20 Best BBQ Sauces for Lip-Smacking BBQ in 2023

Everyone knows that no matter what you’re barbequing, if you’re making something on the grill, it has to be served with BBQ sauce! Now we aren’t recommending that you use it to slather everything in sight, but there is a BBQ sauce to pair with everything to make on the grill, even if it is just served on the side as a dip. 

The best BBQ sauce for you will depend on your personal tastes. Some people like a spicier BBQ, while others want sweet BBQ sauce. No matter what you like, we’ve got them all on this list, so read on to discover the best BBQ sauces!

The Best BBQ Sauces for Lip-Smacking BBQ

1. Smoked Kitchen: Sweet BBQ

Are you looking for an old-fashioned simple BBQ sauce that is both sweet and tangy? It doesn’t get better than this Sweet BBQ from Smoke Kitchen. Made in small batches, this sweet yet smoky Memphis-style BBQ sauce will have you drooling. They say on the bottle that it’s good with everything, but we like it best with poultry or pork! 

Best Paired With: Chicken or Pork Ribs

2. Killer Hogs BBQ Sauce

Killer Hogs The BBQ Sauce | Championship Grill and BBQ Sauce for Beef, Steak, Burgers, Pork, and Chicken | 16 Ounces
$11.75 ($0.73 / Ounce)


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04/08/2024 04:08 am GMT

Killer Hogs BBQ sauce is one of the best of the best, and we aren’t the only ones that think so. They’ve actually won competitions with their tasty recipe. This sauce is a sweet one, though, so if you are looking for one with a kick, keep scrolling. 

Best Paired With: Beef Ribs, Chicken, or Pork dishes

3. Blues Hog BBQ Sauce

Blues Hog Original BBQ Sauce (64 oz.)
$25.20


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04/08/2024 04:17 am GMT

If you’re looking for a BBQ sauce that simply goes with everything, Blue Hog is your answer. Their award-winning sauce comes in the largest bottles we’ve ever seen and has a sweet, slightly spicy taste that won’t overpower the smoky flavors in your meat. It goes perfectly with pretty much anything you can smoke! 

Best Paired With: Beef, Chicken, and Pork

4. Smoked BBQ: Mustard BBQ

When you want something unique, there is nothing quite like this Mustard BBQ from Smoked BBQ. Made with a mixture of mustard and traditional BBQ sauce ingredients, this sauce has some tang, some sweetness, and a bit of spice! We also enjoy using this sauce as a unique marinade for steaks. 

Best Paired With: Chicken, Pork Chops, or on a burger!

5. Lillie’s Q Smokey BBQ Sauce

Lillie's Q - Smoky Barbeque Sauce, Gourmet BBQ Sauce, Sweet Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce, Mild Smoky Flavor, Premium Ingredients, Made with Gluten-Free Ingredients (21 oz)
$10.75 $9.99 ($9.99 / Count)


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04/08/2024 04:23 am GMT

Life with a gluten allergy can be trying, especially when you just want a great BBQ sauce! Lillie’s Q is one of the few BBQ sauces on this list that is gluten-free, but it is still amazingly tasty! It’s sweet and smoky but not spicy, so if you want a kick, this sauce isn’t for you. Lillie’s Q also has several other flavors of BBQ sauce we enjoy, especially their Carolina BBQ. 

Best Paired With: Brisket or another meat where you don’t want to overpower the flavor! 

6. Capital City Mambo Sauce

For spice lovers out there who still want a touch of sweetness from BBQ, the Capital City Mambo sauce is the best of both worlds. This sauce still has a tomato base, similar to regular BBQ sauce, but it also carries the heat of a hot sauce. Delicious with a kick, save this sauce for dishes where you don’t mind overpowering the natural flavor of the meat. 

Best Paired With: Wings

7. Sweet Baby Rays

Sweet Baby Rays Barbecue Sauce, Original, 28 oz
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As basic and common as this brand is, we just can’t keep it off our pantry shelf. When it comes to a Kansas City-style BBQ sauce, Baby Ray’s is our go-to. Even if it’s not as smoky as others on this list, we like to keep it on hand because it’s kid and picky-eater-friendly. Plus, they’ve got tons of flavor variations available to keep things interesting!

