The Top 10 Barbecue Sauce Brands for Baby Back Ribs and More

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Whether you want some baby back ribs or pulled pork, all you need is a delicious BBQ sauce to finish them off! Without delving into the serious discussions over which states or areas produce the finest BBQ, there is a BBQ sauce for everyone’s taste, whether it’s southern-style, North Carolina-style, West Texas-style, or one of the many other styles available.

In this post, we look at a variety of BBQ sauces as well as some of the fundamental distinctions between the various kinds of sauces and what they taste best on. Therefore, if you’re searching for something different from the usual grocery store selections, keep reading for our recommendations of 10 of the greatest BBQ sauces.

Best Selection

The Primal Kitchen Barbeque & Steak Sauce Set is our top option because it contains unsweetened sauces that are non-GMO and ideal for a variety of diets including as paleo, keto, and WHOLE 30.

Budget Selection

The Bibigo gochujang barbecue sauce is our low-cost selection for adding smokiness to ribs, poultry, tofu, and other dishes.

Product Name Grade
Primal Kitchen BBQ & Steak Sauce A
Bibigo Gochujang Barbecue Sauce A
Sonny’s Authentic Sweet Bar-B-Q Sauce A
The Salt Lick BBQ Sauce A-
Stubb’s Original BBQ Sauce A-
Daddy Sams Barbecue Sauce A
Montgomery Inn Original Barbecue Sauce A
Dreamland Bar-B-Que Sauce A-
Blues Hog Sauce Bbq Tennessee Red B+
Rufus Teague Premium BBQ Sauce A

1. ​Primal Kitchen BBQ & Steak Sauce  

Highlighted Characteristics

  • Three 8.5 oz bottle kit of classic BBQ, golden BBQ and steak sauces
  • Certified organic and Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Paleo and Keto certified and WHOLE 30 approved
  • Certified as gluten free and do not contain any soy
  • The steak sauce is plant-based and suitable for vegans

The Primal Kitchen BBQ & Steak Sauce Set comes with three glass bottles of organic, Non-GMO Project Verified sauces. The golden BBQ sauce is an unsweetened sauce that is devoid of any natural derived sugars and is great for pulled pork and grilled peppers.

The traditional BBQ sauce adds a smokey and robust taste to meat and may also be used as a dipping or topping sauce. The steak sauce is a vegan plant-based sauce with a smokey taste that goes well with a variety of meats and vegetables. These 8.5 ounce sauces are all WHOLE 30 approved, Paleo and Keto certified, soy free, and gluten free.

Some customers have expressed dissatisfaction with the flavor of these sauces, while others have said that certain spices, such as cumin or vinegar, might overshadow the other flavors in the sauces. There is also the possibility that the bottles may be damaged during transportation.


  • BBQ and steak sauce set
  • Organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Unsweetened
  • Paleo and keto friendly
  • Gluten free


  • Depending on your tastes you may find some of the flavors in these sauces overpower other sauces
  • Risk of damage to the bottles during shipping

2. Bibigo Gochujang Barbecue Sauce 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • An 11.5 oz squeezable bottle of Korean style BBQ sauce
  • Hot and sweet with hints of smokiness
  • Is fermented for a more complex taste
  • Can be used as a rib marinade, on pulled pork, chicken and tofu

Bibigo gochujang barbecue sauce is a fiery and sweet sauce with smokey overtones that is perfect for marinating ribs, pulled pork, poultry, and tofu. Gochujang includes a fermented red pepper paste for a more nuanced flavor, and it comes in an 11.5 oz plastic squeezable container. Since it includes soy, it is not suited for persons who are allergic to soy.


  • Korean-style BBQ sauce
  • Hot and sweet
  • For ribs, pork, chicken and tofu
  • Complex taste
  • Squeezable bottle


  • Comes in a plastic squeezable bottle rather than glass
  • Contains soy so unsuitable for those with soy allergies or intolerances

3. Sonny’s Authentic Sweet Bar-B-Q Sauce

Highlighted Characteristics

  • Sonny’s signature sweet BBQ sauce for Sweet and Smokey ribs
  • Can also be used to add sweetness and hickory smoke to beef, pork and chicken
  • Contains natural hickory smoke
  • Comes as an 84 oz container with easy grip pour handle

The Sonnys Sweet BBQ Sauce, which is the same sauce used on Sonnys famous Sweet and Smokey Ribs, is great for adding sweetness and natural hickory smoke to ribs, hog, beef, and poultry. After opening, this huge 84 oz plastic jar with an easy grip pour handle must be chilled. There is also a chance that the container seal may be damaged during transportation.


  • Sonny’s signature sauce
  • For Sweet and Smokey ribs
  • Also for pork, beef and chicken
  • Natural hickory smoke
  • Large 84 oz container


  • ​As a larger container, it may be too big for some households as it needs refrigerating after opening
  • ​There is a risk of the container seal being damaged during shipping
  • ​Comes in a plastic container

4. The Salt Lick BBQ Sauce 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • A 12 oz glass bottle of honey pecan BBQ sauce
  • This is a natural pecan wood smoked sauce
  • Can be used on a variety of BBQ foods
  • This is a gluten free sauce

The Honey Pecan Salt Lick BBQ Sauce is a natural pecan wood smoked sauce that can be used on a variety of grills. This gluten-free sauce comes in a 12 oz glass container. This should be shaken well before using since it separates, and it should be refrigerated once opened.

The unusual customer believes the flavor is not as strong as anticipated from this producer and that it is on the thinner side of BBQ sauces.


  • Honey pecan BBQ sauce
  • Suitable for a range of BBQ
  • Natural pecan wood smoke
  • Gluten free
  • ​Glass bottle


  • Will need shaking well before using as it does separate
  • Some BBQ fans have been disappointed with the overall taste of this
  • It can be on the thinner side compared to other BBQ sauces

5. Stubb’s Original BBQ Sauce 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • Four pack of 18 oz bottles of BBQ sauce made with tomatoes, vinegar, molasses and black pepper
  • Gives a hickory pit and tangy flavor to sweet baby back ribs
  • Free from any GMO ingredients, this is Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Certified as kosher and gluten free
  • Does not contain any HFCS

Stubbs Original BBQ sauce has a slow-simmered flavor and is prepared with tomatoes, vinegar, molasses, and black pepper. Its hickory pit and tangy taste, free of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is great for creating sweet baby back ribs. This sauce is kosher, gluten free, and Project Verified non-GMO.

While it is a vinegar-based sauce, some consumers find it to be too watery, and others find it to be somewhat too hot. It comes in a set of four 18 oz glass bottles.


  • Tomato and vinegar BBQ sauce
  • Non-GMO
  • Hickory pit flavor
  • Kosher
  • Gluten free
  • No HFCS


  • Some have found this to be too watery as a BBQ sauce
  • Depending on your tastes, you may find it slightly too spicy

6. Daddy Sams Barbecue Sauce 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • Does not contain any thickeners or artificial ingredients
  • Made with natural mesquite smoke
  • A West Texas sauce giving sweetness and tang with some bite at the end

Daddy Sams Bar-B-Que Sawce (original recipe) is a West Texas sauce that is free of artificial additives and thickeners. Based on molasses and vinegar, this sauce also includes natural mesquite smoke for a sweet and tangy sauce with a bite at the finish. This sauce is certified kosher and gluten free and comes in a 19 oz glass container. This kind of sauce may be too sweet for some people.


  • Vinegar and molasses BBQ sauce
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Natural mesquite smoke
  • Kosher
  • Gluten free


  • As a West Texas sauce it may be too sweet for some buyers

7. Montgomery Inn Original Barbecue Sauce

Highlighted Characteristics

  • Signature original BBQ sauce which is tangy and sweet
  • Comes as a 28 oz glass bottle
  • This is a tomato-based sauce with a secret blend of spices
  • For brushing or pouring onto meat or ribs after cooking
  • Now sweetened with cane sugar instead of HFC S

Montgomery Inn’s tomato-based original barbecue sauce is a distinctive sauce made in Ohio with a unique combination of spices. This acidic and sweet sauce should be prepared before being poured or brushed across your cooked ribs or pork. This sauce was formerly sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, but it is now sweetened with cane sugar. This sauce comes in 28 oz glass bottles, however there is a chance that you may get broken bottles.


  • Tomato-based BBQ sauce
  • Signature sauce
  • Tangy and sweet
  • Glass bottle
  • No HFCS


  • There can be a risk of receiving damaged bottles
  • Can be on the tangier side of BBQ sauces

8. Dreamland Bar-B-Que Sauce 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • A southern-style and vinegar-based BBQ sauce for ribs, pork, sausages and chicken
  • Also great for salads and white bread
  • Available as 16 oz or 32 oz bottles
  • Has been a championship flavor for over 50 years

The vinegar-based Dreamland bar-b-que sauce is a low carb dipping sauce for ribs, chicken, beef, pig, sausages, salads, and white bread. This southern-style sauce, made in Alabama, has been a championship taste for over 50 years.

This comes in 16 oz or 32 oz bottles and should be refrigerated after opening. This does include high fructose corn syrup, and some customers are dismayed to discover that it has colors and other substances that were not in the original Dreamland sauce.


  • Low carb BBQ sauce
  • Vinegar-based sauce
  • Multi-use dipping sauce
  • Championship flavor
  • Available as two sizes


  • Made with high fructose corn syrup
  • Contains other ingredients that buyers would not expect to see in the ‘original’ BBQ sauce

9. Blues Hog Sauce Bbq Tennessee Red 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • A southern style red BBQ sauce made with vinegar and peppers
  • Comes as a 16 oz glass jar
  • This award winning sauce can be used for marinades, basting or dipping and is ideal for pork and beef
  • Suitable for those on a gluten free diet

Blues Hog Tennessee red sauce is an award-winning multifunctional sauce that may be used for marinating, basting, or just as a side sauce. This gluten free sauce is a southern-style thin vinegar and pepper based sauce that comes in a 16 oz glass container and is well suited to hog and beef.

This sauce is thinner than some consumers anticipated, and as a vinegar sauce, you may want to combine it with a sweeter sauce. This includes high fructose corn syrup, which some customers may dislike.


  • Red BBQ sauce
  • Vinegar and pepper-based
  • Multipurpose sauce
  • Gluten free
  • Award winning


  • Some may prefer to mix this vinegar-based sauce with a sweeter sauce
  • This does contain high fructose corn syrup

​10. Rufus Teague Premium BBQ Sauce 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • A variety pack of five BBQ sauces with flavors of the Deep South
  • Made with natural ingredients, these are suitable for grilling, dipping or dunking
  • These award winning sauces come in 16 oz glass bottles
  • Certified as gluten free and kosher
  • Non-GMO Project Verified

The Rufus Teague variety pack contains Honey Sweet, a thick and sweet sauce; Touch O Heat, a sweet and smoky sauce with a little heat; the thick and sweet Blazin Hot sauce, as well as Whiskey Maple and Smoky Apple BBQ sauces.

All of these sauces are Non-GMO Project Verified, kosher, and gluten free. They’re also award-winning sauces made from natural ingredients. They may be used for dipping, dunking, and grilling as thicker sauces with Deep South characteristics. All of the glass bottles are 16 oz. There is a danger of getting broken bottles, and heavier sauces may be more difficult to pour from the bottles, particularly after refrigeration.


  • BBQ sauce variety pack
  • Range of Deep South flavors
  • GMO-free
  • Kosher
  • Gluten free
  • Award winning


  • These are thicker sauces which you may not be as keen on
  • Can be difficult to pour out the sauces after refrigerating

Considerations When Purchasing Barbecue Sauce

Barbeque began in the eastern coast, where the southern-style of slow cooking over a wood barbecue, frequently done by slaves, evolved from indigenous people’s cooking practices in Florida and the Caribbean during Spanish colonization. This cooking method was known as babacots, which was translated into Spanish as barbacoa, and the word developed into barbeque.

The traditional barbacoa cooking technique was to dig a hole in the ground and fill it with burning wood. The pit was then filled with cow heads and allowed to smoke and cook slowly while the wood burnt.

A botanist and naturalist in Philadelphia witnessed slaves crushing and preserving Guinea peppers for use as a sauce for meat and fish in 1748. The botanist, Peter Kalm, observed that adding the pepper sauce to meals had a really pleasant flavor.

While grilling techniques and meat cuts are often used to identify regional barbecue, sauces may be just as essential. The many sauce styles may typically be categorized into one of four primary kinds of sauce, however through time, varieties of the different sauces have found their way into pits in other States or areas, allowing a broad array of sauces to suit whatever tastes you desire.

Tomato, vinegar, mustard, and mayonnaise are the most common BBQ sauce bases:

Barbecue Sauces With Tomatoes

This is a richer sauce that may be used on any meat, whether barbecued or smoked, but it is popular for grilled or smoked meat or hamburger sandwiches.

Tangy, sweet, and spicy tastes are common in these sauces, as is smokiness from liquid smoke.

The invention of ketchup by Heinz in 1876 was a watershed moment in the growth of barbecue sauces, with tomato-based sauces emerging in Tennessee, where a larger range of meats were cooked than in Carolina. When these tomato-based sauces debuted in Kansas City in the early twentieth century, it marked the beginning of a new era for BBQ sauce.

Kansas City (or KC-style) barbecue sauce, along with ketchup, incorporates molasses, vinegar, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and other spices and is popular for smoked beef brisket, chicken and spare ribs, or any other meats where the tomato will not overpower the tastes or palate.

Other tomato-based sauces include Texas-style sauces, which are often hotter with less sweetness due to the absence of molasses, and central Texas BBQ sauce, which is thinner and typically used on meat due to the presence of beef drippings. A Memphis-style sauce is also thinner and free of molasses.

