BBQ Ribs

Don’t put just any sauce on those ribs! A great sauce makes a big difference. Photo by Kelly Cline | IST.





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KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.



August 2007

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Rubs, Marinades & Glazes

Best Barbecue Sauces

Award-Winning BBQ Sauces That Get Our Nod, Too



This year, our barbecue sauces had global influences—from the Pacific Northwest and Texas to Mexico and the Caribbean to Mozambique, on the southeast coast of Africa. In alphabetical order, they are:

Chukar Cherries and El Gringo Loco’s Sweet Island Heat are very special recipes that beg to be tried. Please also see our favorite barbecue sauces for 2006—the article includes good general information about barbecue sauces (including why there are three different spellings of “barbecue”).

Want more sauce? Return to the main barbecue sauce page for our other winners.

Chukar Cherries Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce

The most unusual sauce in our group is from Chukar Cherries, a specialist in cherry  products. Their Cherry Chipotle BBQ sauce has a dynamite sour cherry base with medium chipotle heat and crunchy minced onion bits. Combine cherry richness and smoky chipotle with Dijon mustard, honey, rice vinegar and cranberries, and you have something that is clearly not your father’s tomato-based barbecue sauce. Especially good for poultry and pork, we also enjoyed it on a barbecued leg of lamb. Heck, we enjoyed it on eggs, sandwiches...just about everything. We plan to enjoy the rest of it as a spicy topping for pancakes.


Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Certified kosher by KOF-K

  • 13-Ounce Jar

Shop online at

Or telephone 1.800.624.9544

All prices and products in this article are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is generally additional.

All bottle photography by Victoria Marshman.


Chukar Cherries Barbecue Sauce

El Gringo Loco

The crazy gringo makes a very thick barbecue sauce. Heat ‘n Honey Mexican Barbecue Fusion starts with a typical American barbecue sauce recipe: tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, molasses, honey, orange and pineapple juice. But then, the “south of the border” influence is blended in: smoky chipotle chiles, cilantro, garlic and tamarind. But the real star here is Sweet Island Heat, which starts with six different fruits, including mangos, oranges and pineapples, blended with ginger, garlic and a touch of habañero. But the most surprising thing, when you open the bottle, is the aroma of curry. The Caribbean has a large population of people who immigrated from India, and there’s a fusion influence on the cuisine. With curry, garlic, heat and a riot of fruit on the palate, this barbecue sauce is unusual and wonderful. And, it makes an incredible sandwich condiment with ham, pork, turkey, chicken, lamb, beef, cheese or vegetables. We also used it as a base for canapés.


Heat ‘n Honey Mexican Barbecue Fusion, Sweet Island Heat

  • 20-Ounce Bottle

Shop online at


Pick up some barbecue tips from a champion barbecue master (and the creator of one of last year’s top sauces). Read The Basics Of Barbecue.

El Gringo Loco Barbecue Sauces

Mozambique BBQ Sauce

This intensely rich tomato-based sauce is not sweet, despite the apricots, peaches, orange juice, molasses and brown sugar in the recipe. It has sophisticated adult flavors. That’s no surprise, since the sauce is part of a product line created by the sophisticated Mozambique Restaurant in Laguna Beach, California, a haute cuisine interpretation of the foods of Mozambique. The sauce has mild level of cayenne-type heat, and a thickness that also makes it an exciting substitute for gourmet spicy ketchup on a burger, or as a condiment with eggs. The Mozambique Spice Company has a line of delicious sauces and spices—we’ll be reviewing the entire line soon—so feel free to order the other products that appeal to you. And, if you find yourself in Laguna Beach, stop in at the restaurant.

mozambique bbq SAUCE


  • 12.-Ounce Bottle

Shop online at

For more information about the product line and the restaurant, visit


Before you put those burgers on the grill, learn how to make a better burger.


Mozambique BBQ Sauce

The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que Sauce

Our last sauces come from Driftwood, Texas—but The Salt Lick is no traditional Texas barbecue sauce (nor is it salty). It’s more like a salad dressing, in that it’s a thick vinaigrette—soybean oil, vinegar, sugar, prepared mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and spices. It’s sweet and tangy and goes great on a salad. (You can see in the photo below how the oil separates like in a vinaigrette—you need to shake it a bunch to integrate it back in). The Spicy version adds some habañero (but not too much), and the Chipotle Tomato actually enters traditional barbecue sauce territory by blending the Original with tomato ketchup and a variety of spices. We generally don’t like products that are very sweet, but we are captivated by the layers of flavor in this family of sauces. Because they do have so much oil, we like them best for grilling products with the least amount of fat or no fat, like seafood and vegetables.  And seriously, try them on the salad greens—a little goes a long way. These sauces taste so good, you’ll be pouring them on everything.

THE salt lick BAR-B-QUE

Chipotle Tomato, Original, Lauren’s Spicy Habañero

  • 12-Ounce Bottle
    3-Bottle Gift Pack

Shop online at

Original and Spicy Habañero are available for $6.95 each at




Salt Lick Barbecue Sauce

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