Third Place: Kc Masterpiece Original Barbecue Sauce
KC Masterpieces barbecue sauce is just plain delicious. The sauce is nice and thick, the flavor is sweet, slightly tangy and smokey. For the price is a hard sell to beat. KC claims to kettle cook their sauce and Im inclined to believe them. This stuff tastes like someone who knows what theyre doing made it at home. The one downside its a little sweeter than I would like but if that isnt a problem for you, definitely pick up a bottle the next time youre in need of a sauce.
Kinder’s Exxxtra Hot Bbq Sauce
As the XXX hints, Kinder’s EXXXtra Hot BBQ Sauce has hardcore heat. It can’t be stressed enough that this sauce is very, very hot. After your first bite, you’ll be pleading for mercy within seconds. But then, just as quickly, the heat subsides enough for you to enjoy the truly wonderful blend of flavors simmering beneath the fire.
So many barbecue sauces that brag about being fiery hot only have one dimension and can’t bring anything to the table beyond the overbearing heat. Kinder’s EXXXtra Hot BBQ Sauce is the exception. Yes, the crushed red peppers and the habanero peppers catch your attention but you will still be able to detect the brown sugar and hickory smoke. From fish tacos to hamburgers, this is the barbecue sauce to reach for when you want that kick.
Kinder’s history dates back to 1946 and three generations of family knowledge is used to create this spectacularly spicy yet balanced sauce.
Moores Buffalo Wing Sauce
This sauce is definitely one of the more lauded of the ones in the Best Buffalo Sauce 2021 category. This is a versatile sauce since it can be used for other purposes apart from just being traditional dips and sauces. The main flavour is enhanced thanks to quality Cayenne pepper being used. Prepared keeping in mind Kosher norms, this sauce is a rarity and is also gluten-free. It does not contain any added MSG and the flavour has literally won awards. The only downside is that the official website has closed taking direct orders due to the Covid situation. There is however enough incentive on our parts to find a retailer nearby since the sauce is that good. The quality justifies it being featured on the list. The marinate recipe online if followed can improve the taste like no other to be sure.
Don’t Miss: Emeril’s Kicked Up Tomato Sauce
Best For Ribs: Stonewall Kitchen Baby Back Rib Sauce
Sugar is first ingredient
If youre looking for the perfect barbecue sauce for ribs, look no further than Stonewall Kitchen Baby Back Rib Sauce. This Memphis-style barbecue sauce is tangy with a little bit of sweetness, and it has a slightly thin texture thats ideal for evenly coating your rack of ribs. Thats not all its good for, though. Its also an excellent choice for marinating meats, adding to recipes, and dipping. While it does have some sugar, its also partly sweetened with passionfruit juice, which adds some beautiful tartness as well.
Best: Annie’s Organic Original Bbq Sauce
The fact that this sauce is made with organic ingredients is just one characteristic that makes it one of the better options on store shelves.
“Each ingredient is simple and easy to pronounce, which indicates natural ingredients rather than synthetic additives and preservatives,” says nutritionist, founder, and author of The Candida Diet, Lisa Richards. From a nutritional standpoint, it is relatively low in calories per serving. Plus, it has only 1 gram of fat. Easy to see why it’s a winner!
Read Also: Is Soy Sauce Bad For Gout
Best Buy: Bulls Eye Original Barbecue Sauce
If youre looking for an all-around asset to your condiment shelf, look no further. Use this bold, thick sauce for dipping, spreading or grilling. Its molasses base and slight smoke flavor will give a hickory-laced kick to cauliflower nuggets or oven-baked wings. The only thing bolder than the flavor is the price.
Kc Masterpiece Original Bbq Sauce
Another of the budget options on your grocer’s shelves is KC Masterpiece Original BBQ Sauce. And just like Kraft’s concoction, this stuff is absolutely awful. KC Masterpiece attempts to use hickory smoke flavor to balance its sickly sweetness, and the result is an overpowering taste of mediocrity. If you make the mistake of adding it to meat of any kind, this sauce is all you will taste. However, some people do make cookies with it how’s that for a testament to how sweet it is?
Additionally, KC Masterpiece Original BBQ sauce has a chemical aftertaste, which is definitely not the taste you want in your mouth after an evening spent slaving over a hot grill.
