America and BBQ food are two things that go hand-in-hand. BBQ sauce has deep-rooted ties to American food history and has totally taken over the rest of the world with more and more flavours popping up, more often than not drawing inspiration from the classic regional American barbecue sauces. We’ve taken a deep dive into some of our favourite classic BBQ sauce varieties for your reading pleasure.
Tomato based BBQ sauces
By far the most popular barbecue sauce around. There are loads of styles of the humble tomato based BBQ sauce, but the principle is the same… they begin with a base of tomatoes. Most of the BBQ sauces on the supermarket shelves will be these tomato-based barbecue sauces with varying flavours, consistencies, and regional influences.
Our Original BBQ Sauce
is the hero of our barbecue sauce range. It’s most similar to a Kansas City-style sauce. These sauces are typically sweet, rich, smoky, and pretty thick. Our Kansas City-inspired Original BBQ Sauce has a thick consistency which makes it the ultimate glazing sauce for meat. Molasses are a core part of the recipe, adding sweetness and a subtle smoky undertone. Smoked Paprika also helps out with that too. We've thrown in mustard and vinegar for a slight tangy note.
We suggest: glazing it on chicken, as a topping sauce for a burger or hot dog or slather over pulled pork.
If you’re hunting for a sweeter BBQ sauce, you could do worse than looking toward our Cherry Bourbon BBQ Sauce. We wouldn’t say this sauce directly correlates to any region in particular; even though bourbon has been used in many homemade barbecue sauce recipes. Our Cherry Bourbon BBQ Sauce has deep cherry fruitiness with bourbon undertones. We recommend slapping it on ribs for the full experience.
Mustard based BBQ sauces
If you haven’t tried a mustard-based BBQ sauce you’re in for a treat. Yellow in colour and typically tangy to taste, they aren’t like your usual BBQ sauces. The mustard brings a slight punch of heat while it combines with vinegar to bring a real tang. Garlic and spices are also often added. Mustard barbecue sauces make the perfect partner for pulled pork. Our very own mustard BBQ sauce is the tangy and punchy South Carolina BBQ Sauce – often known as “Carolina Gold” in the USA. We’ve added brown sugar for sweetness and used spices, vinegar and tamari for a rich and tangy note.
We suggest: mixing with some pulled pork – the tangy mustard and pulled pork is such a winning combo. We also recommend drizzling it over a salad.
Vinegar based BBQ sauces
This style of barbecue sauce is typically thinner than mustard or tomato-based sauces. Frequently used as a dipping sauce or with pork, it can have a little more spice than the other two styles. As with the other two styles, there are a few sub-styles, all originating from various regions with slightly different recipes. A North Carolina vinegar BBQ sauce is typically thin and spicy. Proper traditional vinegar-based barbecue sauces aren't only based on vinegar, but the recipes are almost entirely dominated by the stuff – often including vinegar, red pepper, black pepper and salt. These sauces are commonly used as a ‘mop sauce’ – ever watched an American BBQ show where they’re literally mopping sauce onto meat with a floor cleaning looking mop? That sauce is likely a vinegar-based barbecue sauce.
White BBQ sauces
This style of sauce is commonly known as Alabama White. As if mustard-based barbecue sauces aren't unusual enough for us Brits, this one takes it a little bit further. Alabama White is created using a base of mayonnaise. It initially sounds mental, but just think about it for a moment. After a chat amongst our team, we've worked out it sounds amazing and we need to get hold of some. It’s used primarily on chicken but apparently is also great on salads and in coleslaw.
We haven't covered everything here, there are SO many more sauces out there but honestly the BBQ sauce scene is unreal. These are just a few of the classics.
Here are a few other great articles on BBQ Sauces: