‘Get Sauced’

The family bulldog, “Chunk,” flapped his jowls as steaks on the grill promised some savory chomps from his doggie dad, Mike McDade, the Hollis proprietor of Saucehound BBQ — a source for sauces and rubs that have vied for honors at a world championship and won awards at major barbecue competitions.

McDade and wife Christine agreed more than a decade ago that “something was missing” in store-bought sauces and rubs. They experimented in their kitchen to come up with their own versions. A son, Ryan, and a daughter, Julia, plus one begging bulldog sampled combos on burgers, brisket and chicken. A quartet of yippies and canine yelps finally heralded perfection.

“I never imagined myself selling BBQ sauces and rubs for a living,” said McDade. “This all started as recipes for our competition BBQ team, but when strangers kept begging to buy our homemade sauces and rubs, I decided to give it a shot.”

Saucehound products have savory, sweet and spicy components. Now available is Original Recipe BBQ sauce and rub, and the spicy Naughty Dog version that mixes both habanero and jalapeno peppers for a moderate heat build.

Five-star reviews come from John and Nancy Fleming, Massachusetts residents visiting Merrimack for Father’s Day. The Flemings grilled up a sirloin steak with the Original Recipe dry rub and served it with coleslaw and potato salad. The company’s motto, “Get Sauced,” was well embraced.

“This steak has a really excellent flavor,” John said. Then, Nancy added, “The rub is terrific — perfect summer meal — and I can’t wait to do chicken with the sauce.”

Today, the Saucehound business and Chunk’s legacy since his passing are carried on full throttle. Saucehound is found on Amazon and in more than 500 retail locations throughout New England. Locally, it’s stocked at Lull Farm and Buckley’s Cafe, both in Hollis, Flying Butcher in Amherst, and Tomahawk Butchery in Merrimack.

New patrons and distributors are welcome, as are inquiries on Facebook, by phone at 617-797-4156, or online: saucehoundbbq.com.