Nothing says the start of summer like Memorial Day, and nothing says Memorial Day quite like BBQ. Though I’ve found homemade Barbeque sauce both easy to make and rewarding to eat, sometimes time or circumstance just doesn’t allow it. Store-bought BBQ sauce to the rescue!
Choose wisely though, or you’ll end up with a gloppy mess of sauce and some unhappy guests. The five sauces I’ve selected below promise to fill all your BBQ sauce needs this season, and might even let you fool people into thinking you made the sauce yourself.
Bone Suckin’ Sauce: Thicker Style: This is my go-to absolute favorite BBQ sauce. It has a perfectly balanced flavor, with sweetness from molasses and honey, heat from peppers and mustard, and spiked with apple cider vinegar for the perfect tangy taste. It’s amazing tossed with shredded chicken or pork, or worked into a burger mixture for an instant summery kick.
FunniBonz Barbeque Sauce: Spicy: Made locally in West Winsor, NJ, this sauce takes the phrase “stick-to-your ribs” to a new level. It’s ridiculously thick, making it ideal for coating chicken or ribs before throwing them on the grill. You could also rub it on a whole chicken and roast it up in the oven, making your house smell fantastic. This one also boasts a gluten-free label for those in that dietary camp.
Sticky Fingers Smokehouse: Carolina Sweet Barbeque Sauce: This offers a wider flavor profile then any of the other sauces on this list, with a heavy hit of spices and a palatable amount of heat with every bite. Honey balances the spiciness of the sauce, which to me stands out as the most “classic BBQ” of the bunch. Its well applied in all the usual BBQ-sauce places, but also really standout tossed with warm red russet potatoes with a bit of butter and a hit of salt and pepper.
Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q Sauce: Though initially drawn to the knowing cowboy on the front proclaiming “Ladies and Gentleman, I’m a Cook,” this sauce really delivers. All natural and gluten free, this classic Texas BBQ sauce pours on thick, and touts the most distinctively smoky flavor profile of the bunch. Pleasantly tangy from a kick of vinegar, this sauce just begs to be slathered on a big side of ribs.
Sticky Fingers: Carolina Classic Barbeque Sauce: I have to be honest; I actually don’t care for this mustard-based, peppery BBQ sauce. An entirely different style from the others listed above, this pick draws its flavors from mustard, mustard seed, and turmeric, giving it a distinct yellow color. Though interchangeable with all the other sauces depending on your palate, I think it would marry beautifully with seafood and chicken in particular given its mustardy bent.
Melody Kettle's favorite grilling sauce, North Star, by Hudson Valley company, Heartbreaking Dawns, is pictured above and at right. What are your favorite sauces?