To prevent the possibility of the natural sugars in the sauce caramelizing and subsequently burning the meat, a tomato-based sauce is frequently applied towards the conclusion of cooking or at the table. It may be used for smoking as long as the temperature stays below 265 degrees Fahrenheit.

Barbecue Sauces With Vinegar

Vinegar-based sauces, which are thinner than tomato-based sauces, are popular at North Carolina-style barbeques, where they are an essential complement to pork, even whole hog, since the vinegar in the sauce helps to balance the pig fat.

Often, these sauces are created using cider or white vinegar and spices. A vinegar-based sauce from Eastern North Carolina is a thin sauce with a more acidic flavor that is created using vinegar, spices, red pepper, and spicy sauces.

Certain vinegar-based sauces, such as the Western Carolina (Lexington or Piedmont), do include tomatoes, but they are thin and retain the vinegar overtones, frequently with a pepper kick. This, like a conventional vinegar-based sauce, may be used for pig dishes, whether eaten on their own or on sandwiches.

Mustard-Based Barbecue Sauces

Mustard-based barbecue sauces, which are common throughout the Mustard Belt in South Carolina, are often used on a whole pit-smoked hog, pork shoulder, or smoky pulled pork, where the sauce’s acidic and rich tastes compliment the meat much better than a tomato-based sauce.

A mustard-based sauce is primarily formed of mustard and vinegar, with additional flavors added, and is best served on the side to avoid overpowering the pork. When German immigrants came in South Carolina with mustards, these sauce forms most likely evolved.

Barbecue Sauces Made with Mayonnaise

The Alabama white barbecue sauce is produced using a mayonnaise base that has been thinned up with vinegar and lemon, as well as additional flavors like black pepper, to create a unique sauce that compliments smoked chicken and pulled pork dishes.

Making Use of Barbecue Sauces

Barbecue sauces are often better suited for barbecuing than than grilling since the sugars in a BBQ sauce do not burn at the lower cooking temperature of 225F.

When you add BBQ sauce to meat for grilling, the sauce might smoke and burn as the cooking temperature rises. Using a BBQ sauce while cooking at high temperatures might cause the sauce to become gummy.

If you wish to use BBQ sauce on your grilled meat, brush it on towards the end of cooking or about ten minutes before the finish; however, sauce may be put on ribs around 30 minutes or even longer before the end of cooking since most people like a thicker and stickier coating on ribs.

When you add BBQ sauce at the end of cooking, the caramelization of the sugars gives the meat a rich and deep taste. Just apply the sauce to the ribs or meats coat by coat, and if it begins to flare up, simply shift the meat to a cooler portion of the grill. Continue to monitor the meat and the grill temperature to prevent the sugars from burning.

If you smoke meat with BBQ sauce, the lower temperatures of the smoker ensure that the sauce does not burn. Some caramelization of sugars will normally occur, especially when the sauce is kept on for prolonged periods of time, although smoking meat with BBQ sauce will seldom burn.

Of course, you may also provide BBQ sauce on the side.

Some BBQ Sauce Useful Hints

If you’re new to BBQ, a complete slab of spareribs with the tips will need around three quarters of a cup of thick sauce, while a slab of baby back ribs will require approximately one-third of a cup, with additional sauce on the table for dipping. If you’re going to chop the ribs before serving them, don’t sauce the cut sides.

If you are applying the sauce after cooking, it is generally beneficial to slightly reheat the sauce on the stovetop or in the microwave before adding it to the meat. To limit the danger of foodborne disease, always pour the sauce into a bowl before brushing the meat, and after completed brushing, discard the residual sauce in the bowl.

If you’re offering pulled pork, you may want to assemble the sandwiches and let guests add their own sauce instead of coating them themselves, since some people enjoy a lot of sauce while others prefer just a little.

If meat isn’t your thing, or if you simply have a lot of BBQ sauce, try it over grilled shellfish or fish, or blend it with olive oil and lemon for a fast salad vinaigrette.

You may also use it to flavor nachos or quesadillas, potato salad, slaws, and even savory frostings for cornbread muffins. A tomato-based BBQ sauce may be used in place of marinara on pizza, or it can be mixed with baked beans, rice, or stuffed potatoes.


In this study, we examined a variety of various BBQ sauces, as well as the history of one of our favorite foods and how BBQ sauce styles varied between areas. We’ve also included some BBQ sauce use guidelines, such as when to use them while grilling and how much sauce to use to coat a slab of baby back ribs. We’ve also included some suggestions for other ways to utilize BBQ sauce in regular cooking to add some BBQ flavor to a range of dishes.

Whether you want to try something new with your baby back ribs, pulled pork, or even tofu, we hope our evaluations of the finest BBQ sauces have been useful and have inspired you to try something new the next time you fire up the grill or smoker.

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