How Sweet Is It?

As someone who constantly finds himself on the go, I am always on the lookout for products that are easy to make and make me feel like I’m actually eating food and not junk out of a bag (i.e. chips, cookies and candy — stuff I LOVE to eat, but can leave you feeling a bit… I don’t know… unsatisfied).

Enter a tub o’ shredded pork. 

Now lately I’ve noticed a trend towards tubs of food.  Everything from side dishes to meats to desserts are now sold in tubs, and we’ll be reviewing a number of them here.   Let’s start today with Sweet Baby Ray’s Shredded Pork with Sauce (original).

For the record, what you get (according to the packaging) is “Fully cooked, heat & serve, microwavable and may be frozen.”  It also proclaims “The sauce is the boss!”  Unfortunately, sampling the sauce won’t be for the squemish.  Why?  You’ve heard them say that ‘presentation is key’?  Check this out:

Inside the tub is a vacuum-sealed pouch which stuffs the concoction together.  Your goal at this point  is to cut  slit for heating.  At this point, I am kind of scared to say what it resembles.  After heating and dispensing back to the tub, it looks a bit more refined and ready for consumption.  The smell, let me say, is wonderful.  The sauce makes a wonderfully aromatic first impression.

For my tastes, I prefer such meals on an Arnold’s sesame seed sandwich bun.   That’s my bun of choice for hamburgers, sloppy joe, etc.

The pork is quite flavorful and the sauce is a sweet barbecue flavor which helps the dish become ANYTHING but dry.  Sometimes in BBQ restaurants, pulled-pork sandwiches can have a tendency to suck a major amount of saliva out of your mouth and leave you grabbing your drink ASAP.

However, Sweet Ray’s does have you grabbing your drink for another reason.  There is a high volume of salt in the food (which can be problematic in BBQ) and which does have you downing a tall glass after almost every sandwich.  (For those keeping score, you get about 800mg or 33% per serving ).

On that note, the box says you get about 3.5 servings per container, which I can actually adjust to say you could probably get 4 decent sandwiches.  If you’re eating alone, that should be MORE than enough.  If not, you may need more than one tub.

I will say I had about 2 sandwiches before I felt full, and I’m looking forward to more at a later date.  The sticker on the tub says the food is good for about 2 more months, unfrozen.  Now if you’re the kind of person who has a problem with foods that last THAT long, clearly this isn’t for you.  Me?  I don’t care as long as it tastes good, and this CLEARLY fits the bill to a “T”.

The shredded pork has larger solid bits mixed in, which helps it FEEL authentic and less machine-made (not TOO perfect).   The quality of the pork is great (not rubbery as you may find with premade meats).   And a quick scan of the ingredients shows less than a handful of off the wall ingredients (natural smoke flavor and sodium benzoate are the only two that leap out).

I recommend this across the board, even if it does make you thirsty.  If you’re me, that’s almost a good thing as that if you’re drinking a lot, you get full faster and don’t eat quite as much :-)

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