Barbecue is like religion. Most folks see good in all of them, but they tend to be devoted to their particular flavor.

The BEEF Taste Test panel clearly believes Armour® has a winner in its KC Masterpiece™ Barbecue. It's an 18-oz. tub of fully-cooked, seasoned shredded beef with KC Masterpiece® Original Barbecue Sauce. And though the product fell victim to panelists' individual tastes for barbecue flavor, it still netted a respectable 8.2 overall score (10-point scale).

One panelist who loved the product's flavor rated it 9.5 overall. Another, who found the taste “too sweet,” gave it a 7 overall.

Beyond taste issues, however, panelists were in agreement on the convenience of the product.

“This would be good for a party or picnic,” said one panelist. “Very tasty,” said another. Other overall product comments included:

  • “Extremely easy to prepare. I bet this would be a good kid-pleaser.”

  • “It would fit a busy schedule.”

The heat-and-serve product, which sells for $3.99 and can be prepared on either the stovetop or a microwave oven, drew its best scores in packaging and convenience. It rated a 4.6 in preparation instructions (5-point scale) and a 4.7 in the completeness of its nutrition information.

On the convenience side, KC Masterpiece garnered a 4.8 in ease of preparation and a 4.5 in preparation time. Panelists rated it only a 3.5, however, in serving size, feeling that the nine servings claimed on the 18-oz. container were inadequate.

In the sensory categories of visual presentation, flavor, tenderness, texture and juiciness, the product performed adequately. It drew its highest scores in flavor (4.5), juiciness (4.4) and tenderness (4.3). Its lowest were in texture (3.9) and visual presentation (4.1).

One panelist gave the product an overall score of 7.5 due mainly to its failings in texture and visual presentation. “This has great barbecue flavor, but the texture is a little mushy,” she said.

Another thought the sauce flavor was “good” and the shredded beef “very tender,” while another panelist summed up his critique this way: “It tastes better than it looks.”