Best BBQ sauce

Get maximum flavor from your BBQ dishes. We’ve found the best sauces for food on the grill, marinating, dipping, and garnishing.

Spare ribs and sauce
(Image credit: Image by RitaE from Pixabay)

BBQ sauces and rubs offer a flavor boost to your outdoor meals. Add them to taste when the food’s served or use them during preparation and barbecuing to make meat and perhaps veggies too, even tastier. That signature savory addition appeals to a range of different palates, infused with heat or even a smokey finish. With a range of available flavors out there, we’ve found the best.

Best overall

Traeger Grills SPC169 Beef Rub with Molasses and Chili Pepper

(Image credit: Traeger Grills)

Traeger Grills SPC169 Beef Rub with Molasses and Chili Pepper

Sweet with a kick

Whatever cut of beef you’re grilling, this rub is designed to complement it with molasses and brown sugar flavors plus a hit of chili pepper. Sprinkle it on lightly as a more subtle addition or rub the meat to get the optimum taste. The rub is kosher and gluten and GMO-free. 

Best for all tastes

Capital City Mambo Sauce Variety 2-pack

(Image credit: Capital City)

Capital City Mambo Sauce Variety 2-pack

Go mild or hotter

Choose from different takes on this sauce with this two-pack. Both have a tomato base, but the sweet hot version includes cayenne and habanero pepper, while the mild version is sweet and tangy without the peppers. Either can be used to marinate or glaze. It can also be used as a dip.

Best marinade

Woody's Cook-in' Sauce Barbecue Concentrate

(Image credit: Woody's)

Woody's Cook-in' Sauce Barbecue Concentrate

Use alone or to make your own sauce

This hickory-flavored sauce can be used on everything from ribs, hamburgers, and steak to turkey, pork chops, and fish. Apply it to both sides of meat or chicken before grilling on the BBQ and add into hamburgers when you’re making the patties. It promises to cook through the meat without burning.

Best value

Country Sweet Sauce

(Image credit: Country Sweet)

Country Sweet Sauce

Use before, during, or after cooking

Try this mild, sweet, and tangy sauce as a marinade or for dipping or basting. This one-gallon bottle will go a long way, so it’s a budget-friendly choice. As well as adding zest to chicken, pork, or beef, the sauce can even be used to flavor pizza.

Best Memphis taste

Charlie Vergos Rendezvous Barbecue Sauce

(Image credit: Charlie Vergos)

Charlie Vergos Rendezvous Barbecue Sauce 2-Pack

Tomato, mustard, and vinegar based

If you like your barbecue sauce with a little less sweetness than is usual, this version is appealing. It doesn’t contain any high fructose corn syrup, and it’s gluten-free as well. Use it with pork, beef, chicken, fish, and lamb. 

Best for ribs

Famous Dave’s Rich & Sassy BBQ Sauce

(Image credit: Famous Dave’s)

Famous Dave’s Rich & Sassy BBQ Sauce 2-Pack

Try it on chicken, pork, and beef, too

Get two bottles in this set. This sauce is made with a secret family recipe and contains herbs and spices to create the flavor. Rich & Sassy is the original recipe from Famous Dave and is a Midwest-style tomato-based sauce.

Our verdict

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BBQ sauces can make meals from the grill even more delicious. Traeger Grills SPC169 Beef Rub with Molasses and Chili Pepper is an easy addition to beef, offering sweetness with a great chili kick.

Prefer a sauce to a rub to impart deliciousness? Capital City Mambo Sauce Variety 2-pack can be a marinade, glaze, and even dip. You’ll get a mild and hot version of this sweet sauce in the pack, so you can suit your tastes and those of your family and guests.

Sarah Warwick
Freelance writer

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes and gardens and loves investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper.