Supermarket Standoff: Barbecue sauces

Bon Appetit

When they're not busy tasting dishes over and over, Bon Appétit's food editors are tasting other stuff like different brands of chicken stock. Because while we're into making things from scratch, sometimes there just isn't time to brown veal bones for rich broth, or simmer strawberries into preserves. When we do cut corners, though, we want to do it in the tastiest possible way -- hence the taste tests of store-bought items.

Kraft Thick 'n Spicy
Photo courtesy of

Today's item: barbecue sauce. Sure, Food Editor Hunter "Carolina Boy" Lewis might have a mean recipe handed down to him by his great grandfather, but most of us don't.

The good news? Many bottled sauces -- some of them made by big companies, some of them by two dudes with a passion and a big ol' stockpot -- are darn good. Here are six of our favorites.

Kraft Thick 'n Spicy

This is what we recommend using in place of our All-American Barbecue Sauce. (Don't worry: you'll still be very patriotic.)

It's balanced and so thick that it works well for dipping, too.

$1.99 at Fairway in New York City.

Bone Suckin' Sauce
Photo courtesy of

Bone Suckin' Sauce

The thinnest of the bunch, this sauce is sweet and vinegary with a touch of chili heat. It would be great for pulled pork.

$4.99 at Fairway in New York City.

Rufus Teague Touch O' Heat
Photo courtesy of

Rufus Teague Touch O' Heat

Leave it to the test kitchen cooks to have body builder-like palates. They detected anchovy, celery seed, tamarind, and raisin flavors in Teague's sauce. "This will stick to your ribs, literally," one of them said.

$4.99 at Fairway in New York City.

Trader Joe's Kansas City Style

"This is a total cheat sheet sauce." Translation: It's adaptable, and you could "put it on chicken and fake that it's charred." It's smoky, sweet, and has a pronounced tomato flavor.

$2.69 at Trader Joe's in New York City.

Bull's-Eye Original
Photo courtesy of

Bull's-Eye Original

This is the smoky, thick concoction that we all grew up on. And we don't plan to stop using it, either.

$1.99 at Fairway in New York City.

Whole Hog Café #4

This world-class BBQ joint (with the trophies to prove it) in Little Rock, Ark., turns out a host of great sauces. Our favorite is the traditional Southern vinegar and spice.

$6.95 at

As for health -- not always a contradiction when talking BBQ--our nutritionist Marissa Lippert says go for the Bone Suckin' Sauce. "It's significantly lower in sodium than the others, a bit lower in sugar and about half the calories."

More from Bon Appétit:

25 One-Bite Appetizers

Junk Food Makeover: Healthier Chicken Nuggets

Top 20 Best-Tasting Burger Recipes

Healthy French Fry Alternatives

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Video: Growing Outrage Over Road Rage Death of Former NFL Player

      The admitted shooter of Joe McKnight was released without charges while authorities investigate the case.

      ABC News q
    • Stephen Hawking: 'This is the most dangerous time for our planet'

      As a theoretical physicist based in Cambridge, I have lived my life in an extraordinarily privileged bubble. Cambridge is an unusual town, centred around one of the world’s great universities. Within that town, the scientific community that I became part of in my 20s is even more rarefied. And within that scientific community, the small group of international theoretical physicists with whom I have spent my working life might sometimes be tempted to regard themselves as the pinnacle. In addition to this, with the celebrity that has come with my books, and the isolation imposed by my illness, I feel as though my ivory tower is getting taller. So the recent apparent rejection of the elites in both

      Business Insider q
    • The Wisconsin recount may have a surprise in store after all

      Thanks to the efforts of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, a recount is underway in Wisconsin. It is highly unlikely to change the outcome — as Hillary Clinton’s campaign has stated — but it is much more likely to overturn some conventional wisdom about counting votes. In particular, we may learn, yet again, that computers are better than humans at counting ballots. Wisconsin’s most recent experience with a statewide recount provides some useful background for the current recount. In 2011, David Prosser ran against JoAnne Kloppenburg for a seat on the state supreme court. After the initial count, Prosser was 7,316 votes ahead of Kloppenburg, out of 1.5 million votes cast. Kloppenburg

      Washington Post q
    • Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ son is 19 now and the internet is freaking out over how attractive he is

      Beautiful people often have beautiful kids, and this is no exception. Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ oldest son is 19 and super…

      Hello Giggles
    • LAPD Identifies USC Grad Student Who Killed Professor

      The faculty member was identified as Bosco Tjan.

      ABC News q
    • Jennifer Aniston Crashes ‘SNL’ to Confront Vanessa Bayer Over Her Rachel Green Impression

      When Rachel met Rachel. Vanessa Bayer‘s Saturday Night Live impression of Rachel Green from Friends has been a fan-favorite in the year of ’90s television reboots, but Jennifer Aniston isn’t so impressed. The real Friends castmember, 47, stopped by the show with a few critiques for her Office Christmas Party costar.