Best Paired With: Burgers and Chicken

8. Lillie Q’s Ivory BBQ Sauce

This next sauce is a bit of a weird one, as it is white in color. But it has an amazing and unique taste that we just can’t get over. You’ll have to find the right recipe for this tangy honey sauce, but when you do, it is well worth it. (Plus, this brand is gluten-free!)

Best Paired With: Wings! Make half your wings Ivory and the other half Spicy BBQ!

9. Smokin’ Bettie’s Texas Style BBQ Sauce

So we’ve covered Memphis-style and Kansas City-style sauces, but of course, we can’t forget the famous Texas-style BBQ sauce. Known for its sweetness, smoke, and spice, this BBQ is the perfect addition to your collection. Not to mention if you really want spicy, you can grab their habanero flavor as well. 

Best Paired With: Sausages, Briskets, or maybe even a BBQ pizza!

10. Smoke City Honey Garlic BBQ

Smoke City Foods Honey Garlic BBQ Sauce
$12.00 ($0.75 / Ounce)


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04/08/2024 04:38 am GMT

Made in small batches with no added sugars or preservatives, Smoke City Honey Garlic BBQ is arguably one of the healthiest BBQ sauces on our list. It’s got a mild flavor, making it great for marinating or basting. We especially love the sweeter kick, and the garlic finish is divine. 

Best Paired With: Wings or Burgers (as a sauce) or as a Marinade for steaks!

11. Bachan’s Japanese BBQ Sauce

Bachan's - The Original Japanese Barbecue Sauce
$15.00 ($0.88 / Ounce)

17 Ounces. Small Batch, Non GMO, No Preservatives, Vegan and BPA free. Condiment for Wings, Chicken, Beef, Pork, Seafood, Noodle Recipes, and More...

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04/09/2024 05:03 am GMT

It took us a while to find the courage to try Japanese BBQ sauce because, let’s face it, the Americans have BBQ sauce in the bag! But, when we did come around to it, we were pleasantly surprised. With a delicious Umami flavor, this sauce goes great with beef, noodles, and rice, meaning we use it for much more than our grilled dinners!

Best Paired With: Beef, Chicken, or Rice Dishes!

12. Famous Dave’s Sweet and Zesty

Famous Dave's Sweet and Zesty BBQ Sauce, 20 oz
$2.98 ($0.15 / Ounce)
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04/12/2024 11:33 am GMT

If you have ever visited a Famous Dave’s Restaurant, then you know why they are called Famous Daves! Their burnt ends are simply to die for, especially when they are slathered in one of their sauces. Our favorite is the Sweet and Zesty, but we recommend buying a combo pack so you can try multiple flavors. 

Best Paired With: Ribs, Burnt Ends, and Chicken

13. Kosmo’s Q Cherry Habanero BBQ Sauce

Kosmos Q Apple Chipotle BBQ Sauce – 15.5 Oz Bottle for Award-Winning BBQ & Marinades – Thick Barbecue Sauce for Tender & Juicy Meat (Apple Chipotle)
$16.95 ($1.09 / Ounce)


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04/08/2024 05:23 am GMT

Kosmo’s Q is another award winner on our list, and if you want a spicy BBQ sauce, then you must buy their Cherry Habanero BBQ. This sauce is sweet while also packing a massive kick that goes well with just about anything. If you can’t handle spice, then check out their Competition BBQ, which is just as tasty and habanero free!

Best Paired With: Tender meats like brisket and pulled pork 

14. Meat Mitch WHOMP! BBQ Sauce

Meat Mitch WHOMP! BBQ Sauce, 21.0 Ounce | Kansas City Gourmet Competition Barbecue Sauce
$16.95 ($0.81 / Ounce)
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04/08/2024 04:58 am GMT

For those who want something sweet but also something with a kick, Meat Mitch’s WHOMP! sauce is one of the few that fits this bill. This sauce won’t burn your mouth off, and it comes in a giant bottle making it an easy choice when you’ve got a crowd to cook for. Plus, it’s won over 4 competitions to date!

Best Paired With: Ribs, Steak, Brisket, or anything Beef!

15. Traeger Pellet Grills Apricot BBQ

Traeger Pellet Grills SAU036 Apricot BBQ Sauce
$9.95 ($0.62 / Fl Oz)
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04/08/2024 05:53 am GMT

Are you smoking your dinner over apricot wood? Then this Apricot BBQ from Traeger Grills is the perfect addition. This BBQ sauce is light and sweet, with a fruity taste that will have you adding it to everything under the sun. It’s not a strong taste, though, so keep this BBQ for poultry where it won’t be overpowered. 

