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A good BBQ sauce tastes amazing on just about anything while doubling as a delectable marinade. The best bottled BBQ sauces feature bold smoky flavors and a balance of spice and sweetness often with just the right touch of heat. Our list of the top 10 best store bought barbecue sauces includes all the time-tried favorites and must-try sauces, offering a selection of tastes that elevate the experience of grilling to an all-new high.
Table of Contents
Top 10 Best Bottled Barbecue Sauce
- Head Country Original BBQ
- Bull’s-Eye Original BBQ Sauce
- Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce
- Gates Original Classic Bar-B-Q Sauce
- Blues Hogg Original BBQ Sauce
- Heinz Classic Sweet & Thick BBQ Sauce
- KC Masterpiece Original Barbecue Sauce
- Jack Daniel’s Original No. 7 Recipe Barbecue Sauce
- Stubbs Original Barbecue Sauce
- Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce & Dip
Whether you’re looking for tangy and sweet or spicy and smoky, we’ve wrapped up the 10 best bottled barbecue sauces available ensuring there’s a winning sauce for everyone.
Head Country Original BBQ sauce is a well-balanced gluten and soy-free restaurant-quality option that delivers the classic taste of barbecue that’s a little on the sweeter side. It’s a thinner barbecue sauce with a prominent smoky flavor and a hint of spiciness. Expect a tangier sweeter taste than competing sauces.The ever-popular Head Country restaurant in Ponca City, Oklakoma manufactures thousands of gallons of its famous competition quality original, smoky and hot barbecue sauce. With no preservatives, zero MSG and a recipe that’s stood the test of time since 1947, Head Country Original BBQ sauce is regarded by many to be best store bought BBQ sauce by far.
Bull’s Eye Original BBQ sauce is a hickory-smoked offering with a lingering taste of garlic and the bold sweetness of molasses. The fruity boldness of Bull’s Eye can be a little overwhelming to those who are looking for a sauce where the individual ingredients stand out. It’s thicker than most expect but doesn’t have the sugary nature needed for a traditional glaze. Bull’s Eye was previously the official BBQ sauce of the Rodeo Cheeseburger from Burger King until 2007, when the franchise adopted Sweet Baby Rays. This should give you an idea of the restaurant quality to expect from the ever-versatile Bull’s Eye Original BBQ sauce.
Chicago-based Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce is a sweet, traditional barbecue sauce with a definite bite that keeps you coming back for more. There’s less smokiness than other brands, and it’s a bit sweeter than a classic barbecue sauce like those from Kentucky City Masterpiece. Tanginess takes prominence over the browned, roasted smoky flavor, and the fruity notes make Sweet Baby Ray’s infinitely versatile. Much of the fruity sweet flavor of Sweet Baby Ray’s comes from the inclusion of pineapple juice concentrate although tamarind also plays a factor. The only downside to this otherwise excellent barbecue sauce it’s the fact that it uses the preservative sodium benzoate and two artificial flavors, namely natural smoke and caramel.
Gates Original Classic Bar-B-Q Sauce is a sauce that is produced by the award-winning Gates Bar-B-Q Restaurant that opened in 1946 in Kansas City. Gates make their sauce from vine-ripened tomatoes and include high fructose corn syrup. One can just pick up on hints of celery, garlic and onion through the peppery, tangy taste.The original Gates is a spicy barbecue sauce that’s a touch hotter than most competing classically styled blends, and it’s not as sweet. A pepperiness is present without overpowering the smoky, chargrilled flavor. Gates Original Classic Bar-B-Q sauce comes in a massive 40-ounce bottle granting great value. It brings the cost per ounce down to just over $0.42, an utter steal.
Blues Hogg original BBQ sauce is easily one of the best jarred barbecue sauce available. Unlike most competing sauces, it comes packaged in glass while relying on a preservative-free recipe that’s wonderfully tangy, sweet and sticky. Instead of a flat fruity flavor to its sweetness, there’s great depth thanks to the addition of apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup and molasses. The added spices give Blues Hogg Original BBQ sauce a kick but it’s still mild and subtle enough to leave the traditional barbecue flavor undisturbed.Blues Hogg is largely preferred as the ideal sauce for ribs leaving a glistening glaze everytime. The balance of flavor will blow you away, delivering smokiness, a good level of sweetness without being overly intense.
Heinz Classic Sweet & Thick BBQ Sauce is a thick, boldly smoky barbecue sauce with a strong, sugary sweetness that dominates the flavor profile. It’s one of the tangiest barbecue sauces reviewed while still sustaining a good balance between the tomato base and hints of lingering pepper and lingering garlic. The combination of cane sugar, blackstrap molasses and tamarind come together creating a unique sweetness that Heinz has managed to keep savory and tangy enough to work well on chicken, beef, pork and fish. Even though Heinz Classic Sweet & Thick BBQ Sauce delivers on its promises, it strikes a good midway point between flavors.
The Kansas City Masterpiece Original Barbecue is a deeply smokey classic barbecue sauce with among the best balance of flavors seen. It’s not overly sweet nor boldly rich, instead blending together into a strong sauce that compliments the flavor of protein like pulled pork and roasts perfectly. One can taste the kettle-cooked molasses and spices coming through as a deep savory taste sensation that grants subtle smoky flavor to anything it’s added to. For an all-purpose option that’s packed with versatile flavor, you can’t go wrong with KC Masterpiece Original Barbecue Sauce.
Jack Daniel’s Original No. 7 Recipe Barbecue Sauce carries a comparable depth of flavor to Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whisky with bold, zesty sweetness and subtle smoky flavor. It relies on honey for its sweetness which is the ideal accompaniment to the smoky taste with just the right touch of tang and heat. While the price is a little higher than other sauces given the brand name, one does get a one-of-a-kind BBQ sauce with the unmistakable aroma of whiskey despite being non-alcoholic. Only the high price tag puts Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce so far down our list – in all other regards it excels. However, if you’re adverse to the aroma of whisky, we recommend you try something else.
Stubbs BBQ sauce was created by former Korean war mess sergeant CB Stubblefield at Stubb’s Legendary BBQ in Lovett, Texas, in 1968 but officially hit stores nationwide in 1992. Stubbs is a thin, vinegary gluten-free sauce that uses absolutely no high fructose corn syrup. A smoky molasses-based subdued sweetness with a range of spices and peppery taste comes through prominently. Stubb’s is one of a kind delivering a savory, spicy flavor that lacks sweetness, unlike most other barbecue sauces. Instead, one can look forward to a unique peppery texture and a blend that brings out the flavor of its seasoning. It’s hard to tell the exact type of spice but its a rich, savory taste that you’ll find nowhere else
Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce & Dip is a slow-simmered traditional American barbecue sauce with tangy, hickory-smoked flavor. Kraft is supremely smooth with the lingering sweetness of molasses. There’s a slightly flat quality instead of sweet piquancy, which is well masked by a range of spices, including the forerunning use of pepper. Shoppers should also know that Kraft uses the preservative, potassium sorbate.If you like a spicy, savory barbecue sauce formulated around a base of high-fructose corn syrup, Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce & Dip may be for you. Few other good BBQ sauces can compare to its supreme value for money, and the versatility will surprise you.
Shopping For The Best Barbecue Sauce?
Although we have ordered this list according to popularity, the best bottled barbecue sauce is a matter of personal preference. Certain sauces like our leading contenders are more versatile than others while carrying a more instantly identifiable flavor of their own. This doesn’t rule out just how good other sauces with perhaps a level of heat or strong spice stand out when grilling particular types of meat. One thing is guaranteed, every sauce on this list is sure to impress.