Barbecue sauces and meats go hand in hand, and while nothing can match up to homemade sauces, there are a few brands that dole out some exceptional-tasting ones. Let’s take a look at these brands in the following Tastessence article.
Did You Know?
Hickory, mesquite, honey, and tomato-based barbecue sauces are the most popularly loved sauce flavors.
If you’re into grilling and cookouts, you very well know how important it is to have a good barbecue sauce. Made from tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, black pepper, and a host of other ingredients, this sweet, tangy, smoky, and slightly spicy condiment helps give that extra oomph to barbecued meats and various other dishes.
While some of us prefer to make our own sauces, the rest of us rely on the store-bought ones to perk up our burgers and meats. Although nothing beats homemade sauces, there are some delicious ones being sold out there that can salvage situations when you’re short of time. But, with almost every brand claiming to be the best, choosing one from the long line of brands can seem mind-boggling. Let’s take a look at some of the best-tasting barbecue sauce brands available in the stores today.
Must-try Barbecue Sauce Brands
SWEET BABY RAY’S
With a wonderfully thick (but not too thick) consistency, this barbecue sauce tends to be on the sweeter side. However, the sweetness is balanced by the sourness from the vinegar, spiciness from the pepper, and depth from the liquid smoke. To most palates, this intensely flavored barbecue sauce is the perfect blend of sweet, tangy, spicy, and smoky. However, since this sauce is made from high fructose corn syrup, it doesn’t fare well on the health scale.
Variations: Besides their ‘Original’, they also offer different flavors like the Sweet Vidalia Onion, Honey Chipotle, Sweet ‘n Spicy, Hickory & Brown Sugar, and Honey. These sauces are available in different quantities, from 18 oz. to 80 oz. bottles.
The number one sauce in Kansas city, this southern-style barbecue sauce is tad on the smoky side; however, the sweetness of the tomatoes, onions, and molasses, tartness of the cider vinegar, and slight spiciness from the red and black pepper also come through. Not too thick or runny in consistency, this brand of barbecue sauce is simply delicious and goes great on baby back ribs, pork roasts, steaks, etc. In terms of aroma, it’s quite smoky and may seem too overpowering for some. Again, this brand also uses high fructose corn syrup in its blend.
Variations: This brand also offers five other variations, besides their ‘Original’ barbecue sauce, such as the Hickory Brown Sugar, Honey, Hot ‘n Spicy, Smoky Bourbon, and Southern Style barbecue sauce.
Kitchen Daily’s winner of the barbecue sauce taste test, this corn syrup-free barbecue sauce is well-known for its balanced sweetness, acidity, smoke, and heat. This sauce brand is known for its outright boldness and the lovely full-bodied hickory flavor it adds to different dishes. Touted as the number 1 barbecue sauce in Western Canada, this thick, glossy sauce contains real sugar and not corn syrup, making it a healthier choice. Most palates enjoy this ‘smoky sweet’ flavor of this sauce and the way it thickens and sticks to the meat, giving it that glossy effect.
Variations: Like other brands, this brand also has a plethora of variations to offer besides their ‘Original’ sauce, like the Brown Sugar & Hickory, Hickory Smoke, Sweet & Tangy, Kansas City Style, Memphis Style, Texas Style, and the Carolina Style.
The highlight of this sauce brand is its ingredient list. Unlike the other brands, it doesn’t use high fructose corn syrup to sweeten its sauce. Moreover, it is also free of gluten and lacks any kind of preservatives or artificial ingredients, deeming it healthier for consumption. Not overpowering on the sweet aspect, this barbecue sauce is sure to be loved by many palates.
Variations: Bold and Smoky Kansas City Style and All Natural barbecue sauce are the two variations. The latter is tad on the spicier side, which can be off-putting. The Kansas City Style version is sweeter and low on the spiciness. Their Carolina Gold barbecue sauce is a mustard-based, golden hue sauce.
BIG BOB GIBSON BAR-B-Q
According to their website, the Championship Red Sauce recipe took 70 years and 4 generations to perfect, and it’s definitely worth the effort. Their special blend has even bagged numerous awards, and although this brand has been around for a long time, very few have actually gone out and tried it. This slightly smoky and not-too-sweet sauce mimics a homemade one and is perfect for your barbecue nights.
Variations: Besides their red sauce, they also offer a unique Original White Sauce that’s simply perfect for chicken and turkey. Then they also have the Habanero Red Sauce and the Backyard Mustard Sauce that are also flavorful blends.
Yet another flavorful, gluten-free barbecue sauce from Kansas city, this barbecue sauce brand is known for its deep-brown tomato sauce, which is sweetened with brown sugar and molasses. Their famous Touch ‘O Heat sauce emanates a spicy touch, amidst the delicious sweetness of the tomato sauce, not to mention the notes of lovely hickory smoke in it. Their sauces are packaged in heavy glass flasks that give their sauces that extra marketing appeal. This brand has bagged several awards for its flavor and quality.
Variations: Besides their famous Touch ‘O Heat sauce, they also offer interesting variations like Honey Sweet, Blazin’ Hot, and Whiskey Maple barbecue sauces.
Distributed by French Foods, this brand is touted to be the ‘#1 choice of professional chefs.’ Low on the heat quotient, this tomato-based barbecue sauce sticks pretty well to your barbecue meats. It’s a classic combination of sweetness and tartness, and their sauce is a clear favorite among many. However, like many brands, this barbecue sauce brand also has high fructose corn syrup, so it scores low on the health quotient.
Variations: Besides their Kansas City Classic, they also offer a whole array of sauces like the Carolina Tangy Gold and Texas Smoky, Mississippi Honey BBQ, St. Louis Original, Memphis Sweet, Louisiana Hot And Spicy, and Kentucky Sweet And Bold.
Your choice of barbecue sauce may differ from ours. It all depends on personal preference. While some prefer individual brands, others use two brands together to cut the sweetness or add a bit of extra heat. Nevertheless, even if your favorite brand isn’t in the top few, it doesn’t mean it isn’t good. If you like it, it’s on your best barbecue sauce list! So, enjoy!