Delicious Pulled Pork Sauces

The most popular and best pulled pork sauce recipes

Person making pulled pork sandwich
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In true BBQ tradition, the sauce is something used to enhance smoked meats and not to overpower them with overly strong flavors or too much salt. The sauces in our collection of pulled pork barbecue sauces are nothing like the sugar-heavy and preservative-ridden sauces you find in the supermarket. These sauces are perfect for the most traditional of barbecue, have balanced flavors and use simple ingredients.

Pulled pork sauces are frequently optional, and are never added while the pork is cooking, only after it is pulled. Serve it on the side for guests to decide how much, if any, they'd like to have.

  • 01 of 09

    Big Daddy’s Carolina-Style Barbecue Sauce

    Carolina Style BBQ Sauce

    The Spruce

    This sauce is a variation on a classic mustard barbecue sauce. Rather than being thick and sweet like other Southern sauces, it's vinegar-based. The combination of savory mustard, sweet sugar, and a touch of liquid smoke make it a great general pork sauce.

    Keeps in the fridge for 5 days.

  • 02 of 09

    Memphis Barbecue Sauce

    Memphis Barbecue Sauce

    The Spruce

    Memphis barbecue means pork. This ketchup-based barbecue sauce is equally good on pulled pork as it is on ribs. What makes it perfect for pork is the vinegar-to-tomato ratio. The result is a thick, sweet, and spicy sauce.

    Keeps in the fridge for 1 week.

  • 03 of 09

    Best Odds Pulled Pork Sauce

    Best Odds Pulled Pork Sauce
    Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

    This "best odds" sauce uses simple ingredients that you might already have in your pantry and gives you the best chance of making an outstanding and flavorful pulled pork sandwich.

    Cook vinegar, water, sugar, paprika and cayenne with salt and pepper for barely 5 to 7 minutes. And that's all that you need for one of the best sauces you might ever try.

    Keeps in the fridge for 1 week.

  • 04 of 09

    Piedmont Barbecue Sauce

    Piedmont Barbecue Sauce
    Danielle Loiselle/Getty Images

    In the Piedmont area of the Carolinas, barbecue sauce starts with vinegar but gets a touch of tomato to give it an extra savory flavor. This traditional Southern barbecue sauce has the tangy flavor of the vinegar, a little heat and a little sweet. It's a thin sauce that is perfect for mixing into pulled pork as soon as it's shredded. It helps keep the meat moist before it hits the plate or the bun.

    Simply cook vinegar, ketchup, water, sugar, salt, and pepper flakes. That's it. There isn't much else to it, but the simplicity is what makes it great. You're using sauce to help your meats shine and not to hide their richness from your palate.

    Keeps in the fridge for 1 week.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Southern Vinegar Sauce

    Person making a pulled pork sandwich
    wundervisuals/Getty Images

    This is an old recipe for a barbecue sauce that has no tomato or mustard but does contain butter and lemon. A thin sauce, our recipe is a true example of the classic Carolinas BBQ sauce, a savory and tangy mixture with butter used to keep the meats moist; so it's great if your pulled pork turned out too dry.

    Use a generous amount of butter and mix it with lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for 10 minutes and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before using.

    Keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days.

  • 06 of 09

    Mustard Barbecue Sauce

    Mustard Sauce
    Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

    In the southern part of South Carolina and the north of Georgia, mustard is king. These barbecue sauces never contain tomato. Here, there's an extra kick thanks to the balsamic vinegar, which adds flavor and also gives this sauce its unique color.

    Simmer mustard, balsamic vinegar, sugar, butter, cayenne, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce for 30 minutes. And in one simple step and one pot, you have a marvelous and versatile sauce that is great on pork but works on any other meat.

    Keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.

  • 07 of 09

    Best Odds Pulled Pork Sauce

    Best Odds Pulled Pork Table Sauce

    The Spruce

    This sauce recipe is specifically designed to be put in a bottle and placed on the table when you're serving pulled pork. Our best odds pulled pork table sauce is a general pulled pork sauce that relies on vinegar, tomato, and mustard to enhance the smoky flavors of your pulled pork and moisten the meat to make a juicy sandwich.

    You can present it in a squeezable bottle like BBQ joints and by doing so you avoid the unused sauce having pieces of meat or juices in it that can make it go bad.

    Wash the cap of the bottle after using it and keep in the fridge for 1 week.

  • 08 of 09

    Southern Barbecue Sauce

    Pulled pork with beans and greens
    sbossert/Getty Images

    This classic sauce uses ketchup as the base and then a good dose of vinegar to give it a proper tang. Add to that a little sweet in the form of sugar, and a little heat from Tabasco, cayenne, and paprika, and you've got a wonderful thick and silky sauce that goes great on anything.

    Simmer for 10 minutes and use it on pulled pork, beef, or as a general table sauce for your BBQ.

    Keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Wicker's BBQ Sauce

    Wicker's BBQ Sauce
    João André O. Dias/Flickr

    This BBQ sauce comes from Missouri but still has a lot in common with the Carolinas' vinegary sauces. Heavy on the vinegar tanginess, this is a savory barbecue sauce with just a hint of sweet and a touch of heat.

    Chili powder, dry mustard, and paprika add another level of mild heat to the preparation. Simmer all of the ingredients for about 10 minutes until spices have dissolved. Let cool before using.

    Keep in the fridge for 1 week.