What's in it for me?: Barbecue sauces

The best in barbecue sauces

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Tested BBQ Sauces

Price per serving Location Calories Taste rating (out of four)

Chef Dean Martin's Asian Barbecue Sauce

$6.75; Steamboat Springs; 50; 2.5

Ingredients: Tomato puree, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, white wine, distilled white vinegar, water, soybean oil, sesame oil, crushed red pepper

The dish: Garlic and soy subtly enhance the tomato base, but even with crushed red pepper on the ingredient list, it could use a little more bite. This sauce is a little too sweet.

Uncle Dougie's "World's Most Dangerous" Barbecue Sauce

$5.49; Barrington, Ill.; 30; 4

Ingredients: Tomato paste, red peppers, malt vinegar, pure honey, salt, water, garlic, onion, natural spices and seasonings, brown sugar, xanthan gum, natural maple flavor, natural hickory smoke

The dish: This sauce projects a dark brown sugar and maple flavor that balances all of the red peppers in it. Ends with a nice coriander finish on the palate. Really does wonders for the every day chicken wing.

Big Mike's Original Recipe

$5.95; Denver; 35; 4

Ingredients: Tomato concentrate, vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, soy sauce, corn syrup dextrose, natural hickory smoke flavor, mustard seed, chili pepper, garlic salt, honey, onion salt, garlic extract anchovies, cayenne pepper, spices, soy flour, habanero powder, polystorbate-80

The dish: This is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. It actually has a bouquet just like a fine wine: cinnamon and cumin. Lots of peppers and a hint of soy. We just wish it didn't rely on high fructose corn syrup.

Fischer & Wieser Charred Pineapple bourbon sauce

$8; Fredericksburg, Texas; 35; 2.75

Ingredients: Pineapple, sugar, water brown sugar, bourbon, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, ground allspice.

The dish: This sauce is pricey, but bourbon is high on the list of ingredients and the investment yields a distinctive flavor. In all seriousness, we weren't certain whether to put this confection on smoked ham or vanilla ice cream. If you like chutney on lamb, this could be the deal.

Rachel's Smokin' BBQ Sauce

$3.99; Oak Creek; If you have to ask...; 3

Ingredients: Ketchup, brown sugar, liquid smoke Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, onion, whole garlic spices, celery salt.

The dish: This spicy sauce from a genuine Routt County cattlewoman is the real deal. There are bits of onion and garlic in the mix. Stands up to hearty beefsteaks, and a good base for baked beans.

Stonewall Kitchen Honey Barbecue Sauce

$6.99; York, Maine; 70; 2.5

Ingredients: Pure cane sugar, water tomato paste, honey, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, white distilled vinegar, mustard seed, white wine, garlic salt, sugar, xanthan gum spices, citric acid, celery seed, turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, capsicum

The dish: This sauce from New England is so sweet one barely notices several varieties of pepper. Stonewall Kitchen ranks high on the calorie count, but kudos for using natural sugars.

Annie's Naturals organic BBQ

$3.59; North Calais, Vt.; 45; 3.75

Ingredients: Water, brown rice syrup, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, molasses, stone ground mustard, canola oil, cornstarch, sea salt, sugar, tamarind, celery seed, chili powder, black pepper, chicory root extract, cayenne pepper, allspice, garlic powder, shallot powder, clove powder

The dish: Great balance of natural sweetness in the form of molasses and brown rice syrup against spicy red pepper. The spices don't burn your tongue, but they make their presence felt. This sauce hollers for ribs and a cold American lager.

Kroger Hickory Smoke Flavored Barbecue Sauce

$1.56; Cincinnati, Ohio; 40; 2.5

Ingredients: Tomato puree, high fructose corn syrup, vinegar, molasses, salt, natural smoke flavor, modified corn starch, contains less than 2 percent of sugar, paprika, spices, tamarind, natural flavors, soybean oil, caramel color, lemon juice concentrate, granulated onion, bacon, soy protein, etc.

The dish: This is the smokiest of the sauces tasted. It wouldn't make a rooster crow, but it's very pleasant we could eat it every day. For the price, it's a relative bargain.

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