Review: The New Sauces at Cane & Grain

Everyone knows that Cane & Grain bang out the best BBQ ribs and meat in the city, as well as serving up some cracking ales and cocktails to go on the side.

By Ben Brown | 2 May 2018

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But with a new menu comes new responsibilities, and with an increase in the number of different sauces, they offer – this guide aims to help you when it comes to crunch time and you have to actually make a decision.

I’ve helped you out by ordering the sauces with how they appear on the menu. Perhaps it can then be used as a quick-fire reference sheet every time you pop in.

Memphis Mop

With this being the first one you see on the menu you’d probably be expecting it to be the mildest of sauces. Uh oh! It’s far from mild, with a very tangy and very strong kick that lingers in the mouth after eating and may leave you with a rather moderate sweat on your brow. This sauce has a thin consistency that comes from the liberal use of vinegar and oil which makes it like a supped up vinaigrette. Also, there are clear visible chilli flakes bobbing around in it which act as a warning about its secret heat.
BB Heat Index: 4/5

Best Eaten With: St Louis Ribs (all the way!) (£5 each or 3 for £15)

Sticky BBQ

The one many people will automatically go for, you won’t be disappointed with this classic sauce – although don’t expect it to be the same as the shit that comes out of the little tub at Maccies when you’re eating 20 chicken nuggets in your underpants. This is a deliciously sweet and smoky tomato-based sauce, which has a moderate heat that lingers pleasantly on the palate.
BB Heat Index: 2/5

Best Eaten With: Baby Back Ribs (£8 Half or £15 Full) or Burnt Ends (£5)


Cane & Grain’s Signature sauce is one which, although lacking any real heat, is perfect for matching with pretty much anything on the menu. Hell, I’d even pour this little beauty onto my Chocolate Fudge Cake and scoff with a smile. When you first taste it there’s a hint of Christmas about it, with very subtle suggestions of cinnamon and perhaps cloves, giving it a slightly sweet tang. I think they shove a fair bit of rum in it for good measure too which makes the taste entirely unique. It’s very sticky, is able to completely coat anything in a glossy sheen and is perfect for the fussy eaters out there.
BB Heat Index: 1/5

Best Eaten With: Smeared on any of the fantastic sandwiches or burgers – especially the Shrimp Po Boy (£9) or Mexican Bean Burger (£8).

Maple Glaze

When you get this delivered with your meat you might be mistaken for thinking that you’ve been served by Buddy the Elf – it’s very sweet and could pretty much be classified as a full-blown syrup. Maple is a unique flavour and something that goes fantastically well with meat, especially pork and pig-related products. It’s a bloody good job that Cane & Grain’s menu is full of it then because this sauce is the absolutely perfect accompaniment and one that will keep you dipping over and over again. Just not with your chips.
BB Heat Index: 0/5

Best Eaten With: Pork. So the Smoked Mixed Sausages (£5), or the Bacon Chop in the House Tray (£18).

Hot As F**k

A carry-over from the previous menu, the Hot As F**k sauce is unchanged insofar that it’s tangy and toasty – packing a kick and making your mouth water with a shit-load of chillies. The taste is very ‘Bloody Mary’ with plenty of tomatoes, Tabasco and a slight smoky-ness that works especially well with chicken. Don’t be deterred by the name though – it’s not as hot as you might think – there’s still plenty of flavours and you won’t have uncomfortable knickers for the rest of the day either.
BB Heat Index: – 5/5

Best Eaten With: Chicken Wings (£5) or the Roast Chicken (£10 Half, £18 Full).

Bourbon Gravy

Oh fuck. Now we’re talking. Bourbon bloody gravy. This new addition has been getting an awful lot of attention and rightly so – I would happily bathe in this stuff for hours on end, especially if someone brings me some chips to dip every 10 minutes or so. This beaut is made using Cane & Grain’s very own Jack Daniels blend, all the way from Lynchburg and it works fantastically well with the thick meaty gravy. It’s a revelation, and although not as good paired with meat as the other sauces – it is heaven in a tub with your chips. Or any potato product for that matter.
BB Heat Index: – 1/5

Best Eaten With: House Fries (£2), Triple Threat Fries (£4) or Cheesy Mash (£3).

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Cane & Grain, 49 -51 Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1NA
0161 839 7033