The Best Store-Bought BBQ Sauce Is An Underrated Gem

If any sauce can be described as universally loved, it's barbecue sauce. When you can't make your own homemade barbecue sauce recipe, it's time to make a trip to the grocery store and buy a bottle. The sheer amount of choice can still be overwhelming, so Mashed ranked 15 grocery store barbecue sauces to help you pick the best of the best. The winner in terms of taste, texture, and quality of ingredients was Blues Hog Original BBQ Sauce.

The brand's offerings come in several variations, from its smokey and sweet sauce blends to a selection of dry seasonings that can truly take your meat (or your french fry seasoning) to another level. In the interest of fairness, Mashed compared original sauce flavors over any fancy-schmancy variations, but even in its most basic form, Blues Hog stood tall.

One thing that really stands out about Blues Hog is its stickiness. This stuff will coat just about any meat beautifully, staying attached throughout the cooking process and infusing the meat with flavor at every turn. If you're smoking or grilling your meat for a backyard barbecue, picking up a jar of Blues Hog will give you a succulent end product infused with deliciousness in every bite.

Blues Hog Original BBQ's secret is an expert combination of flavors

Speaking of deliciousness, let's talk flavor. As any great barbecue sauce should, Blues Hog Original combines sweetness with heat. The sauce's sweetness hits your tongue first. Slowly, subtly, the spices start to reveal themselves, enticing the taste buds with delicious heat. The sweetness comes from brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and vanilla extract, with paprika, onion powder, and other spices bringing that gentle heat. Perhaps what gives this sauce added flair is the inclusion of umami soy and Worcestershire sauces, both of which add smooth, slightly meaty saltiness. Tamarind extract brings a fascinating blend of sour citrus and caramel flavor, elevating Blues Hog even further. You certainly won't need to dress up this stuff with extra spice, as you might have to upgrade a blander store-bought sauce.

With such a great sauce on hand, you'll have no shortage of great grilling recipes to wow family and friends at your next cookout. Blues Hog's sweet-with-heat mix would coat a rack of spare ribs beautifully, particularly complementing pork's natural sweetness. Alternatively, use the citrusy tamarind extract to your advantage and serve up some spicy grilled shrimp. If you have an air fryer, make some air-fried barbecue chicken, using the chicken's neutral flavor to really let this sauce shine.