What are the different types of Barbecue sauces?

Any Barbecue dish is incomplete with a special sauce. If you agree to the statement, then this article will definitely interest you! Here, we will guide you about different type of BBQ sauces and will share some unique recipes to try out and gather appreciations from your guests. Read on!

Types of Barbecue Sauces

Types of Barbecue Sauces

There are different flavors of BBQ sauces, depending on the nature of ingredients used. Some of them are more towards sweet and tangy taste, while some are spicy and thick in nature. 

Three most popular and widely used sauces are discussed below:

Tomato-Based BBQ Sauces

It is the most common type of sauce served with barbecue dishes for an enhanced flavor and aroma. Mostly, tomatoes are used in the form of ketchup. However, different ingredients are added to this base, which distinguishes them from one another. 

Tomato-based sauces are tangy, thick and sweet. Commonly used ingredients in this kind are:

  • Ketchup
  • Brown sugar
  • Vinegar
  • Molasses
  • Cayenne pepper and other spices, like
  • Garlic powder and
  • Onion powder

Vinegar-Based BBQ Sauces

As the name suggests, these sauces are vinegar based. Their consistently is thinner than tomato-based sauces and the flavor is more on spicy end. Vinegar-based dips compliment pork the most. However, you can enjoy it with any dish you like. No hard and fast rules here!

Mustard-Based BBQ Sauces

Next on the list is mustard-base sauces. These dips include vinegar mostly but only as a seasoning. Thus, it shouldn’t be confused with the previously discussed sauce.

Apart from vinegar, Worcestershire sauce is mixed with yellow mustard, and that’s how the base is prepared. You can further add suitable spices or herbs, as per your taste. Mustard-base sauce is originally from South Carolina, and it is usually served with the spilt-roasted hog. 

Mayonnaise Based BBQ Sauces

Wondering if Mayonnaise based barbecue dips really exist? Well, they are rare and unusual but don’t judge before trying them out!

Mayonnaise sauce is mainly vinegar and oil combined in an emulsion. The base is thinned out with lemon juice and vinegar along with several other seasonings and herbs. Moreover, the dip tastes great with smoked chicken as compare to pork.

Regional Differences in BBQ sauces With Recipes

Regional Differences in BBQ sauces With Recipes

The choice and preferences of flavor vary from region to region. Some cities prefer the basic tomato sauces while the rest opt for the rare white BBQ sauce. Now that you know about the primary ingredients used in the Barbecue sauces, it’s time to further explore some amazing recipes originated in different regions throughout the United States of America. 

1. Alabama


Alabama is one such city that prefers unique sauce AKA the white mayonnaise-based dip. Big Bog Gibson is given credit for inventing this different and flavorful sauce with his signature smoked chicken in 1925. Apart from enjoying it as a dip, you can also use it as a dressing or marinade for coleslaw. 

How To Make?

Total Time:

Preparation: 5 min. + chilling


3 cups

Ingredients Included:

Mayonnaise 2 cup
Pepper 2 Tbsp.
Cider vinegar 1 cup
Salt 1 tsp
Lemon juice 2 Tbsp.
Cayenne pepper ½ tsp

Steps of Making

  1. Put all the ingredients in a big bowl and whisk them until well combined.
  2. Keep in the refrigerator for minimum 8 hours.
  3. Brush the sauce on the meat in the last stages and grill for a few minutes.
  4. Serve the remaining sauce as a dip with the main course. 

Nutrition Facts ( 2 Tbsp.) 

  • 13 g fat (2g saturated)
  • 124 calories
  • 1 mg cholesterol
  • 1 g carbohydrate (0 fiber, 0 sugar)
  • 192 mg sodium
  • 0 protein.

2. South Carolina

Are you a mustard-on-a-hotdog kind of person? If yes, then South Carolina sauce will definitely interest you. It doesn’t include ketchup in it and is made with plain mustard solely. The sauce is enriched, tangy (without any sweetness) and spicy. It is an absolute perfect choice for chicken or pork.

How To Make?

Total Time: 25 minutes

Makes: 2-1/3 cups

Ingredients Included

Beef or chicken broth  1 cup
Prepared mustard  1 cup
Red wine vinegar ½ cup
Packed brown sugar 1/3 cup
Butter  3 Tbsp. 
Worcestershire sauce  2 Tbsp. 
Tomato paste  2 Tbsp.
Molasses  2 Tbsp. 
Garlic powder  1 Tbsp.
Onion powder  1 Tbsp. 
Cayenne  1-1/2 tsp
Salt  1 tsp
Pepper  ¼ tsp

Steps of Making

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
  2. Wait for the boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer it until all flavors are well blended for at least 15-20 minutes.
  4. Don’t cover the lid during the process.
  5. You can serve it either warm or cold, as per your preference.

Nutrition Facts (2 Tbsp. )

55 calories

5 mg cholesterol

1 g saturated fat

370 mg sodium

1 g protein

8 g carbohydrate (1 g fibers, 6g sugars)

3. Florida


Florida may not come to your mind when you think about the barbecue. However, they are famous for signature grilled mullet along with Florida barbecue sauce. The dip is basically a mixture of vinegar, Caribbean spicy, Cuban citrus and tropical elements. It is pasted on the meat or fish while cooking, but you can also serve it with the dish. Totally your choice!

How To Make?

Total time: 40 minutes

Prep time: 5 minutes 

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Makes: 4 cups

Ingredients Included:

Orange juice 1 cup
Ketchup 4 cups
Honey ½ cup
Lemon juice ½ cup
Orange zest 1 Tbsp., grated
Lime juice 1/3 cup
Lime zest 2 tsp, grated
Onion 1 large, finely chopped
Garlic 4 cloves, minced
Lemon zest 2 tsp, grated
Red pepper flakes ½ to 2 tsp, crushed

Steps of Making

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pan.
  2. Bring to the boil.
  3. Simmer on low heat uncovered for 30-35 minutes until it is thick in consistency.
  4. Serve.

You can also preserve it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 

Nutrition Facts (2 Tbsp.)

54 calories

0 saturated fat

0 cholesterol

0 protein

381 mg sodium

14 g carbohydrate (0 fibers, 13 g sugars)

4. Texas


Texas barbecue is more about beef, and Texas BBQ sauce is mainly used to marinate brisket rather an added ingredient or dip. Its texture is runny but hearty. Besides tomato ketchup and paste; bold ingredients are used in its making, including hot sauce, smoky cumin, garlic, chili powder and Worcestershire. You can also enjoy it in BBQ sandwiches

How To Make?

Total Time: 25 min.

Makes: 1-3/4 cups

Ingredients Included:

Butter 1 Tbsp.
Onion 1 small, chopped
Garlic 2 cloves, minced
Ketchup 1 cup
Brown sugar ¼ cup
Lemon juice ¼ cup
Apple cider vinegar 2 Tbsp.
Tomato paste 2 Tbsp.
Yellow mustard 1 Tbsp.
Worcestershire sauce 1 Tbsp.
Chili powder 2 tsp

Steps of Making

  • Heat butter in a saucepan over medium flame.
  • Add onion, stir for 2-3 minutes and cook until tender.
  • Cook for another minute after adding garlic.
  • Include the remaining ingredients.
  • Wait for the boil.
  • Simmer uncovered on low heat for 15-20 minutes.
  • Ready to serve.

Nutrition Facts (2Tbsp.) 

56 calories

1 g saturated fat

3 mg cholesterol

0 protein

296 mg sodium

12 g carbohydrate (0 fibers, 11g sugars)

5. Kansas City

Kanas City is the home of traditional Barbecue sauce. It has a sweet yet tangy flavor as a result of more than a dozen ingredients added in the making of sauce. However, the base is either ketchup or tomato paste in which molasses or brown sugar are included as a sweetener. Although Kanas City BBQ sauce tastes good with almost everything, but it compliments rack of ribs the most. 

Tip: As sugar is added to the sauce, so it shouldn’t be used before cooking (as a marinade) to prevent burn. 

How To Make?

Total Time: 35 minutes

Makes: 4 cups

Ingredients Included:

Ketchup 2-1/2 cup
White vinegar 2/3 cup
Honey 2/3 cup
Molasses ½ cup
Hot pepper sauce 2 to 3 Tbsp.
Chili powder 1 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp
Onion powder 1 tsp
Liquid smoke, optional ½ to 1 tsp

Steps Of Making

  • Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
  • Bring to boil.
  • Simmer uncovered on reduced heat for 30 minutes. Don’t forget to stir occasionally.
  • Remove from heat when desired consistency is achieved.
  • Serve with your BBQ dish.

Nutrition Facts (2 Tbsp.)

55 calories

0 saturated fat

0 cholesterol

0 protein

323 mg sodium

15 g carbs (15g sugars, 0 fibers)


Barbecue is a Universal favorite, regardless of race, continent or country and BBQ sauces are meant to enhance the flavor of your grilled supper even more! Good news is that, there are a lot of options to enjoy when it comes to BBQ sauces, including the tomato-based, mayonnaise based, vinegar based and mustard based. We have also covered a few recipes that you can easily try at home. Which one of these is your favorite?