Tangy, spicy, fruity, rich, or sweet, you're sure to find a favorite in this sauce collection.
June 11, 2008
1 of 10Photo: Colin Peterson
Editors' Picks: Gourmet Barbecue Sauces
To celebrate grilling season, the MyRecipes team tasted almost 30 different varieties of gourmet barbecue sauce–and we want to share our favorites with you. We scored each sauce out of 3, and then tallied the numbers to give you our top 10. Our tasters represented a wide range of opinions: some like to turn up the heat, some like barbecue candy-sweet, and others prefer sauce with a bit of pucker, so go ahead and browse–we'll guarantee you'll find a winner to suit your tastes.
And don't forget to check out our video for a behind-the-scenes, no-holds-barred peek at our tasting.
2 of 10
Olio & Spices: Barbecue Fig Sauce
Sweet and jammy, Olio & Spices' addition of red figs to a light, hickory-scented barbecue sauce intrigued our staff. We loved its warm, mellow fruit flavor and imagined it would be delicious on pork, grilled duck breast, warmed brie, or even, as one taster commented, on toast!
3 of 10
BBQ'N Fools: Signature Barbecue Sauce and Hot Teriyaki Pepper
Fans of spice will fall hard for BBQ'N Fools' Signature Barbecue Sauce. A ketchup-based sauce amped up with brown sugar, chili, and whiskey, it managed to keep our tastebuds dancing with its mix of sweet, heat, and tang. Our staff raved, calling its flavor "spicy and smooth," and marveling at how it "heats your mouth! Yum!" For an Asian twist on grilling, check out BBQ'N Fools' Hot Teriyaki Pepper, too.
4 of 10
Saw's Sauce hails from Alabama, but its spirit belongs to the Carolinas, where vinegar-based sauces reign supreme. Made with apple cider vinegar, clean-tasting evaporated cane juice and touched with a hint of tomato paste and red pepper, this combination won our tasters over. One declared it a "good classic–I'd buy for tonight," and another said, "I love everything about this!"
5 of 10
The Art of Chipotle: Crazzberry Fiesta
The Art of Chipotle's Crazzberry Fiesta generated the most discussion of all the sauces we tried. Loved by those we termed "nontraditional tasters," the sauce combined the unmistakably sweet-tart profile of cranberries with just a hint of smoky chipotle. Many staffers lapped it up, applauding its versatility and suggesting it "as a cheesecake topping" or on a smoked "turkey sammich!"
6 of 10
Gold Label Reserve: Barbecue & Dipping Sauce
Our purebred contender, this traditional, Kansas City style barbecue sauce from Gold Label Reserve earned kudos for its "tomato-ey but not too sweet" flavor. A glance at the ingredients list shows that the sauce has been fine-tuned with a few surprise ingredients, like soy sauce and lemon juice.
7 of 10
Sauce Goddess: Big Tangy Steak Sauce
If we'd met the Sauce Goddess' Big Tangy Steak Sauce at a bar, she would have been the brassy redhead with hilarious jokes. Pleasantly assertive, with bold hits of tomato and pepper, this sauce charmed our testers with its "assertive tang"–one even declared, "I'd eat anything covered in this."
8 of 10
Bear-Man: Black Bear Boogie Barbecue Sauce and Growlin' Grizzly Barbecue Sauce
Oh man, our staff loved the sauces from Bear-Man, which received some of the highest ratings of the day. Favorites were the Growlin' Grizzly Barbecue Sauce, a "tangy, chunky" condiment that tasted of peppers, onions, and a hint of anchovies; and the Black Bear Boogie Barbecue Sauce, a classic, well-balanced tomato-based sauce with a hint of sweet and hot.
9 of 10
Smokin' Joe Jones HOT Barbeque Sauce
Tasters enjoyed Smokin' Joe Jones Hot Barbeque Sauce for its "from the smokehouse" flavor, which used hickory-flavored liquid smoke to provide a rich, meaty quality. And a generous dose of cayenne means this 'cue sauce has a big kick.
10 of 10
Smokin' Willie's Classic BBQ Sauce
"Like a BBQ potato chip," commented one taster, which shows how Smokin' Willie's Classic BBQ Sauce stays true to its name: classic. Our staff liked its traditional style, a full-bodied, tomato-based mix that would taste great on ribs, chicken thighs, or even slathered on a burger.
Watch the product's creator Bill Kelly share more insight on his sauce.
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