Don’t be fooled by the Hickory Brown Sugar version that KC Masterpiece also markets. It tastes almost exactly the same as their original sauce with just a tiny hint of the existence of brown sugar.
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Make Sure The Flavor Complements Your Food
If you eat a lot of meat, a smoky, spicier barbecue sauceavoid unnatural sweeteners
The kind of sugar thats used can also impact the flavor, with artificial sweeteners often being very intense if there is too much in a sauce. A natural sugar will give it a nice flavor balance while also being a healthier option.
BBQ sauce is a great way to spice up a boring dish so don’t be afraid to explore and try new flavors. It’s always a great way to flavor vegetables so they are even more enjoyable for your family.
Montgomery Inn Barbecue Sauce
The Montgomery Inn has two restaurant locations in Ohio and one in Kentucky, and rather than keeping their famous sauce to themselves, they decided to share it with the rest of the world.
Those who have the fortune of living close to one of their restaurants know what a treat it is to find this sauce available for purchase. It is most famous as a rib sauce, but we tried it with chicken and were equally impressed. The flavors all seemed well balanced, so we didnt experience any extreme tanginess or an overload of sugar.
If you dont live close to a Montgomery Inn or have never had the chance to try their ribs, we highly recommend you get this sauce! Those from Cincinnati claim it is the best BBQ sauce around, so try it and see if you agree.
Read Also: Texas Pete Hot Wing Recipes
In Collaboration With Nutritionist Kara Swanson
Kara Swanson is a certified nutritionist and the founder of Life Well Lived. She is married to her best friend and the proud mother of three. Her passion is to make nutrition simple, easy, and delicious! You can find her amazing nutrition plans and learn tips and tricks to staying healthy on her website, , or .
Best: Simple Truth Organic Original Bbq Sauce
Just because a food is labeled organic, that doesn’t always mean it’s a healthier choice. But in the case of Simple Truth’s BBQ sauce? It certainly does!
“This BBQ sauce is just 45 calories per serving and doesn’t contain any concerning ingredients that are hard to pronounce. It is also non-GMO and naturally colored and flavored,” says Richards.
This one is a bit higher in sodium and sugar, though, so be sure to stick to the serving size!
Read Also: Raos Homemade Sauce
Flavor Your Food With A Spice Recommended By A Chef
Barbeque sauce isn’t the only way to spice up your meats and veggies. You can try spice blends and even mix your own to create perfect flavor combinations suited to your palate! Check out this smoked paprika recommended by chef Sara Tercero. You can use it to add a spicy kick to your meals.
Yellowbird Habanero Hot Sauce
Spice rating: Reeeeal hot
Hailing from Austin Texas, Yellowbird Foods boasts a whole line of hot sauces made from farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. A true Austinite institution, the company goes organic whenever possible and has “zero tolerance” for chemicals, additives, and filler ingredients. Yellowbird is so-named because birds, insensitive to chili pepper burning capsaicin, are true champions when it comes to spicy eating.
The current Yellowbird hot sauce lineup includes a habanero, serrano, jalapeño, blue agave sriracha, and ghost pepper sauce. The original habanero wins points for being the spiciest of the sauces, but also one of the most creative combination of flavors. Crafted from habanero peppers, carrots, onions, organic cane sugar, and tangerine and lime concentrates, the bright orange sauce is at once spicy, sweet, and citrusy.
As a newer, gourmet-ish brand, Yellowbird hot sauces may not be as easy to come by as other brands of hot sauces on this list. Trying hunting for the Yellowbird label at natural food retailers, or ordering bottles online.
Also Check: Pioneer Woman Marinara Sauce Reviews
El Yucateco Kutbilik Exxxtra Hot Habanero
Spice rating: Really, really, ridiculously hot
The Yucateco Salsas Y Condimentos company was founded more than 50 years ago by Priamo J. Gamboa in the heart of the Yucatan. Gamboa named the company for after the Spanish word foras you may have guesseda person from the Yucatan.
