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Barbecue Sauce 101

Barbecue season is quickly approaching and our grills are heating up, which means ribs, pork, chicken, and all of our other favorites.

Besides being delicious on the BBQ, all of these foods have something else in common; they are better with barbecue sauce. Barbecue sauce comes in a variety of flavor profiles, so we wanted to break it down for you, and highlight some sauces in each category that you can find at Zupan’s Markets!

Eastern North Carolina Vinegar Sauce

Considered the mother of all American barbecue sauces, this style can be traced back several centuries to North Carolina. With no tomatoes, this sauce features a tart combination of vinegar and spices like cayenne, black pepper, crushed red pepper, hot sauce, salt, and sometimes water.

  • Lillie’s Q: Eastern North Carolina Vinegar

Texas/Memphis Style Sauces

Slightly sweet with both vinegar and tomatoes, this style is more of a thin glaze and is typically used for pulled pork or on the side of ribs.

  • Lillie’s Q’s: Memphis-Style Sweet & Memphis-Style with Heat
  • Wilbur: Hickory Smoke, Spicy Hickory, and Applewood Smoke
  • Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q: Hickory Bourbon, Smoky Mesquite, and Spicy Barbecue

Piedmont or Lexington-Style

This style came to be with the introduction of Heinz ketchup in 1876. These vinegar-based sauces are slightly reddened and sweetened with ketchup, and sometimes tomato.

  • Rufus Teague: Honey Sweet BBQ, Touch O’ Heat, Blazin’ Hot, Whiskey Maple & Apple Mash
  • Hak’s BBQ: Chipotle Bourbon, Habanero Pineapple, Thai Chili & Smoked Maple Mustard
  • Stonewall Kitchen: Maple Chipotle Grille Sauce
  • Bone Suckin’ Sauce: Hot Style, Thick Style & Original
  • Lillie’s Q: Western North Carolina Tomato

South Carolina-Style Mustard Sauce

German immigrants came to South Carolina with mustard and added it to BBQ sauce. Most often called Carolina Gold, this sauce is thinned with vinegar, and spices are then added for a zingy flavor. It is often used for pulled pork or other pork cuts.

  • Lily Q’s: Carolina Gold

Made In The Pacific Northwest

Get a taste of these BBQ sauces that are handcrafted locally in the Pacific Northwest

  • Pine Shed BBQ Sauce: House Smoked Vegetable
  • Pendleton BBQ Sauce: Mesquite
  • Paradigm Foods BBQ Sauce: Oregon Microwbrew &Texas Hot
  • Rub with Love: Ancho & Molasses BBQ Sauce
  • Marshall’s Haute Sauce: Smoked Habañero Barbecue
  • Thai Fusions: Mango Ginger BBQ

Sugar-Free Sauces

Delicious barbecue sauce offerings, without the added sugar.

  • Primal Kitchen: Classic & Golden
  • G Hughes Smokin’ BBQ Sauce Sugar-Free: Hickory & Original