    • Dear Abby: Our child's friends need help on fees

      DEAR ABBY: My daughter has been friends with twin girls for several years. Their parents are divorced, and we’ve always known that money is tight in their family. We invite them over to eat as often as we can, and they know our home is their home and a safe place. The girls are now all applying to colleges, but the twins have repeatedly expressed concern that they don’t have enough money to pay the ACT submission fees or the college submission fees. They are both working long hours and trying to save money for college. We are in a position to help them submit these applications, but don’t know how to approach the topic. We are not close with either of their parents. Most important, we don’t want

      Chicago Sun-Times q
    • 6-Year-Old Flower Girl Creates Adorable To-Do List Before Walking Down the Aisle

      When one 6-year-old girl was asked by her aunt if she'd be the flower girl in her upcoming wedding, she took the role very seriously. In fact, Niamh Heneghan started a to-do list before the big day -- December 27 -- so she can be prepared. It's her first time being a flower girl," her father added.

      Good Morning America
    • United Flight Crash Lands at San Antonio Airport

      The plane's nose gear collapsed as it landed causing the passengers and crew to be evacuated via emergency chutes.

      ABC News Videos
    • Sister Wives Star Janelle Brown Contemplates a ‘Terrifying’ Move to Mend Her Relationship with Meri

      After years of on-and-off tension, Sister Wives’ Meri and Janelle Brown are trying out some possible new ways to save their relationship. In an exclusive clip of Sunday’s episode, the reality stars are surprised when their family therapist, Nancy Hunterton, suggests they either take a camping trip together or go out to dinner to work on their communication. “The idea of going away on a camping trip for a couple of days, it’s emotionally terrifying to me to because we don’t even ride in the same car when we come ,” says Janelle.

    • Report: Peyton Manning invited to join Augusta National Golf Club

      Peyton Manning carries a 4.4 USGA handicap index. Retired NFL quarterback Peyton Manning is apparently set to become a member of Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters, according to a report from Austin Rhodes of the Augusta-area radio station, WGAC. Augusta National does not (and is under no obligation to) discuss membership matters, so it’s not like there will be confirmation or denial.

      Devil Ball Golf
    • World-Record Ferrari Attempt Falls Short

      Finali Mondiali at Daytona International Speedway a few cars short.

      The Drive
    • 11 Gifts to Give Yourself From Sephora (12 photos)

      While you’re shopping for gifts for your loved ones to let them know just how much you appreciate them, make sure you remember the most important person — YOU. You’ve made it through another year; don’t you think you deserve a little something too? We think so. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite beauty finds (all available at Sephora ), because 'tis the season to treat yourself. Related: The Best Beauty Products at Sephora, According to Sephora Pro Artists Let's keep in touch! Follow Yahoo Beauty on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram , and Pinterest .

      Yahoo Beauty 48 min ago
    • How Do Victoria's Secret Angels Unwind After the Show?

      A lot of preparation and planning goes into the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. The models diet and exercise to make sure they’re in prime shape to grace the runway in their skivvies. But after the last model has walked, and the glitter has fallen … what do the Victoria’s Secret Angels do post show? Watch the video to find out.

      Yahoo Style
    • Pregnant Tori Spelling Steps Out with Her Family for Early Christmas Celebrations

      It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for the Spelling-McDermott brood! The family of six attended the 6th Annual Santa’s Secret Workshop in West Hollywood benefiting L.A. Family Housing, an organization that aides the homeless.

    • U.S. reshaping budget to account for Russian military threat

      By Andrea Shalal SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (Reuters) - Russia's increasing military activities around the world have unsettled top U.S. military officials, who say they are reshaping their budget plans to better address what they now consider to be the most pressing threat to U.S. security. "Russia is the No. 1 threat to the United States. James, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson and Pentagon chief arms buyer Frank Kendall, all voiced growing concern about Russia's increasingly aggressive behavior in interviews late on Saturday.

    • Selena Gomez went out in her PJs and looked like a dream

      Celebrities where pajamas outside! Just like us! Who hasn’t gone to the grocery store, class, or the movies, wearing pjs hoping no one…

      Hello Giggles
    • Police: Gunman Went to Restaurant to 'Self-Investigate' Conspiracy Theory

      Police in the U.S. capital said a man arrested Sunday for firing a gun inside a popular pizza restaurant told them he was there to "self-investigate" a conspiracy theory, which spread through fake news stories during the presidential campaign. Fake stories were prevalent throughout the race between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping to obscure facts about their positions and history and gaining wide exposure thanks to people sharing the false information on social media. Sunday's incident happened at Comet Ping Pong, where a fake narrative alleges there is a pedophilia ring linked to Clinton. Restaurant owner James Alefantis reported getting repeated death threats before the election.

      VOA News q
    • DWTS’ Maks Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd Get Kicked Out of Lamaze Class

      It appears Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd might need a little more rehearsal time before bringing home baby. On Saturday, Chmerkovskiy turned on his selfie camera for a confessional about the couple’s first Lamaze childbirth class. “Baby, what just happened?” Chmerkovskiy, 36, asked his pregnant fiancée.

    • Beckham bitter against officiating crew after loss to Steelers

      New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. believes Terry McAulay's officiating crew, a similar one that has refereed his last two matchups with cornerback Josh Norman, has treated him differently.

      SNY q