The 9 Best Barbecue Sauces of 2021

The food at your next BBQ just got taken up a notch

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Our Top Picks
"Use each one alone on your ribs, burgers, meatloaf, and more."
"Tastes like a thick, rich, sweet and tangy barbecue sauce."
"It gets its sweetness from cane sugar, brown sugar, and molasses."
"Users praised the balance of sweet and spicy."
"It’s a tomato based sauce with molasses for sweetness."
"This is a sweet sauce with spices rather than a whole lot of actual heat."
"Famous Dave suggests using it as a marinade for chicken or pork."
"Users described it as spicy but not overwhelming, with a hot finish."
"Includes molasses, pineapple juice, tamarind, and tomato paste."

Best Overall: Rufus Teague BBQ Sauce

Rufus Teague BBQ Sauce

The perfect sauce for barbecue fiends, this is a combo-pack of five different Rufus Teague sauces that you can mix and match, or use each one alone on your ribs, burgers, meatloaf, and more. Slather a little Whiskey Maple barbecue sauce on a roast beef panini or slather your pork chops in the Smoky Apple barbecue sauce. Besides those two, this also includes Blazin Hot barbecue sauce that’s great on spicy wings, Honey Sweet barbecue sauce that would be perfect on ribs, and Touch ‘o Heat barbecue sauce that you’ll love on brisket.

While you might pick one as your favorite, with an assortment on hand, you’ll have one that’s a perfect match for your food or to fit your guests’ tastes. This is five 16-ounce bottles, so you’ll have plenty to serve, plenty to slather, and plenty to share.

Best for Ribs: True Made Foods Vegetable BBQ Sauce

This lower sugar barbecue sauce has great flavor and just a hint of sweetness. Of course, you expect your barbecue sauce to include vegetables, but this one has a few you might not expect, like butternut squash, carrots, and spinach. But don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like a vegetable side dish, it just tastes like a thick, rich, sweet and tangy barbecue sauce. Whether you use it on a grill, in a smoker, or in the oven, the lack of sugar helps keep the sauce from charring while it still sticks to those ribs. Not just for ribs, of course, this sauce is great on chicken, beef, and mixed into baked beans, too, and it makes a great condiment on burgers, roast beef sandwiches, and meatloaf.

Best for Pork: Stubb's BBQ Original BBQ Sauce

Stubb's Original Barbecue Sauce

A long-time favorite, Stubb’s barbecue sauce is ready to add the flavor of Texas to your slow cooker pulled pork, smoked pork chops, or baby back ribs. This sauce is non-GMO verified and doesn’t include any high-fructose corn syrup. Instead, it gets its sweetness from cane sugar, brown sugar, and molasses, and the great flavor from tomatoes, vinegar, generous black pepper, natural smoke, and spices.

Need tips on how to cook the absolute best pork ribs in your smoker? We can help!

Best Organic: Annie's Homegrown Organic Gluten Free Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

A favorite among organic shoppers, Annie’s organic sweet and spicy barbecue sauce gets its sweetness from cane sugar and it gets its spiciness from cayenne and chili peppers. Users praised the balance of sweet and spicy, and even kids found it appealing if they didn’t mind the mild heat. This is great on everything from oven-baked meatloaf to smoked ribs to slow cooker chicken, and can also be used as a condiment at the table so everyone can add just enough sauce to spice up their burgers.

Best Taste: Montgomery Inn Barbecue Sauce

The sauce from a Cincinnati restaurant that’s now available for everyone, this thick, sweet, spicy sauce is great on just about everything, from beef brisket to air-fried or deep fried chicken wings, to pulled pork. It’s a tomato based sauce with molasses for sweetness and spices to give it the flavor you’re looking for. It also makes a great addition to baked beans and can add some zing to your meatloaf or your roast beef panini. This is three 28-ounce bottles, so you’ll have plenty for cooking, plenty for use as a table condiment, and one extra bottle to stash for barbecue emergencies.

Best Korean: bibigo Gochujang Sauce

Gochujang meets barbecue sauce in this handy squeeze bottle. It’s great for Korean barbecue, but it’s just as good on all-American burgers, ribs, and chicken. This is a sweet sauce with spices rather than a whole lot of actual heat, so it’s great for people who can’t tolerate super-spicy hot peppers. Users praise it on bulgogi, wings, and even on fries.

Best Mustard: Famous Dave's BBQ Sauce Georgia Mustard

Famous Dave’s is famous for barbecue, with over 700 awards in barbecue competitions. Dave says. “pigs are afraid of me,” because of all the pork he’s cooked and eaten. The Famous Dave’s restaurants serve a variety of different types of barbecue sauces, and now you can bring them home. The Georgia Mustard deserves recognition for its vinegar-based flavor enhanced with mustard. Users praise it as being authentic for South Carolina and Georgia barbecue, and Famous Dave suggests using it as a marinade for chicken or pork, then basting it on during cooking.

Best Spicy: Gates Bar B Q Extra Hot Bar-B-Q Sauce 18 oz

One of the famous Kansas City barbecue restaurants, Gates lets you take the flavor home with this extra-hot sauce. Users described it as spicy but not overwhelming, with a hot finish. Kansas City ex-pats say that it’s just like the sauce served at the restaurant, so if you can’t make it to Kansas City to sample the ribs, this sauce is a great way to get there. If you don’t like any spice in your barbecue, several other Gates flavors are also available. Not just for ribs, give this a try on smoked brisket, too.

Best Sweet: Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce

Sweet and smoky, with just a little tang, this includes molasses, pineapple juice, tamarind, tomato paste, vinegar, and more, creating a sweet and tangy sauce with just a tiny bit of heat to balance it out. Applying barbecue sauce when grilling can be tricky, but users praise this sauce for its thickness that lets it cling to food on the grill without dripping off. Even better, it’s one of the more affordable sauces you’ll find, so you can slather it on everything, pour it into a vat of baked beans, and then ditch the ketchup and use it for your fries. In your slow cooker, try it with chicken thighs or pork shoulder for a fuss-free dinner any night of the week.

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