There are three varieties of El Yucateco hot sauces, including the red sauce habanero pepper, the green sauce habanero pepper, and the KUTBILIK EXXXTRA HOT Habanero. Made from the habanero pepper rather than the other primarily cayenne-pepper hot sauces on this list, all three of the El Yucateco hot sauces are spicier than average. The KUTBILIK EXXXTRA HOT Habanero, which gets its name from the Mayan word for “crushed chili,” predictably, is the spiciest.
Seasoned smokers who have otherwise lost all sense of taste may appreciate the blazing heat of the KUTBILIK. But even as spice aficionados ourselves, we found that the heat of the KUTBILIK overwhelmed the flavor. It’s the kind of lingering, mounting heat that makes you abandon your fish tacos and go running to the freezer for a Creamsicle, STAT.
Taste Test Alert: We Tried 6 Store
Barbecue sauce is one of the greatest condiments ever created. Its versatile, customizable and readily available at any grocery store near you making it convenient. But with the myriad of brands promising that pitmaster approved flavor, it can feel impossible to pick just the right pre-bottled sauce.
Of course, its totally possible to whip up your own classic barbecue sauce at home, but if youre feeling a little less ambitious , there are perfectly suitable pre-made versions that taste exactly you carefully measured ingredients in your own kitchen.
The only downside here is that, with what seems like countless options lining the shelves at the grocery store, which brand of bottled barbecue sauce is actually the best? Luckily Ive spent a fair amount of time diligently testing six different major brands and after tasting sauces all afternoon, Ive found a winner. Each sauce was poured on top of chicken thigh that were seasoned with salt and pepper and then roasted on a baking sheet in the oven at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. The results varied, but one sauce came out on top.
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Best Honey: Good & Gather Organic Honey Bbq Sauce
Can be a little too sweet
Theres something about a really delicious honey barbecue sauce that makes you want to eat a plate full of chicken wings . And with the Good & Gather Organic Honey Barbecue Sauce, you can do that and a lot more. With the right balance of sweet, tangy, and smoky, its perfect as a dipping sauce, marinade, or glaze for meats and tofuor anything you want. Its sweetened with a combination of sugar, honey, and molasses, and as Targets own brand, its budget-friendly but still has some organic ingredients.
With the right balance of sweet and spicy, the Rufus Teague Touch O’ Heat BBQ Sauce is our overall pick. If you want to kick it up a notch, the Cowtown Night Of The Living Bar-B-Q Sauce has an extra hit of heat.
Cattlemen’s Carolina Tangy Gold Bbq Sauce
Brought to you by the same company that blesses the world with Frank’s RedHot and French’s Classic Yellow Mustard, Cattlemen’s Carolina Tangy Gold BBQ Sauce will have your taste buds doing somersaults. The common criticism is that this barbecue sauce has too many good ingredients doing too much at the same time.
The first taste you’ll notice is the mustard, which arrives via No. 1 grade mustard seed and is given spiciness by aged red cayenne peppers and depth by paprika, onion, and garlic. Then, you’ll taste the sweetness of the sugar and the molasses. Finally, the smoky aftertaste is due to the natural smoke hickory flavoring.
All in all, Cattlemen’s Carolina Tangy Gold BBQ Sauce is an okay choice as long as you enjoy mustard being the dominant taste. If you prefer sweetness or tomato flavoring, look elsewhere. This sauce has tomato paste in it, but it definitely takes a backseat to the mustard and the rest of the competing flavors.
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How Do You Make Homemade Bbq Sauce
This barbecue sauce starts with ketchup as the base. Look for ketchup that is organic or conventional ketchup that is not sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. The ketchup is combined with apple cider vinegar, an array of spices, a dash of hot sauce and brown sugar to make up this intensely flavored condiment. All you have to do is throw everything in the pan, let it simmer for a bit, and youre done!
Worst: Sweet Baby Ray’s Original
This BBQ sauce has both high fructose corn syrup and modified corn starch. So that means it’s high in sugar and carbs, and lacking in real nutrition.
“Along with these ingredients, Sweet Baby Ray’s has a large amount of added sugar in their BBQ sauce, which is known to lead to weight gain and poor gut health,” says Best.
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What Makes The Best Barbecue Sauce
While sampling all these sauces , our Test Kitchen kept these qualities in mind:
- Flavor: While there are lots of variations on barbecue sauce, a good all-purpose sauce should be tangy, a bit sweet and taste good enough to lick off your fingers.
