into a thick wing sauce.

Fries with Frank's Ketchup Style Hot Sauce

Fries with Frank’s Ketchup Style Hot Sauce

It’s certainly not “bad” tasting, I just think it suffers from an identity crisis, and I wonder who, what, or why the powers that be at Frank’s RedHot (essentially Reckitt Benckiser of Parsippany, NJ) decided they needed to produce this oddball product.

On your grocer’s shelves, get some before it’s gone… as this may be a short-lived product in the lineup of the venerable Frank’s RedHot brand.

Disclaimer: We purchased this product for our own personal use and review purposes. No compensation was received. The thoughts and opinions expressed are our own.

Bacon Ketchup from Captain Thoms

Bacon flavored ketchup from Captain Thom’s is a thick, smoky and slightly spicy ketchup that you use anytime you’d normally use ketchup. And it is a runaway success for Baltimore based Captain Thom’s Chili Pepper Company.

Captain Thom’s Slappin’ Fat Bacon Ketchup was awesome with some fries that I tried it on, and my son poured some on his hot dog and declared it delicious. (I know only “kids” put catsup on hot dogs… but he loved it.)

I plan to experiment further by adding some to the next batch of baked beans I doctor up… it should be a great fit.

“… if you like bacon and you like ketchup, this blend is sure to please… fish fry, hot dogs, burgers, even a topping for meatloaf”

Ingredients: ketchup (tomato concentrate, high fructose corn syrup, distilled vinegar, corn syrup, salt, less than 2% of onion powder, garlic powder, natural flavors), water, bacon flavored oil (sunflower oil, fractionated coconut oil, natural flavor), onion, red pepper

Taste: very sweet, tangy, smoky – with just a hint of spiciness from the red pepper. This really is a great tasting catsup. Great to keep on hand when you want that bit of bacon flavor added to your meals.

Now we here love Captain Thom and First Mate Nancy. And we love all their great sauces and products. But I do have 2 comments for them:

  1. Drop the “Slappin’ Fat” from the name. It implies unhealthy (which it’s NOT… more on that in a bit) and just emphasizes the fattiness that people associate with bacon.
  2. Get rid of the HFC… find a ketchup source that doesn’t have HFC. While HFC is a debatable subject, it has gotten a bad reputation lately.

Is this an unhealthy product? Certainly NOT. As you can see from the ingredient list, there is no “bacon” per se in it. And we know the HFC is debatable. There are natural sugars that would add the sweetness without the controversy, so I hope Captain Thom considers moving in that direction with his next “batch”.

As for the “fractionated coconut oil”, which sounds suspicious, it’s actually not. Wikipedia says: “Fractionated coconut oil is a fraction of the whole oil, in which the long-chain fatty acids are removed so that only medium chain saturated fatty acids remain.” Hey, works for me!

Finally, let’s compare the Nutritional Info between Captain Thom’s Bacon Ketchup and Hunt’s Ketchup (Serving size for both is 1 Tablespoon (17 grams)):

Bacon Ketchup: Calories 15, Total Carbs 4g, Sugars 4g
Hunt’s Ketchup: Calories 20, Total Carbs 5g, Sugars 4g

All other numbers being 0 (fat, cholesterol, etc), Captain Thom’s is actually better for you based on calories and carbs. (I know, it’s a stretch, but it was fun comparing the numbers.)

Do yourself a favor, and order not 1 but TWO bottles of Captain Thom’s Slappin’ Fat Bacon Ketchup ($6.50/12 ounce bottle) because it will not last long. Enjoy and tell Thom we sent ya!

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