These are the best BBQ sauces that will bring out the flavor on your plate

Whether it’s for adding a dollop to your fry-up, marinating your meats or for dunking your chips, BBQ sauce is pretty much a staple condiment in most of our kitchens. BBQ sauce is a great way to bring life and flavor to bland meals. It has more spice than regular ketchup. And it isn’t only an option in barbeque season; BBQ sauce is a condiment that works all year round.

However, if it’s too sugary or lacks oomph then one dollop alone could ruin a meal. To ensure that doesn’t happen, we’ve taste tested a range of BBQ sauces on the market to bring you the definitive list of BBQ sauces to try. From low-sugar sauces, to spicy varieties and those made with all-natural ingredients, there’s a BBQ sauce for all tastes. However, if you’re a BBQ sauce newbie, then read our guide first on how to pick the best BBQ sauce for you.

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Best BBQ sauces: At a glance


How to choose the best barbecue sauce

What is BBQ sauce made from?

Each brand will vary but the standard BBQ sauce recipe usually consists of classic tomato as a base and then items such as vinegar, mustard, liquid smoke and black pepper (to bring that famous kick of spice) and sugar (or a sugar substitute) to deliver that contrasting sweetness of which we can’t get enough.

What can you make from barbecue sauce?

BBQ sauce is a classic kitchen staple. Its versatility is a key selling point.

Let’s start with the obvious: BBQ sauce is great for marinating all kinds of meats (whether you’re popping them in the oven or firing up the grill), while also being pretty addictive as a dipping sauce for things like chips. It’s perfect for breakfast, too: whether that’s a sausage bap or a full fry-up.

However, there’s many more ways that BBQ sauce can tantalise your tastebuds: use it in your slow cooker to make the perfect BBQ ribs; or even swap out your usual pizza base tomato sauce for a smoky option.

Is BBQ sauce healthy?

It all depends on which brand you choose. BBQ sauce can be very sweet, but it is also salty. There are a few exceptions. “low sugar” varieties available. A little BBQ sauce can make all the difference in your diet.

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The best BBQ sauces in 2022

1. Real Good Smoked BBQ Sauce: Best low-sugar BBQ sauce

Price: £3 |Ocado – Buy Now

Real Good Ketchup was made right here in the UK. It’s a condiment brand that’s on a mission to make amazing products using plant-based ingredients and which contain less sugar. And when it comes to the latter, the brand says this sauce offers 60% less sugar than other sweet BBQ sauces, making it ideal for families who are worried about their children’s sugar intake. 

It’s a smoky sauce that doesn’t quite capture the full flavour of traditional barbecue sauce, but is ideal for those who prefer a milder BBQ flavour. Unlike some brands, it isn’t too overpowering in spice either, which means it was a hit with our toddler. Made with allergen-free ingredients, it arrives in a recyclable plastic bottle (which uses 40% upcycled material) that’s super-easy to squeeze. This is a great buy that will work for all members of the family.

Key specs – Size: 485g; Style: Squeezy; Vegan?Yes; Gluten free?Yes

Ocado: Buy now


2. Wilkin and Sons Ltd. Tiptree Barbecue soup: The best natural barbecue sauce

Price: £2.45 | Ocado: Buy Now

Tiptree Barbecue Sauce uses natural ingredients from Tiptree farm, Essex. The brand itself has a long, prestigious history: it’s been making preserves since 1885, and it even has a Royal Warrant. This sauce is made from all natural ingredients, such as red peppers, garlic purée, and chili puree. It’s made in small batches in traditional copper-bottomed pots. The quality of ingredients shine through, with a sauce that’s on the fruitier side. It is similar to ketchup because of its tomato-pepper base. It can be used with burgers or fry-ups.

Key specs – Size: 310g; Style:Glass bottle Vegan? No; Gluten free?Yes

Ocado: Buy now


3. Tropical Sun Jerk BBQ Sauce: Best spicy BBQ sauce 

Price: £1.79 | Tropical Sun – Buy Now

This sauce is great for people who like a spicy approach to life. You can use it to marinate jerk meat. The sauce is thicker that the others. The spicy aroma of the sauce hits you immediately when you open it. The chili’s mild initial taste will soon be rediscovered in your throat. Not for the faint-hearted, if you love your barbecue sauce with a bit of oomph then this one certainly won’t disappoint.

Key specs – Size: 285g; Style:You have the option of a glass or squeezy container. Vegan? No; Gluten free?Yes

Tropical Sun – Buy Now


4. Sticky Barbecue sauce is the best all-round barbecue sauce

Price: £4 | Tracklements – Buy Now

Tracklements is a smoky, sweet barbecue condiment with a thin, runny texture. As such, it lends itself well to marinades – although perhaps it isn’t as great for a dip for your chips. Including both cider vinegar and malt vinegar, this one packs a tangy punch that’s in nice contrast to the raw cane sugar.

Combining smoky chipotle chilli with Mexican honey, we’ve found ourselves regularly adding a glug to slow-cooker chicken and pulled pork. If you’re not a fan of particularly sweet BBQ sauces, then this one might go down a treat.

Key specs – Size: 230ml; Style:Glass bottle Vegan?No; Gluten free?No

Tracklements – Buy Now


5. F&Co Barbecue Sauce: Best-tasting BBQ Sauce

Price: £6.95 | Farmison & Co.

Whilst £7 may seem a little on the pricey side for a kitchen condiment, this BBQ sauce had us hooked after just one serving. With good reason, too: it’s actually created by Michelin-starred chef, Jeff Baker. It strikes the perfect balance of sweet-savoury. The balsamic vinaigrette adds sharpness but isn’t too sour, while the sugar adds sweetness and sweetness without being too sweet. Also including ingredients such as cinnamon and ginger, this sauce was our favourite for marinating meats; its price point means it’s best used for creating a special dish rather than as an everyday condiment.

Key specs – Size: 250g; Style:Glass bottle Vegan?Yes; Gluten free?Yes

Farmison & Co.


6. The Smoky Barbecue Virtually No Calorie Skinny sauce: Low-calorie BBQ sauce

Price: £3.99 | The Skinny Food Co.

Please refer to the label on the packaging. “gluten free”, “zero dairy”, “fat free”, “vegan-friendly” and more), and you’d be forgiven for questioning how on earth this could replicate the sweet and earthy notes of barbecue sauce. Compared to the other condiments that feature on this list, it doesn’t quite live up for taste and it’s a tad on the sweet side. However, if weight-loss is your mission, then it does a decent job to liven up lower calorie dishes – a 10ml serving of this sauce contains 0g of fat and sugar and very few calories.

Note, though, that it does rely on more processed ingredients such as sweeteners, preservatives and caramel colours to do this, so it won’t be to everyone’s liking. 

Key specs – Size: 425ml; Style:Plastic bottle Vegan?Yes; Gluten free?Yes

The Skinny Food Co.

These are the best BBQ sauces that will bring out the flavor on your plate

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