Foodies know that when it comes to grilling it is all about the sauce. Whatever type you like — spicy, tangy or sweet, barbecue devotees everywhere are singing the praises of Melbourne’s Mack Daddy’s Hawg Sauce.

Developed forty years ago by Tom Gates in his own family’s kitchen, Mack Daddy’s Hawg Sauce had its beginnings as a gift for his customers while working in sales. Soon he had so many requests for it that he purchased a five-gallon stainless steel pot to cook it in. It would take Tom and his wife four hours to prepare the ingredients and get them in the pot. Then he’d slowly cook it and put it in mason jars.

He quickly gained a loyal following and soon customers were asking for cases of sauce and he couldn’t keep up. After many years of giving the sauce away, his son came up with the idea that they should start selling it. “I agreed and told my son Tommy and daughter Tiffany to come up with a good name,” he said. After Mack Daddy’s was created, the family came up with a logo and labels.


The family then decided to reformulate the sauce to an all natural recipe that is gluten free, MSG free and contains no high fructose corn syrup. “More people are health conscious and now it is even better than it used to be,” Tommy says.

It is not just the locals who are raving about the sauce. The National Barbecue Association (NBBQA) awarded a second place “Award of Excellence” to Mack Dadddy’s Hawg Sauce in the “Tomato Mild” category.

The sauce is versatile from grilling to dipping and can be used in recipes like Mack Daddy’s Meatloaf (see recipe above.) But there’s more to Mack Daddy’s than just the sauce. “The purpose is to showcase products that have a special meaning to my family,” Tom said.

Tom also invented a cast iron double thick extra heavy duty blackening skillet/griddle. He sold thousands long before the Internet and it has now been improved with pre-seasoning. Ready to use right out of the box, the skillets are made by Lodge Manufacturing, the oldest and largest cast iron cookware manufacturer in the United States.

The blackener is the best blackening skillet you can buy because it holds heat better and longer, it has more usable room than conventional round skillets and because the sides are short and make it easier to see and turn over the food. Mack Daddy’s skillet is available for purchase online at You can also download a complimentary copy of “The Art of Blackening” to learn about the many uses of the skillet.

Mack Daddy’s Hawg Sauce is available locally at:

  • Petty’s Meat Market Melbourne and Suntree
  • Moon’s Amazing Seafood, Melbourne
  • Strike Zone, West Melbourne
  • Nature’s Market Health Foods, Melbourne