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Is there any sauce better than BBQ sauce? This super versatile sauce works well with most foods, no matter how we use it.
Whether we’re smothering our barbecued ribs with it or simply dolloping it on the side of our plate, the sweet, tangy taste is hard to beat.
In an ideal world, most of us would prefer to make our BBQ sauce from scratch, but sadly that isn’t always possible.
This is when we need to pick out the very best BBQ sauces in-store or online. However, with so many wonderful BBQ sauce styles and flavors to choose from, picking the best option can be difficult.
Flavors can range from beautifully sweet and mild, to smoky and hot, making it hard to find the one you need. No need to worry, though, we’re here to help.
To help you find the best store bought BBQ sauce, we’ve done the research and compiled a list of the very best options available. We’ve even included a buyer’s guide to help you decide.
Let’s get started, shall we!
A Quick Look At Our Top Picks:
- Jack Daniel’s Old Original No.7 Barbecue Sauce
- Rufus Teague Touch O’ Heat BBQ Sauce
- Bull’s-Eye Original BBQ Sauce
- Stubb’s Original BBQ Sauce
- Heinz Carolina Vinegar Style Tangy BBQ Sauce
- Cowtown Night Of The Living BBQ Sauce
- Bone Suckin BBQ Sauce
- Lillie’s Q Smoky Barbecue Sauce
- Lillie’s Q Gold Barbecue Sauce
- Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Sensuous Slathering Sauce
Best Store Bought BBQ Sauces – Our Top 10
Jack Daniel’s Old Original No.7 Barbecue Sauce
The first sauce on our list simply has to be Jack Daniel’s Old Original No.7 Barbecue sauce.
Perfect for anyone wanting an authentic smoky flavor, this barbecue sauce is one of the best when it comes to adding a burst of healthy flavors to our food.
Made from 100% natural ingredients, the original barbecue sauce is quite peppery and full-bodied, so people who like things sweeter might want to check another sauce out.
However, when we tasted this BBQ sauce, we found that the flavors were strong, but not to the point where the sauce drowns out other flavors.
To ensure their sauce is completely authentic, Jack Daniel’s makes the sauce with an old-time method known as the kettle-cooking process. This guarantees only the highest-quality, authentic taste that you’ll never grow tired of.
Personally, we like to use this sauce when grilling meat. Whether it be making delicious barbecue chicken or slowly cooking a juicy rack of ribs, the original no.7 barbecue sauce won’t let you down.
- Authentic flavors – This BBQ sauce unleashes all those smoky authentic BBQ sauce flavors.
- Affordable – The original no.7 sauce is sold at a very fair price.
- Delicious – Above all else, this sauce is absolutely delicious.
- Not very sweet – Those of you who like sweeter sauces might not like this one.
Rufus Teague Touch O’ Heat BBQ Sauce
When it comes to everything that makes a BBQ sauce great, Rufus Teague’s Touch O’ Heat BBQ Sauce has it all. It has a slight hint of smokiness, a lovely sweet flavor, a delicate heat, and a wonderfully thick consistency.
Despite having a bit of heat and a hint of smokiness, this sauce offers just the right amount without becoming overpowering.
As a result, the sauce goes well with virtually everything. Whether you want a BBQ sauce for your pulled pork and chicken, or just want a sauce to dip your fries in, the Touch O’ Heat BBQ Sauce is ideal.
Considered to be a genuine Kansas City barbecue sauce, Rufus Teague has ensured only the best ingredients go into making every bottle.
Made from natural ingredients, the sauce is devoid of high fructose corn syrup and any additives.
When we took a closer look at this BBQ sauce, it wasn’t only the gorgeous flavors that pleased us. We also loved the bottle the sauce came in.
Interestingly, this BBQ sauce comes in a whiskey bottle. This gives the bottle of sauce a much more premium feel.
- A beautiful balance of flavors – This sauce perfectly combines heat, sweetness, and smokiness.
- Natural – The Touch O’ Heat BBQ Sauce is made from completely natural ingredients.
- Gluten-free – This sauce is also gluten-free.
- Quite thick – Some may find this sauce a little too thick.
Also available at: Walmart.com
Bull’s-Eye Original BBQ Sauce
The next sauce on our list is one of the best BBQ sauces you can choose if you want something relatively simple that doesn’t stir things up too much.
Offering a good balance of spiciness, sweetness, smokiness, and thickness, this is the type of BBQ sauce that the whole family will enjoy.
There are no overpowering flavors, and the sauce can be used on anything you see fit. Aside from this, the sauce’s biggest selling point is how affordable it is.
Compared to other BBQ sauces available in-store, Bull’s-Eye’s original sauce is much cheaper. In fact, you could buy two or three bottles of this sauce for the same price as one bottle of some sauces.
When we took a closer look at the Bull’s-Eye Original BBQ Sauce, we were generally pleased with it as a whole. The taste is great, and it has enough body to cling and soak into anything you baste with it. It’s great for brisket and other traditional BBQ.
The only downside with the sauce is that it is a bit heavier when it comes to high fructose corn syrup.
- Simple, yet tasty – This sauce offers great flavors in a simple sauce.
- Great family choice – The Original BBQ Sauce is one everyone will enjoy.
- Great value for money – You’ll struggle to find a sauce cheaper than this one.
- High fructose corn syrup – This sauce is a bit heavier in high fructose corn syrup.
Also available at: Walmart.com
Stubb’s Original BBQ Sauce
Stubb’s Original BBQ Sauce was first created in 1968, the same year in which Stubb opened its first Texas barbecue joint. That joint quickly became a huge hit with BBQ enthusiasts all over the United States.
With so many years in the BBQ sauce business, it’s no surprise to see Stubb’s sauce on our list.
Thanks to their experience and knowledge in the industry, Stubb’s makes an awesome BBQ sauce not too dissimilar to the very first one they made.
The only real difference is that the sauce is now sold in a bottle, which it wasn’t in 1968.
Made from scratch, Stubb’s perfectly blends fresh, natural ingredients to make their sweet and tangy, yet quite simple sauce. The shortlist of ingredients includes tomatoes, molasses, black pepper, and vinegar.
Pairing well with any meat, whether it be a homemade meatloaf or rack of ribs, We are sure your family and friends will appreciate the divine taste of Stubb’s Original BBQ Sauce.
We loved how this sauce isn’t as smoky and hot as other sauces. Instead, Stubb’s has focused on creating a more unique tomatoey BBQ sauce that anyone can enjoy.
- Original – This sauce doesn’t divert away too far from Stubb’s first 1968 BBQ sauce recipe.
- Sweet and tangy – The Stubb’s Original BBQ sauce is delightfully sweet and tangy.
- Simple recipe – This sauce has a short ingredient list consisting of only natural ingredients.
- Thinner than other sauces – If you’re looking for a thick BBQ sauce, you may have to look elsewhere.
Also available at: Walmart.com
Heinz Carolina Vinegar Style Tangy BBQ Sauce
Next on our list is the Carolina Vinegar Style Tangy BBQ Sauce from Heinz. We all know just how big Heinz is in the sauce industry, so you’re probably not too surprised to see one of their BBQ sauces on our list.
However, for this BBQ sauce, Heinz actually teamed up with Sam Jones, who happens to be the heir to Skylight Inn BBQ in North Carolina.
Together, Heinz and Sam Jones have produced arguably one of the best BBQ sauces on the market.
Made by blending apple cider vinegar with a variety of sweet flavors and spices, this one-of-a-kind tangy Carolina-style BBQ sauce is a great addition to any cookout.
Accompanying most meats well, it must be said that this sauce works best with chicken. So much so, that many users of the sauce believe it is the best BBQ sauce you can possibly buy for marinating or grilling your chicken.
Aside from tasting amazing and working with a wide range of foods, another advantage this sauce has is its bottle.
Unlike other BBQ sauces, this sauce comes in one of Heinz’s iconic squeeze bottles. This makes life a lot easier when trying to add the right amount to your food.
- Versatile – This sauce goes with just about anything.
