In search of a good BBQ sauce

>> Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's been four months since we started our HFCS-free life, and we've done pretty good so far. There are really a lot of good HFCS-free alternatives out there! We even managed to find suitable HFCS-free ketchup substitutes fast. But, we've hit a stumbling block - BBQ sauce. We live in northern Wyoming now, but in our hearts, we'll always be Southerners, and to be a Southerner is to love BBQ. Surprisingly, finding good BBQ sauces that don't contain HFCS has proven to be a bigger challenge than finding good ketchup.

There are a few out there. The one that we've settled on for now is Stubb's Original BBQ Sauce. It's a decent sauce, and HFCS free, but it's Texas style BBQ-sauce, and we really prefer Memphis-style BBQ. (If you are not a BBQ aficionado, the differences between the different BBQ regions - Memphis, Texas, Carolinas, Kansas City, etc. - can be quite dramatic. But even the subtle differences add up!) Stubbs is pretty good, but it just doesn't quite satisfy our souls the way a good Memphis-style BBQ sauce does.

To date, I've found three other commercial BBQ sauces that don't contain HFCS: Annie's Naturals Original BBQ Sauce, Consorzio Organic BBQ Sauce, and McClard's Bar-B-Que Sauce. Of those, I've only tried the Annie's sauce. The Annie's sauce is not a hit here. It has a strong burnt undertaste and is unpleasantly hot for a BBQ sauce (in my and my son's opinion, at least). I'm intrigued by McClard's sauce and might have to order it go give it a taste, but the Consorzio sauce describes itself as having a hint of chili pepper flavor, and that doesn't really make me want to try it.

Do you have a favorite HFCS-free BBQ sauce? If you do, I want to hear about it - even if it isn't Memphis style! We're still looking for one that really makes our taste buds sing, and it's proving to be harder to find than I would have imagined!

On an unrelated note, I'm also searching for a good crockpot cookbook. Anyone know of a good one that uses mostly whole food ingredients (i.e. not condensed soups - though I love those too)?


Super Healthy Kids October 21, 2008 at 5:57 AM  

It seems as if my mom used to always make our BBQ sauce. Although I don't have the recipe, I'll see what I can dig up.

m October 21, 2008 at 8:59 AM  

I am always on the look out for a good BBQ sauce. Thanks for this!

laura October 21, 2008 at 9:45 AM  

I lived in Kansas City for a while and got addicted to one BBQ joint's sauce; am still seeking a from-scratch equal. Most of the recipes I've tried relied on ketchup for the base. Allrecipes has quite a few.

Lori October 21, 2008 at 1:39 PM  

Thanks for sharing the sauce options. I do like mine spicy. :)

I'm interested in the cookbook too. I really would rather not use canned soups and many recipes include those.

Christine in Iowa October 21, 2008 at 3:48 PM  

I just used Cookies BBQ sauce ( tonight in my bbq tofu over polenta recipe. mmm! and no HFCS. I've made my own bbq sauce, but the recipe is never handy and I always end up searching for it, so I'll have to be sure to SAVE the recipe you come up with :)

merathon October 21, 2008 at 8:22 PM  

i'm assuming you don't have a Trader Joe's there, but they have two different kinds of Trader Joe's brand BBQ sauces that are both really good! (and TJ's doesn't ever use HFCS!)

Choofy Mama October 21, 2008 at 11:18 PM  

luckily for us, our 2 fave sauces are HFCS free, and this was accidental-we were enjoying these long before we had any awareness of HFCS ;)

First is Wegman's memphis bbq sauce, it's SO good!

and next is dinosaur bbq sauce-dinosaur bbq is a local rib/honky tonk place, and they bottle their sauce and sell it and it's fab.

cathy October 22, 2008 at 8:35 AM  

Super Healthy Kids - You need to do a BBQ sauce post for me!

Laura - I'm starting to look at recipes now, though I can be kind of lazy and would really rather have a bottle in the fridge made by someone else to turn to. I think that I'm going to have to make some myself, though.

Lori - My husband likes his sauce spicy too.

Christine - Never heard of Cookies. Thanks for the rec!

Merethon - No Trader Joes. :-( I've never had the pleasure of even going to a TJ store.

Choofy Mama - Thanks so much! Always love your comments and recommendations!

Anonymous October 22, 2008 at 8:15 PM  

Bull's Eye is now HFCS free

cathy October 22, 2008 at 8:27 PM  

Anon - Ooo, we like Bulls Eye! It's a solid, if nondescript, BBQ sauce. Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous February 25, 2009 at 2:59 PM  

McClard's BBQ sauce is awesome. I'm originally from Hot Springs Ark, where McClard's BBQ joint is located at. The commercial version of McClards BBQ sauce is close but no cigar to the the sauce you get at the restraunt. BUT, it's still very good. Give it a try, believe me it's worth it! :)

Brad October 23, 2015 at 2:51 AM  

I agree.. McClards is awesome.. It's my favorite sauce by far

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