The Store-Bought Ingredients Michael Symon Would Never Buy - Exclusive

Michael Symon is known for his wide range of cooking and his flavorful meals. His new cookbook, "Simply Symon Suppers," is geared towards the home cook looking to create delicious, unpretentious meals perfect for any time of year. As many home cooks utilize store-bought ingredients, we asked Symon in an exclusive interview about his take on using such items. Symon is not totally against store-bought ingredients. For example, he explained that keeping a can of beans around is perfect for when you need a quick dip.

However, because he is a barbecue master, we wanted to know his thoughts on items such as store-bought barbecue sauce. Symon bluntly gave his opinion on the subject, stating, "If I bought barbecue sauce, I'd burn in hell." He continues to explain, "Barbecue sauce is so easy to make." He does not understand why people would need to buy it at a store. Barbecue sauce is just one of several items that Symon says are simply not worth buying at a grocery store. 

What not to buy

Additional items that Symon would never buy include a supermarket staple whose industry is worth $20 billion.  For Symon, "[If] I'm a Sicilian mother, I don't buy tomato sauce either." A basic tomato sauce does not have to be a big production. It can be made in under 20 minutes utilizing canned tomatoes and a few herbs. Some recipes don't even require cooking and only need good fresh tomatoes. 

Taking on another supermarket prefab, Symon tells us, "I never have understood why people buy salad dressings either." He explains the ingredients are easily accessible, and most people have them in their house anyway. "It's literally oil and vinegar. Why are you buying this?" 

If you are going to buy one of these products from a store, Symon does have a recommendation from his time on "BBQ USA." "A lot of people use a brand as a base," he says. "I have tasted it. There is a brand called Blues Hog that a lot of people use on the barbecue circuit. That actually is a pretty solid sauce, not too sweet, and doesn't feel too mass processed." As Symon suggests, using a quality brand as a base, and then doctoring it up can be an effective way to take advantage of store bought ingredients.

"Simply Symon Suppers" is now available to order.