- Great combination of flavors – This Heinz sauce has a wonderful balance of flavors.
- Tasty – Most importantly, the Heinz Carolina Vinegar sauce tastes great.
- Vinegar-based – In Carolina tradition, this sauce is quite vinegary which some people might not like.
Also available at: Walmart.com
Cowtown Night Of The Living BBQ Sauce
If it’s a spicy BBQ sauce you’re looking for, the Night Of The Living BBQ Sauce from Cowtown could be your best option.
Bringing a burst of heat to your barbecue, this sauce offers the perfect amount of heat to get your tongue and lips tingling without overpowering your food.
To balance out the heat of the sauce, molasses and sweet sugar are added as well as a hint of smokiness, which only enhances the overall flavor of the sauce more.
This is another BBQ sauce that can be used on almost anything. Having said that, we personally prefer to use this sauce with our barbecued chicken wings.
We find that the heat, sweetness, and smokiness of the sauce give them a delicious flavor that is hard to beat.
The only downside we could find with the sauce is that the tomato paste can sometimes taste a little too strong. However, that doesn’t stop this sauce from being one of, if not the best.
In fact, you don’t just have to take our word for it. This Cowtown BBQ sauce actually won “The Best BBQ Sauce On The Planet” title when judged at the American Royal Barbecue Contest.
- Packs a punch – This sauce has a great kick of heat.
- Versatile – The Night Of The Living Sauce goes well with any meat.
- Not overpowering – The rest of your meal won’t be spoiled by the heat.
- Strong tomato paste – Some people will find the tomato paste overpowering.
Also available at: Walmart.com
Bone Suckin BBQ Sauce
If you’re really not a fan of heat and simply want a super sweet BBQ sauce, you should take a look at the Bone Suckin BBQ Sauce.
Sweeter than most BBQ sauces on the market, this may even remind you of a sweet and sour sauce instead of BBQ sauce. That’s not a problem, though, as this sweet and sour taste is delicious.
As if the sweet and sour flavors of the sauce weren’t already enough, this sauce also has the added advantage of a hickory smoky flavor.
We love the smoky flavor of this sauce as it is only mild and unlike some smoky flavors, tastes completely natural and chemical-free.
While this sauce tastes great with most foods and meats, it isn’t as thick as other Kansas City BBQ sauces, so it might not stick to ribs as well.
If you want to use the sauce on your ribs though, don’t worry, simply cooking the sauce down in a saucepan for a couple of minutes will thicken it enough. The sauce should then stick to your ribs perfectly.
- Sweeter – This sauce is ideal for those of you who like it sweet.
- Mild smoky flavor – Bone Suckin BBQ Sauce also has a pleasant, mild smoky flavor.
- Readily available – This sauce can be found in most places.
- Very sweet – If you’re not too keen on sweet sauces, you should probably look elsewhere.
Also available at: Walmart.com
Lillie’s Q Smoky Barbecue Sauce
Based in Chicago, Lillie’’s Q is a barbecue-style restaurant with roots firmly planted in Southern cooking.
Thanks to a huge growth in popularity across Chicago, stores now stock Lillie’s Q barbecue sauce, making it a lot easier to find a bottle locally.
Lillie’s Q Smoky Barbecue Sauce is a Memphis-style BBQ sauce that has a sweet molasses-like taste, complimented nicely with a gorgeous smokiness.
Like all the other BBQ sauces on our list so far, this sauce also works well with virtually anything. However, Lillie’s Q advises customers that their sauce tastes best when smothered over a rack of ribs or smoked chicken.
After testing the sauce out, we are happy to say, Lillie’s Q is completely right. We tried the sauce with our smoked chicken and a slow-cooked rack of ribs and found that it enhanced every flavor.
For us, this sauce is also one of the best sauces when it comes to the whole family enjoying it. Thanks to the well-balanced flavors, the sauce isn’t too hot, too thin, too sweet, or too smoky.
- Well-balanced – Every flavor compliments each other perfectly.
- Perfect for ribs and smoked chicken – If you smoke your chicken or regularly cook ribs, this sauce is ideal.
- One for all – You can use Lillie’s Q BBQ Sauce with anything.
- Still hard to find sometimes – This sauce is still rising in popularity, so you might still struggle to find it.
Also available at: Walmart.com
Lillie’s Q Gold Barbecue Sauce
Another brilliant BBQ sauce produced by Lillie’s Q is the Gold Barbecue Sauce. Unlike their smoky sauce, this BBQ sauce is a mustard-based condiment that offers a more tangy, sweet flavor.
Inspired by Grandma Lillie, this sauce is much-loved by many BBQ enthusiasts in the South, who love its distinctive flavor.
As well as tasting tangy and sweet, the Gold Barbecue Sauce also has a lovely pinch of spice to it. Together, this sweet, tangy, spicy sauce packs a punch when it comes to enhancing the taste of pork and chicken.
Whether you’re marinating, dipping, or smothering your meat, this sauce will get the job done and impress your entire family.
In our opinion, this sauce might actually be even better than Lillie’s Q Smoky Barbecue Sauce. We believe this because it offers something slightly different and unique from other sauces on the market.
The tangy and sweet flavors along with the spices work perfectly and produce something like nothing else we have tried before.
When we reviewed this BBQ sauce, we also found that it made a great dipping sauce to use when dipping chicken wings. Trust us, licking your fingers when you’ve finished devouring your chicken wings will never be the same again.
- Lovely flavors – The tangy, sweet, and slightly spicy taste of this sauce is perfect.
- Versatile – Use this sauce when marinating, smothering, or dipping your food.
- Unique – This sauce offers something different.
- Thinner than others – The Gold Barbecue Sauce is thinner than most sauces.
Also available at: Lilliesq.com
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Sensuous Slathering Sauce
Another BBQ sauce that isn’t as readily available as others is the Sensuous Slathering Sauce from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.
A real treat, if you do manage to find it in-store, this sauce not only tastes great, but also has the advantage of being one of the lowest-sugar bottled sauces on the market.
This helps make the sauce a healthy option and also ensures it isn’t too sweet.
You may now be wondering where the sauce gets its sweet taste from. Well, most of the sauce’s sweetness comes from the type of bell pepper used to make the sauce.
In terms of other flavors, the Sensuous Slathering Sauce also has tangy and smoky flavors.
Combined with the sweetness of the bell pepper, this creates a well-balanced, thick sauce that can be enjoyed on most foods, whether it be used as a dip, marinade, or something to smother meats with.
When we took a look at the ingredients used to make this sauce, we were very happy to find that it contained only natural ingredients and contained no fructose corn syrup of any kind.
- Natural – This BBQ sauce is 100% natural.
- Flavorful – Dinosaur Bar-B-Que has packed this sauce with flavor.
- Tasty – We can happily confirm that this sauce tastes great.
- Hard to find – This BBQ sauce isn’t stocked in as many stores as other sauces on this list.
Also available at: Walmart.com
Before buying a BBQ sauce, there are a few things you’re going to want to think about. In this buyer’s guide, you will find the most important of these things and why you should take them into consideration.
Type Of BBQ Sauce
One thing you’re really going to want to think about is the type of BBQ sauce you want to buy. All BBQ sauces are different, so you need to know what to expect from each one.
To give you a better understanding, we’ve detailed the main types of BBQ sauce below.
Kansas City Style
Kansas City-style BBQ sauce is the most readily available type of barbecue sauce across the US.
This sauce balances a mix of tomato with sweetness, smoke, and tang to produce a delicious sauce. It is usually reddish-brown in color and goes best with any type of meat, especially ribs.
Memphis-style BBQ sauce isn’t that different from the Kansas City-styled sauces, apart from the fact it tends to have a sweeter, more rich taste. This richer sweetness is a result of molasses and the addition of vinegar.
Also referred to as “mop sauce”, Texas-style barbecue sauce is made with vinegar and tomato. These types of sauces are usually a lot lighter and contain extra ingredients like black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic
North Carolina Sauce
North Carolina’s population may not admit it, but North Carolina-style BBQ sauces are essentially an earlier version of more popular Kansas City barbecue sauces.
