The Best Barbecue Sauces
Best Sweet Barbecue Sauce
Cattlemen’s Award Winning Classic Barbecue Sauce
A sauce for ketchup lovers, this kid-friendly blend is similar to what you’d find in many chain restaurants. “It has a nice balance of sugar and tang,” said one person. “It’s thick enough for dipping fries,” said another. The glaze also got points for looks: The amber color is “beautiful,” one fan enthused.
To buy: $21.50 for a pack of six bottles, amazon.com.
Best Spicy Barbecue Sauce
Paula Deen’s BBQ Sauce
Ingredients like Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and black pepper give this piquant mixture a real kick. “I love the smooth texture,” raved a panelist. “And the hotness kind of sneaks up on you.” Said a taster going back for seconds, “It has that zing you want on ribs.”
To buy: $7 for 12 ounces, pauladeenstore.com.
Best Smoky Barbecue Sauce
Emeril’s Kicked Up Bam! B-Q Barbecue Sauce
In a sea of sauces reeking of artificial smoke, this thick, mahogany blend stood out with an authentic wood-touched flavor. “It has a deep, rich barbecue taste,” said an aficionado, who thought the consistency just right for adhering to chicken. Another fan suggested dispensing with the basting brush and serving it at the table as a topper for burgers.
To buy: $3.30 for 18 ounces, emerilstore.com.
Best Tangy Barbecue Sauce
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Sensuous Slathering Sauce
Spiked with tasty bits of tomato and onion, this glaze contains a generous shot of vinegar that gives it a serious, puckery tang. Declared one happy panelist, “It’s like the barbecue my dad made when I was a kid in Oklahoma—and that’s big barbecue country.”
To buy: $4 for 19 ounces, dinosaurbarbque.com.