Head Country Stays At The Head Of Its Class In Oklahoma
Head Country is the biggest-selling barbecue sauce in Oklahoma stores.
- TOM GILBERT, Tulsa World file
Head Country seasoning and sauce give this oven-baked brisket a cookout flavor. Photo by MIO Coalition
- MIO Coalition
Major brands might rule the barbecue sauce roost in most of the country, but thats not the case in Oklahoma. Not by a long shot.
Ponca City-based Head Country barbecue sauce dominates the big boys, such as Stubbs, KC Masterpiece and Sweet Baby Rays, in grocery markets and specialty stores.
Current market share figures werent available, but in recent years, Head Country held 55% to 65% of barbecue sauce sales in Oklahoma. Not bad for a company that got its start selling its original sauce at small-town feed stores and country groceries in Osage County in the late 1940s.
Donovan Bud Head, who had served as a cook on a naval destroyer in World War II, returned to his family ranch in Grainola in Osage County in 1947. After his return, he became a popular cook among friends and family.
Heads recipes included a barbecue sauce made from ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, spices and Worcestershire sauce.
The relatively mild sauce, which has a nice balance between sweet and spice, proved so popular, he bottled it and started selling it in Osage County.
Part of the success of Head Country can be traced to Head and Paul Shatte, who later would become part owner, launching a competitive team that was highly successful on the barbecue cookoff circuit.
Backstory And Why I Like It
Head Country is an Oklahoma based company thats been around since the 1940s. Before trying it myself, what I found most interesting about this sauce was the dedicated following. People LOVE this saucelike really love it and they are passionate about it. The sense of community that goes with the tradition and flavor is welcoming to me thats a big part of what barbecue is all about in the first place.
While their Instagram presence and devoted fan base may have initially piqued my interest, I was even more excited to discover that the sauce itself is amazing! So many BBQ sauces mask the flavor of the meat and I suppose thats a good thing if you get your hands on some poorly cooked BBQ. However, with a well-prepared dish I want to taste the meat. The sauce should simply enhance the flavor of good meat and Head Country Bar-B-Q sauce does just that.
They offer 6 different flavors and I have sampled most of them. Their offerings include:
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Around The World In 80 Days
The globe-trotting hit and Oscar-winning best picture of 1956 found its way around the world to Oklahoma for a small amount of filming: In a scene in which the train is held up by a buffalo herd, that herd is at the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge. For some perspective on the movies popularity: According to Box Office Mojo adjusted figures, the movies $42 million box-office in 1956 would be the equivalent of $605 million at todays ticket prices.
Big Bob Gibsons Alabama White Sauce
Until recently, you probably would have balked at the mere mention of a white BBQ sauce. Unless, of course, you hail from northern Alabama, where its the BBQ sauce. In the past few years, however, Alabama white BBQ sauce has been all the rage, receiving plenty of press and lots of love. This tangy mayonnaise and vinegar-based sauce goes great on chicken, but can be used on just about any meat. And if youre going to try Alabama White Sauce, it might as well be from Big Bob Gibson, who is credited with creating it.
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Head Country Chipotle Bbq Sauce
Because were nice, when our newest hire started, we handed him a sample of the new Head Country Chipotle sauce. He wouldnt shut up about Head Country, which isnt surprising, since everything we carry is better than anything youll find at a grocery store. What was unusual is that two months later, he still wouldnt shut up about this sauce. Turns out, the new guy was onto something. Perfectly balanced with just the right amount of heat, and a great price tag to boot, its become the go-to sauce for most of the office. You might think the lesson here is to listen to the new guy. Its not. The lesson is: Dont give the new guy the good stuff keep it for yourself.
Crazy Mooskies Original Bbq Sauce
Crazy Mooskies is a Canadian made, all-natural barbecue sauce. Sweetened with stevia extract, its a great sauce for those who are trying to live a healthier life. At only 5 calories per 2 tbsp, you can add a bunch of flavor to your food without having to worry about all the sugars from the sauce. This sauce wont burn as quickly since it has no real sugar in it, so you can apply this sauce a bit earlier than you normally would.
Don’t Miss: Arthur Bryant’s Bbq Sauce
Killer Hogs The Bbq Sauce
Brothers Malcom and Waylon Reed may not share all the secrets to their success, but theyre willing to share their killer sauce. Named for their championship BBQ team, this is one of those reach-for sauces. A fantastic blend of tangy and sweet with a little bit of heat, once you try it, youll always want some on hand.
Made In Oklahoma: Head Country Food Products Inc
Headquarters: 2116 N Ash, Ponca City.
Key executives: Danny Head, founder and president Carey Head and C.R. Head Paul Schatte, general manager.
Products: Head Country Food Products makes, bottles and sells Head Country Bar-B-Q Sauces in sizes ranging from a 1.5-ounce, single-serve pouch to 55-gallon drums. The company also makes and sells Premium Marinade, Garden Rich Salsa and Championship Seasoning.
Background: Donovan Fred Head, known as “Uncle Bud, was a Navy cook in World War II. When he returned from the war, he and his wife, Freda, tinkered in their Shidler home with a barbecue recipe he had served to the sailors. By 1947, Uncle Bud had perfected his recipe and began selling it in fruit jars to his neighbors. He then began selling it in feed stores.
In 1977, nephew Danny Head bought the family recipe and founded Head Country Food Products Inc. In 1980, he moved the company to Ponca City into the Royal Air Force barracks at Darr Park. In the beginning, Head hand-filled his bottles of barbecue sauce. It wasn’t until 1985 that he started to see a profit from sales of his original family recipe. In 1994, Danny and his wife, Carey, moved into a 9,000-square-foot facility on N Ash. They eventually expanded space and employees.
Last year, Head Country used 1.8 million pounds of ketchup and almost 1 million pounds of brown sugar to make its sauce. The company now is adding 6,000 square feet to more than double the original facility.
Archive ID: 2465443
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Preheat The Grill And Set Up Your Zones
I set my grill up into 4 zones. One hot zone, two medium heat zones, and one low heat zone. It is especially important to preheat your grill. I know youre going to be super excited when youre standing in front of the grill with your super fancy new tools, and youre going to want to throw that chicken down because you are so ready, but resist! You want to let the grill preheat because its going to keep your food from sticking. Trust me its worth the wait. I preheated my grill to about 400 degrees before I got started It took about 15 minutes on the gas grill.
Great Bbq Sauces You Absolutely Must Try
Last updated: by Judith Fertig
Its a fact: When you say BBQ, most people think of BBQ sauce. Not rub or smoke or that oh-so-delicious bark. Even respectable restaurants and foodies fall prey to the notion that almost anything can be made BBQ by simply adding BBQ sauce. Need proof? Look no further than the glut of recipes for BBQ Pulled Pork that are made in crock pots. Or BBQ ribs baked in the oven. The only thing remotely BBQ about either is the addition of sauce before serving.
Still, even if the public at large is mistaken in its belief that sauce is what defines BBQ, theyre not wrong for loving it. Or, to put it another, if slightly less original way: If loving BBQ sauce is wrong, we dont want to be right. Because, really, whether you use it for marinating or glazing, dipping or dressing, coating or covering, it makes almost any food better.
One of the best things about BBQ sauce is that it isnt just one thing. There are as many styles as there are regions of the countryfrom the vinegar-based sauces of North Carolina to the spicy mustard-based style enjoyed in South Carolina and the sweet and tangy tomato-based Kansas City sauces most people are familiar with. And, the more open you are to trying them, the more uses youll find for BBQ sauce.
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Gladstone Investment Corporation Exits Its Investment In Head Country Barbecue Sauce
MCLEAN, VA / ACCESSWIRE / July 6, 2021 / Gladstone Investment Corporation announced today the sale of its portfolio company Head Country, Inc. . As a result of this transaction, Gladstone Investment realized a meaningful capital gain on its investment. Gladstone Investment acquired Head Country in partnership with management in 2014.
Head Country, founded in 1977 and headquartered in Ponca City, OK, is a manufacturer of a leading BBQ sauce as well as seasonings and marinades.
“Gladstone Investment enjoyed working with the Head Country management team over the last seven years and are proud to have supported them in continuing to grow the brand and its customer base,” said Kyle Largent, Executive Vice President and Senior Managing Director of Gladstone Investment. “We wish Head Country and the management team continued success.”
Gladstone Investment Corporation is a publicly traded business development company that seeks to make secured debt and equity investments in lower middle market private businesses in the United States in connection with acquisitions, changes in control and recapitalizations. Additional information can be found at www.gladstoneinvestment.com.
For Investor Relations inquiries related to any of the monthly distribution-paying Gladstone family of funds, please visit www.gladstonecompanies.com.
