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Best BBQ Sauces for 2024

Best BBQ Sauces for 2024

To have the best outdoor barbecue, you need to make sure you have the best BBQ sauce. Whether you're using it as a dipping sauce or more of a marinade, some options are much better than others. We believe the best BBQ sauce will deliver to you. Basic reduction Smoky with acidity and other flavors to complement your meal.

In your search for that perfect barbecue sauce, you'll find dozens of tangy and sweet ones, many of which are available online from small producers. To find the best barbecue sauce of 2024, I gathered 15 bottles of spicy, smoky, tangy, sweet and tangy sauces with a bunch of passionate barbecue-loving friends to find the best BBQ sauce for you. . market.

What makes a good barbecue sauce?

It's all relative, but most pitmasters agree that balance is the key to a great barbecue sauce. Most chutneys are made with a tomato base, vinegar, honey or molasses and some sweetener and a heat element. From there, the sauces are fine-tuned with spices and flavors, such as mustard, garlic, fruit, and smoke. Any sauce that's too heavy in one direction usually doesn't work well. And a very simple sauce without a lot of spice or complexity often falls flat.

We tasted many traditional Kansas City-style sauces for this list, a vinegar-heavy Carolina-style sauce, some keto-friendly sauces, Bachchan's cult-favorite Japanese-style sauce, and some Alabama white sauce to check out. Which is really ticklish. Our taste buds. We tried each with plain unseasoned chicken breast because it's a blank slate rather than classic grilled foods. When tasting, we noted overall balance, heat, sweetness, overwhelming flavors or anything else that jumped out — both bad and good.

Read more: The Best Meal Kits of 2023

A quick note: In the North, sweet varieties dominate the sauce market, but my taste testers and I all enjoy vinegar-based sauces, too, so we tried several Carolina barbecue sauces (among other styles , such as Japanese BBQ sauce for umami, or brown) added. -sugar-based recipes for this popular sweet treat) to make this list as comprehensive and unbiased as possible.

Finding the perfect barbecue sauce in 2024 took a lot of napkins. Here they are.

full moon

Full Moon is a regional chain of barbecue restaurants in Alabama and Mississippi that has been operating since 1986. You likely won't find Full Moon's incredible sauce on store shelves, but it can be purchased online for $7.49 a bottle. Thank goodness for that, because this classic-style sauce has a near-perfect balance of sweetness, smokiness, tang, and spice.

of the stub

If you prefer to get your barbecue sauce from the store, Stubb's stuff can be found in most supermarkets and is a great alternative to full moons. Like the winner above, Stubb's has a nice balance with no single flavor. It's thick but not cloying, and the sweetness comes from brown sugar (no corn syrup) that complements well with lots of black pepper.

Bachchan's

I've been on the Bachchan bandwagon for a while now and I don't plan to hop off. Bachchan is unusual compared to classic barbecue sauces because it's packed with Japanese flavors, giving it a huge umami punch. You'll immediately notice soy sauce with sesame, ginger and a subtle sweetness. It's one of the thinner sauces so it doesn't coat the ribs and chicken or caramelize as well as others, so it's probably the best sauce to use.

Bachan's is also expensive at $13 a bottle, but you can save a few bucks when you order more than one at a time. (Trust me, you'll want more than one bottle.)

Carolina Q'

This rich, dark and smoky sauce is made by a small producer in North Carolina. It's probably the most flavor-packed sauce we tried, with a big sweetness that's cut through with rich, smoky hickory and plenty of heat. There's a lot going on here but it all blends together well to make a very tasty sauce.

Bull's-eye

At less than $3 a bottle, it was a favorite among “cheap” barbecue sauces, and it's one you'll find easily at most grocery stores or on Amazon. Bull's-eye has a strong sweetness but is perfectly balanced by mustard, garlic and natural hickory smoke. If you go through a sauce like water, this is a great sauce to stock up on for ribs, chicken, and burgers.

Texas Pete

If you're a hot sauce enthusiast looking for a barbecue sauce, Texas Pete's Eastern Carolina Sauce is the place to go. Texas Pete is a hot sauce maker, first and foremost, and so this spin on a vinegar-heavy Carolina-style sauce tastes a lot like hot sauce, but with a subtle sweetness and tomato tang. With. It's made with just five ingredients and no corn syrup. At 15 calories per serving, this is probably the “healthiest” barbecue sauce on this list.

Sweet Baby Ray's

I'll be honest, this wasn't one of them. mine Personal favorite, but some other gourmands with a sweet tooth were really into it. Sweet Baby Ray (hey, it's in the name) is made with corn syrup and pineapple juice and is so sweet it can be overwhelming. It's also almost as thick as a barbecue jam or jelly. If you're a barbecue lover with a sweet tooth, this is the sauce you should stock up on. Plus, it's cheap at about $2 a bottle.

Other BBQ sauces we tried didn't cut it

  • Full Moon Alabama White Sauce: This sauce was positively addictive, but it might be a stretch to call it barbecue sauce. I know Alabamians probably won't like to hear this, but Full Moon's white sauce is like a really rich and flavorful ranch with lots of mustard, garlic, and Worcestershire.
  • Jack Daniel's Original BBQ Sauce: This is another one that we all really liked. It has a nice balance and strong spice but ultimately some of the others edge it out.
  • Good to Eat Keto BBQ Sauce: At only 10 calories and 3 grams of carbs per serving, this sauce was definitely worth eating, though not one of our favorites.
  • Kraft Original Barbeque Sauce: It had very little dimension and tasted more like a smoky ketchup than a good BBQ sauce.
  • Heinz Carolina Vinegar BBQ Sauce: This sauce wasn't terrible but it had too much vinegar for most of us.
  • Heinz Carolina Mustard Sauce: It was more like honey mustard than barbecue sauce. Not bad, but it didn't meet our needs for this round of testing.
  • King's Delight Bar-B-Q Sauce: This Carolina-style sauce is delicious but with a lot of vinegar, it's less of a traditional barbecue sauce and more of a thin finishing sauce for pulled pork.

More of our backyard barbecue favorites

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