Summer barbecues are almost always incomplete without some sort of sauce. You don’t have to slather it on every piece of meat ever, but it’s always good to have on the side for anyone that wants it. Heck, sauce makes just about every part of the meal better. (Ever had barbecue mac and cheese? We rest our case.)
That being said, we don’t always have time to whip up a batch of homemade sauce. When that happens, we have to rely on the store-bought stuff to get us through. Thankfully, there are enough sauces on the market to do just that. Don’t get us wrong, there are plenty of crappy barbecue sauces out there. We avoid them at all costs.
Below, we’ve highlighted 10 excellent brands that are making some of the best bottled BBQ sauces that are perfect for meat, veggies, marinades, and more.
A little heat is a good thing, but a lot of heat is a great thing. Rufus Teague’s Blazin’ Hot is exactly as the title describes. The sweet heat delivers a heck of a kick to any and every thing. Our favorite thing to do with it? Use it as a rim on a Bloody Mary for a smoky, spicy kick.
We’ve established time and again that booze and barbecue just go together. This sauce, which is based on the Wisconsin brewery’s Summer Shandy brew, is light and citrusy, making it perfect for any and all chicken dishes you plan to toss on the grill.
A sauce list wouldn’t be complete without an Alabama white sauce, and Lillie’s Q takes the cake in this category. Mayo-based, this sauce is nice and tangy and acts as a perfect complement to a good pulled pork meal. Our favorite thing to do is use this in tandem with another vinegar-based sauce.
Perhaps the most ubiquitous brand on this list, Sweet Baby Ray’s will never do you wrong. Sweet and a little tangy, it’s everything a Kansas City-style barbecue sauce should be. There is not a thing that cannot be made tastier by adding Sweet Baby Ray’s.
Mustard sauces don’t get their due in the barbecue world, but they should. Maurice’s Southern Gold is a prime example of what can go right in a mustard-based sauce. Tangy, with a little mustard spice kick and a back-end sweetness, this brings a variety of meats to life with very little effort.
Sean’s booYah! is an award-winning hot sauce brand three times over — the brand even took its Louisiana hot sauce down South and beat the locals at their own competition. The Stinky Bee (a medium-hot buffalo honey garlic sauce) is our favorite of the lot because it’s sweet, tangy, spicy and goes on just about everything from grilled meats to wings to peanut butter and jelly toast.
Though you’ll find a lot of dry rub in Memphis, this is the kind of sauce the locals love if they do decide to give their barbecue a bath. This tomato-based sauce is a little bit sweet and a little bit tangy, a perfect complement to meaty goodness like ribs and pulled pork.
Founded by two U.S. veterans who wanted to make the sauce game healthier, True Made Foods is a line of vegetable-based condiments as delicious and true to taste as they are wholesome. The Kansas City-style BBQ sauce is packed with carrots, squash, and spinach while containing half the calories of other brands and 20 percent less sugar too. And it’s delicious, so your wings will thank you.
If you’re looking to add a little jerk flavor to your barbecue game, Busha Browne is the name to know. This rich, smoky sauce uses a bounty of traditional Jamaican ingredients that are go well with everything from chicken to pork. And it’s all-natural, so you can go in hard without worry.
Many of the barbecue sauces that line supermarket shelves are laden with high fructose corn syrup, but Bone Suckin’ Sauce gets its irresistible sticky-sweet flavor from molasses and honey instead of the fake stuff. Use it to marinate and grill all of your favorite meats, fishes, and veggies this season.
Article originally published by Amanda Gabriele on July 17, 2017. Last updated by Sam Slaughter on July 24, 2018.
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