For further information: Gladstone Investment Corporation, 703-287-5800
Gladstone Investment Corporation
Secret Championship Bbq Sauce
Dear BBQ Friend:
Since I’m enjoying regular vacations these days and not working my butt off at competitions, I guess I can reveal my top secret BBQ sauce recipe now…When competing, I figured out that if you give the judges the same old thing contest after contest, they will soon get tired of it and start scoring you down. Others will figure out what you are using too if you are not tight lipped enough and then it gets worse. The trick is to develop your own sauce and then don’t tell anybody. In competitions, the judges like a sweet sauce, so that’s the flavor profile you always had to go with.Here’s my Competition BBQ Sauce recipe…3 different bottles of your favorite BBQ sauces1 cup maple syrup1 cup dark brown sugar1 cup real balsamic vinegar3 tbsp hickory liquid smoke Just heat it up enough to melt the sugar and blend the ingredients – no need to cook it.Feel free to modify the recipe to your liking or if you feel the judges in your area would like something different. For instance, the judges in Tryon, NC always seemed to love honey, so I would eliminate the maple syrup and add another cup of honey. It worked two years in a row. I never tried straight molasses in my sauce , but it might work in some areas. Agave is another popular ingredient too.Here’s some of the sauces I had success with over the years…
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Let The Residual Heat Cook It The Rest Of The Way Through
This is where setting up your zones come in handy. I dont know about you, but when I buy chicken, its never all the same size or thickness. So, you can put smaller pieces in the lower heat zone, and thicker pieces in the higher temperature zone. This ensures that everything cooks evenly, and all the way through at the same time. You also want to cook with the residual heat and not direct heat because you want to go low and slow for the rest of the cooking process. Its going to ensure that you dont dry out your chicken especially if youre cooking boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
Three Little Pig Kansas City Competition Sauce
Champion pitmaster Chris Marks created Three Little Pigs BBQ sauces and rubs to reproduce the flavors his familys BBQ team had been using for years and to bottle some of the mojo that won him 8 American Royal Grand Championships and the Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce Championship. This tomato-based Kansas City style sauce has a great blend of sweet and spicey with a hint of smoke and is one of our most consistent go-to BBQ sauces.
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Blues Hog Original Bbq Sauce
Sticky and sweet with a unique blend of spices, Blues Hog Original is a favorite on the competitive BBQ circuit and easily our best seller. Theres truly nothing like it. For years, people mixed the Original with Tennessee Red, a zesty vinegar and pepper based sauce. It became so popular that Blues Hog created its own version, Champions Blend. If all that has you confused as to which Blues Hog sauce to get, try the Blues Hog Gift Set, which includes a pint each of Original, Tennessee Red, Smokey Mountain, and Honey Mustard, as well as a small bottle of Dry Rub.
The Slabs Amazing Glaze Bbq Sauce
When it comes to BBQ sauce, taste isnt everything. Okay, fine, it is the main thing, but there are times when appearance also matterslike when youre presenting food to judges at competition. Slabs Amazing Glaze doesnt just taste fantastic, it looks incredible. A finishing sauce, it has a nice blend of savory and sweet flavors and leaves a nice sheen, so your food looks as good as it tastes. Try it on ribs at your next comp and youll see what we mean.
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Pulled Pork And Cornbread Shooters
The idea for these pulled pork filled corn bread shot glasses came to me a few months back when I made my Pancake Shot Glasses.
Well, as luck would have it I was recently contacted by Head Country Bar-B-Q asking if Id like to come up with a recipe using their sauces and seasonings, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally make them!
Honestly, I wasnt familiar with Oklahoma-based Head Country at all prior to them contacting me, but after talking to them I learned that theyre actually the 9th largest BBQ sauce company in the country.
After tasting their sauces and seasonings Im guessing that theyre going to be moving up that list in no time because this stuff is good!
Normally when Im making pulled pork in the slow cooker even if Im adding BBQ sauce I also throw in some garlic powder, chili powder, brown sugar and a chopped onion.
This time however I opted to simply rub down the pork shoulder with Head Countrys Sweet & Spicy seasoning and top it with a cup of their sauce. And. It. Tasted. Absolutely. Amazing.
In keeping with the whole spicy theme I used their Hot & Spicy BBQ sauce, but I did get a chance to try the two other sauces they sent me as well Hickory Smoke and Original and they were both great, so if spicy isnt your thing then by all means, try the recipe with one of the other six flavors they offer. The same goes for the seasoning.
Then again though, having a bunch of extra delicious pulled pork is a pretty great problem to have.
Bone Suckin Sweet Hot Mustard
To call this a Carolina mustard sauce would be misleading, since it doesnt have the same vinegar backbone. It doesnt really matter, though, because its delicious. Bone Suckin makes their mustard sauce in two flavors. The original Bone Suckin Mustard uses brown sugar and molasses to add sweetness and balance the mustard. It works great on everything from sandwiches and burgers to sausage and chicken, and also makes one heck of a dipping sauce. The Sweet Spicy Mustard uses real jalapenos to add a healthy dose of heat thatll give you the sniffles.
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