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The 15 Best Barbecue Sauces To Take You to Flavortown
Barbecue sauce is arguably the United States’ favorite comfort condiment. The best barbecue sauce brands are utilized in many different dishes, marinades, casseroles, and glazes, or as a simple dipping or steak sauce.
The best versions are versatile and tasty, offering a balance between richness of flavor, the use of premium ingredients, and unique flavors that create brilliant flavor in your food. Below, you’ll find a selection of the 15 best BBQ sauce brands available, including old favorites, healthier options, and regional-specific barbecue bottles you’ll want to add to your sauce rotation.
1. Sweet Baby Ray's Variety 3 Pack
I’m a bona fide Sweet Baby Ray’s stan. Their quality barbecue sauces are not just great tasting, but versatile enough for use in nearly everything. I’m not sure which flavor is my favorite, so getting the triple pack of bottled sauce is my recommended way to go. The sauces are:
- Honey Barbecue Sauce
- Hickory Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce
- Sweet ‘n Spicy Barbecue Sauce
From dipping sauce to pulled pork marinade, or as a flavor boost to slow cooker casseroles or sweet stir-fries, Sweet Baby Rays is a must-have in my pantry cupboard.
2. Primal Kitchen 3 Pack Organic Barbecue Sauce
Primal Kitchen offers a range of certified paleo and keto-friendly organic sauces. Their Classic BBQ sauce features no added sugar or high fructose corn syrup, a change from more traditional bottled sauce offerings. The Primal Kitchen triple pack is great for those looking for a more healthy barbecue sauce that limits additional sugars. The pack features:
- Classic BBQ
- Mango Jalapeño BBQ Sauce
- Hawaiian Style BBQ
I’d recommend the triple pack if you are new to the brand and looking to diversify sauce to use in cooking, marinating meat and protein, or as a table sauce.
3. Cattlemen's Kansas City Classic BBQ Sauce
If you like sauce brands by the gallon (or run a restaurant or catering service), then Cattlemen’s offers a gourmet taste at a cheaper than store-bought price. Cattlemen’s Kansas City Classic is Kosher, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and contains no starches, fillers, caramel color, peanuts, tree nuts, or soybeans (there is high fructose corn syrup). The Classic BBQ Sauce balances ripe tomato sauce and distilled vinegar, the sweetness of sugar and molasses, with the smoky flavor of hickory.
4. Guy Fieri Brown Sugar Bourbon BBQ Sauce
I’m sorry, you can’t have a barbecue sauce list without the Mayor of Flavortown. I love this snippet from the Food Network: “Flavortown is a mythical place, a state of mind, where fun and food meet in perfect harmony.”
Of Chef Guy’s popular sauce brands, I prefer the Brown Sugar Bourbon barbecue sauce. It offers smoky bourbon, sweet brown sugar, and a hint of spicy black pepper that makes everything from beef to chicken wings, pork, and seafood, pop with that signature Fieri Flavor.
5. Bachan's Original Japanese Barbecue Sauce
Bachan’s gluten-free Original Japanese Barbecue Sauce is made in small batches in the USA using non-GMO ingredients. It’s a uniquely versatile sauce with a great depth of Asian flavors, but with the distinctive BBQ tang that once you taste test you’ll want to keep in your collection.
Bachan’s blends premium Japanese-style ingredients including tamari, cane sugar, mirin, tomato paste, green onion, sea salt, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, and toasted sesame oil. Bachan’s is preservative-free, vegan friendly, and comes in BPA-free packaging. It’s a brilliant alternative bbq sauce taste to keep in your cupboard.
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6. 4 Rivers Smokehouse Mustard Barbecue Sauce
If you are looking for a premium alternative barbecue sauce, this flavorsome mustard-based offering from the popular 4 Rivers Smokehouse brand, is a tasty choice. The premium ingredients feature prepared mustard, sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Butter, Water, Tomato paste, less than 2% of distilled vinegar, spice, salt, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate, lemon juice concentrate, garlic and onion powder, dextrose, FD&C yellow no. 5 spice extractives, and fish, milk. A perfect complement to smoked meat and chicken wings, 4 Rivers Smokehouse Mustard Barbecue Sauce is perfect for marinades and dipping.
7. KC Masterpiece Original Sauce
KC Masterpiece Original Sauce is a gluten-free, thick, rich, and bold style sauce, loaded with garlic, molasses, onions, and spices. A simpler barbecue sauce than others on this list, Masterpiece aims for a bold flavor and thickness over fancy ingredients. If you are looking to create a sweet, smoky flavor when marinating meat or chicken prior to grilling low and slow, or ramping up the flavors of homemade burgers, I highly recommend this original sauce.