- Texture: A good barbecue sauce should be smooth and thick enough to coat everything from ribs to grilled chicken. It shouldnt be overly sticky or gooey.
- Appearance: How does the sauce look? Does it look like something delicious enought to put on your pulled pork sandwich?
Teriyaki Japanese Hawaiian And Korean
Theres a whole world of barbecue sauces that dont fit into the above four categories, many of which take inspiration from the barbecue traditions of other cultures. Teriyaki sauce, for example, leads with high concentrations of sugar, sometimes pineapple and citrus, honey, soy sauce, and ginger. Hawaiian barbecue sauce is ultrasweet with high acidity. And Im a sucker for Korean barbecue sauce, which can have a high sugar content but is loaded with green onion, ginger, onion, black pepper, and sesame oil.
Sauces to try:
- Bachans: The Original Japanese Barbecue Sauce has been perfected over generations and is a craveable sauce full of umami. Widely available online, it has a blend of ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, mirin, and toasted sesame oil. I want to drown a pulled-pork bao bun with this sauce.
- Kraft Sweet Teriyaki Barbecue Sauce:With notes of ginger and sesame, this one would be great on a seared hot dog.
- CJ Korean BBQ Original Sauce, Kalbi:This is a fantastic marinade sauce for any meat. The sweet, tangy, umami flavor transports you to authentic Korean barbecue. This sauce with charred ribs and topped with sesame seeds will turn your barbecue table spread into an unforgettable meal.
Also Check: Kikkoman Sweet Umami Teriyaki Sauce
Bachan’s The Original Japanese Barbecue Sauce
I’ve been pretty obsessed with Bachan’s Japanese barbecue sauce. It’s made with soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, and other spices making it the perfect meld of sweet, savory, and tangy. I love using it as a glaze on ground chicken meatballs under the broiler, an immediate flavor boost. The origin story of Bachan’s is also very touching, the sauce was created by Justin Gill in honor of his Japanese-American grandmother , and her prized recipe that has been passed down in his family for years. Noreen Wasti, recipe developer and food stylist
Jack Daniel’s Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Sauce
Yes, Jack Daniel’s Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Sauce is made with real, genuine Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. No, it won’t leave you tipsy, even if you overdose on a trough of barbecue chicken. What makes this sauce notable is the zing you get from the spiciness that tastes like a combination of red pepper and jalapeno. It’s not a powerful punch of spicy, but it’s just enough to make you sit up straight and recognize its presence.
Additionally, Jack Daniel’s Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Sauce wins bonus points for its quality ingredients that include dark brown sugar and blackstrap molasses. Obviously, the history of this barbecue sauce doesn’t date all the way back to 1866 when Jack Daniel started his distillery business, but it’s worthy to have the name attached.
The sauce isn’t the best option for pork, but it works well with beef, chicken, and some seafood, specifically shrimp. You can use it as a dipping sauce but it really shines when it’s used for basting.
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Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Store Bought Bbq Sauce
Let’s begin with the Original Bar-B-Q Sauce by Stubb’s. This sauce is made with non-GMO and gluten-free ingredients such as tomato puree, distilled vinegar, molasses, sugar, spices such as paprika, black pepper and chilli pepper, corn starch, onion, garlic and more.
This product also includes xantham gum which is used to thicken the sauce which is safe to consume as long as you don’t eat more than 15g of this ingredient every day.
If you do, you may have bloating and intestinal issues such as excessive gas. Lastly, Stubb’s does not include any high-fructose corn syrup which is an artificial sweetener that has been linked to the increasing rate of obesity and other medical conditions such as fatty liver disease.
This sauce is specifically great alongside all types of meat thanks to its tomato flavour and thick consistency. With 30 calories per serving , 250mg of sodium and 5g of sugars, this sauce is suitable for everyone without being harmful to your health, just as long as you keep to the recommended serving size!
- This sauce is made only with non-GMO ingredients.
- Is suitable for those who are gluten-free.
- Does not include high-fructose corn syrup.
- Is low in calories and sodium.
- Contains xanthan gum which can have negative side effects if consumed too much.
- You can easily consume too much sugar with this product so be mindful to not exceed the serving size.