Best Paired With: Poultry or Pork

16. Rufus Teague: Whiskey Maple BBQ Sauce

Rufus Teague - Whiskey Maple BBQ Sauce - Premium Barbecue Sauce - 15.25 oz. Bottles - 2 Pack
$24.99 ($0.78 / Ounce)
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04/08/2024 05:43 am GMT

Whiskey BBQ sauces are on a whole different level, and this version from Rufus Teague tops them all. Bottled in whiskey flasks, this delicious sauce is the perfect addition to any beef dish that has been smoked over mesquite or maple wood. We also really like it on meatloaf! 

Best Paired With: Burgers, Brisket, and Meatloaf! 

17. Stubb’s Original BBQ Sauce

Stubb's Original BBQ Sauce, 18 oz (Pack of 4)
$15.36 ($0.21 / Ounce)
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04/08/2024 05:07 am GMT

Stubb’s is one of our go-to brands of Texas-style BBQ sauces. Originally developed in Lubbock, Texas, this sauce is the real deal.

It’s more tomato based than some of the other sauces on the list, and it doesn’t really have a kick, but it’s definitely got an addicting tang. Stubb’s has other varieties of BBQ sauce as well, so don’t be afraid to give their Spicy or Hickory Mesquite a try!

Best Paired With: Ribs, Pulled Pork, or as a marinade for steaks!

18. Guy’s Award-Winning Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce

Guy's Award Winning Sugar Free BBQ Sauce 18 oz (Original)
$13.76 $9.30 ($0.52 / Ounce)
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04/08/2024 04:53 am GMT

Do you need a BBQ sauce that is sugar-free? Anyone who knows BBQ knows this is a tall order! In our opinion, Guy’s Award Winning Sugar-Free BBQ sauce is one of the best on the market–and you may not even notice that it’s sugar-free!

Instead of sugar, it contains sucralose, meaning you can still get that sweet and tangy taste without worrying about your blood sugar(or ruining your keto diet!).

Best Paired With: Ribs or Chicken

19. The Flavors of Ernest Hemingway The Pilar BBQ Sauce

Flavors of Ernest Hemingway Sauces, The Pilar BBQ Sauce, 12 ozs, 2 Pack - Gluten Free, No MSG, No HFCS
$23.99 ($1.89 / Fl Oz)
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04/08/2024 05:38 am GMT

Made with a unique mixture of spices, rum, and tomato sauce, this BBQ sauce from The Flavors of Ernest Hemingway is delicious. It’s one of the few sauces on the list which we have used for seafood!

Made in South Carolina, this BBQ sauce is gluten-free and is made without MSG or high fructose corn syrup. This company also has a marinade and a hot sauce which will make a great addition to your sauce collection! 

Best Paired With: Ribs, Chicken, and Salmon!

20. Sonny’s Real Pit BBQ: Sweet BBQ

Sonny's Authentic Sweet Bar-B-Q Sauce 84oz., Pack of 2, 2.0 Count
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Anyone who has been grilling and smoking for a long time likely knows the Sonny’s brand. If you are looking for a basic BBQ sauce that will pair with everything, then Sonny’s is a great brand to choose.

They also allow you to order in bulk which many smaller companies don’t allow–which is probably why this is one of the top sauces picked by pit masters around the world! This sauce doesn’t have any spice, but if you just want a basic sweet BBQ, this is your sauce.

Best Paired With: Burgers and Chicken

Photo of author

Hope Davis

Born in Denver, Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, I learned at a young age that the grill was one of the best ways to prepare food for a crowd. And during the winter storm months, when the snow was likely to knock out the power to our house, the propane grill was a lifesaver! You wouldn’t believe the number of things you can cook on a grill when necessary. With parents who couldn’t tell salt from pepper unless you told them, I spent my late teen years making my own seasoning mixes and marinades to dress the meat before barbecues. It wasn’t long before I developed a secret marinade that people still beg me to make for them today! When I was 21 years old I bought my first smoker. Picked up some cedar chips for making a cedar plank salmon...and well, the rest they say is history! I’ve been grilling and smoking all kinds of creations ever since and I’m always excited to share my passion with others through my favorite medium--writing!

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