8. CJ Korean BBQ Sauce
CJ Korean BBQ sauce comes in Kalbi, Bulgogi, and a spicy, hot sauce variation ideal for chicken and pork. I like the taste of the Kalbi version the most. For the unfamiliar, Kalbi beef is a special cross-cut short rib where the rib is cut longways using a bandsaw to make it a thin cut of meat, that’s then marinated in a sweet bbq soy sauce mixture.
While you can make a Kalbi homemade bbq sauce yourself, the CJ Korean BBQ Sauce variety offers an easy, uniquely rich bottle with complex flavors of Korean pear and apple that complement the salty soy sauce. Don’t just use it for ribs. It’s great for stir fry or dipping with Korean fried chicken too!
9. Franklin Texas BBQ Sauce
In a place famed for grilling meat, of course, there’s plenty of Texas BBQ sauce for you to sample. I like Franklin’s; it’s simple, inexpensive, and enjoyable. The ingredients include tomato puree (water, tomato paste), brown sugar, pure cane sugar, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, water, sea salt, chili powder, non-modified corn starch, tamarind extract, natural flavors, black pepper, garlic powder, and garlic.
The simple ingredients blend nicely together to create a great-tasting tangy bbq that’s not oversweet.
10. Blues Hog Original BBQ Sauce
Blues Hog Original BBQ Sauce is a gourmet sauce made from all-natural ingredients that are designed to “stick to your meat.” Ingredients include brown sugar, tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, spices (including smoked paprika) Worcestershire sauce, natural flavors (soy sauce and tamarind extract), vanilla extract, and dried garlic. Another popular sauce for the grillmaster, Blue Hog makes an excellent sticky marinade for ribs, pork, beef, wild game, and seafood.
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11. Lillie’s Q Barbeque Sauce Variety Pack
Lillie’s Q Barbeque Sauce variety pack offers three authentic tastes of the South, including:
- Carolina Barbeque Sauce (Western Carolina Tomato)
- Gold Barbeque Sauce (South Carolina Mustard)
- Smoky Barbeque Sauce (Memphis Style Sweet)
Lillie’s Q sauces are gluten-free and made from all-natural ingredients, which means no artificial sweetener, no high fructose corn syrup, no MSG, or preservatives. If you’ve got a hankering for great regional flavors for your kitchen, then Lillie’s Q may be the best choice for you.
12. Rufus Teague - Whiskey Maple BBQ Sauce
Rufus Teague Made Some Sauce is both a great label for reading and a quality product. This premium BBQ sauce mixes sweetness from maple syrup and smoke from whiskey that combines to make a thick, rich, and complex flavored sauce.
The maple syrup helps make the sauce thicker without compromising the natural sweetness, so there’s no need for any additional sweetener when it’s cooked down. Get this if you like a bit of whiskey sugar in your bbq sauce, or you can try the Honey Sweet or Touch o’ Heat varieties for a different balance of flavors.
13. Duke's Alabama Style White Southern Dipping Sauce
If you like a bit of Alabama barbecue, then you know how much Alabama White Sauce means to the state, and with good reason. A fantastic alternative to traditional bbq sauces, Duke’s offers the taste of horseradish, peppery spice, and mustard. You can use it for just about any barbecue, but I’d recommend Duke’s for dipping, rather than as a glaze or marinade.
14. Jimmy Jack's Rib Shack Cowboy BBQ Sauce
Jimmy Jack’s BBQ sauce is a mixture of thick, smoky, tangy & sweet flavors made to mirror your grandma’s homemade BBQ sauce. It’s handmade with all-natural ingredients and void of high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, MSG, and other artificial fillers.
Versatile enough to go with all kinds of foods, Jimmy Jack’s Cowboy Barbecue Sauce is full of rich flavors, making it a quality choice for use in marinades, as a slow cooker glaze, or dipping/ finishing sauce.
15. Stevia Sweet BBQ Sauce
Stevia Sweet BBQ Sauce is hard to beat if you are looking for a healthy barbecue sauce. It’s low sugar, low carb, low sodium, and gluten-free (the Worcestershire sauce used is also gluten-free). Stevia Sweet BBQ Sauce is American-made, passes the taste test, and is perfect for those on a paleo or keto diet, with only two carbs and one gram of natural sugar per serving.
As this list shows, there’s a remarkable range of top-quality bbq sauce brands for you to implement in a range of food preparation. Sure, you can use one for everything, but by trying some of the bottles on this list you’ll be able to develop your flavors from simple steak sauce to the absolute best in a brilliant BBQ marinade.
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