Typically, this type of BBQ sauce suits individuals who aren’t particularly keen when it comes to heat. These sauces contain less spice and more tomato, leaving us with a sweeter barbecue sauce.
Another important factor to take into consideration when buying BBQ sauce is its texture. The texture of a sauce impacts how successfully it can coat food and how it can be used.
For example, a sauce with a thinner texture won’t coat a rack of ribs very well. The sauce will slide off. Instead, a thicker sauce will do the trick.
You need to think about what you plan on doing with the sauce first. If you only want to use the sauce to dip chicken wings or fries, a thinner option is fine.
On the other hand, if you want to smother meats before grilling or smoking them, a thicker, smoother sauce is needed.
You should always check the label before buying any food product, not just BBQ sauce. Above all else, you should do this just to ensure there’s nothing in the sauce you are allergic to.
Aside from that, by checking the label, we can identify any nasty ingredients and find out how nutritious a sauce is.
In our opinion, if you check a label and find that the sauce isn’t made from natural ingredients, you should look elsewhere. Natural sauces will be healthier for you and probably taste a lot nicer.
You can also check the ingredients if you have any dietary requirements, for example, you may want a gluten-free or organic sauce.
Finally, it is always a good idea to think about what flavors you want to experience from your BBQ sauce. BBQ sauce flavors vary massively, so you need to know what you want in advance.
Some sauces might be smoky and hot, while others are sweet and tangy. Some sauces might even combine everything to offer a hot or mild, smoky, sweet, and tangy sauce.
By knowing what flavors you want in advance, you can rest assured that the sauce you choose will provide you with all the flavors you desire.
There is no worse feeling than picking a sauce before then finding out it is too hot, or not hot enough. Alternatively, the sauce may be too sweet or not sweet enough.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Buy Vegan-Friendly Barbecue Sauce?
Yes, you can buy vegan barbecue sauce. However, there are ingredients in some BBQ sauces that will prevent vegans from being able to eat them.
One of the most common ingredients is honey. Obviously, honey isn’t vegan, so if you see it in the ingredients list, you should steer clear and find another option.
When checking the ingredients, you will probably find that vegan-friendly barbecue sauces contain sweeteners instead of honey.
How Long Can I Keep My Barbecue Sauce?
According to studies, most unopened bottles of barbecue sauce can last for approximately 1 year when kept in a pantry. When the bottle has been opened, this figure drops significantly.
When a bottle of BBQ sauce has been opened, it should be kept in a refrigerator for approximately 4 months. After 4 months, the chances are the sauce won’t be any good.
How Can I Thicken Barbecue Sauce?
Thickening barbecue sauce is actually very easy. In fact, you can thicken barbecue sauce just like you would with other foods. The most popular, and probably the best, option is to reduce the sauce by heating it on a stove.
Putting the sauce in a saucepan and simmering it on low to medium heat will cause excess water to evaporate, thickening the sauce in the process.
Alternatively, you can also use cornstarch or flour with water to thicken the sauce. Simply mix the cornstarch or flour with the water and then add it to the sauce before giving it a good mix.
You should do this gradually to avoid over-thickening the sauce.
There you have it, that concludes our article looking at the best store bought BBQ sauces on the market.
BBQ sauce is one of the most versatile condiments available. Whether we’re using it to dip our fries, drizzle brisket tacos or marinate chicken wings, the sweet, tangy, smoky flavors of the sauce are sure to impress.
While nothing truly beats a good homemade BBQ sauce, on this list, we have shown you store bought BBQ sauces that live up to expectations.
While BBQ sauces vary in terms of style and flavors, with some being hot and smoky, and others being mild and sweet, they all serve similar purposes.
Every sauce on our list can be used to enhance the flavors of almost any food without overpowering other flavors.
Now you have our list and buyer’s guide, you can start to narrow down your options until you find the BBQ sauce you want to try most.
You may even want to try a couple of different sauces to see what you like most and how they impact your food.