14 AMAZING Sauces For Pulled Pork
Jan 05, 2024
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Sweet, tangy, creamy, or fiery, nothing can transform a pulled pork sandwich like the perfectly crafted sauce. Take your next batch of tender, juicy pulled pork to the next level with this awesome list of sauces for pulled pork.
Forget about generic store-bought sauces. With this list of flavorful and easy-to-make recipes, you’ll never need to use premade BBQ sauce again.
So roll up those sleeves, bust out those slow cookers, and get ready for some of the tastiest pulled pork the planet has to offer.
I assure you, no matter what your tastes, you will find only the best BBQ sauce recipes on this list!
Best Sauces For Pulled Pork
I’ve searched far and wide, scouring the internet for the very best sauces for pulled pork! Trying to include a little something for everyone, I made sure to offer sauces of all varieties. Whether you like thick sauce, thin sauce, sweet or spicy sauce, this list has you covered.
There are traditional red BBQ sauces, perfect for slow-cooking pulled pork or slathering over entire racks of ribs before smoking. There are vinegar-based sauces that add a punch of tangy flavor, creamy sauces with a rich velvety texture, and thick, mustard-based sauces in a league of their own.
This list has a little bit to offer from each US region known for its distinct BBQ traditions. From the Carolinas to Tennessee and Alabama, each region has a different, mouthwatering contribution to make.
Get ready for creamy white sauces, fiery hot sauces, sweet, tangy red sauces, and everything in between!
Plus, each and every one of these easy recipes is great for way more than just pulled pork. Under each recipe, I’ve included a few more ideas for how to use your delicious homemade sauces.
We kick off our list of pulled pork sauces with this great recipe for vinegar BBQ sauce. Made with apple cider vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and more, it has the perfect balance of bright tanginess and sweet heat.
I’m telling you — this tasty, thin sauce, a gift from the world of North Carolina BBQ, can transform any pulled pork sandwich into a culinary masterpiece. One taste and I’m sure you’ll agree!
Plus, it is remarkably easy to make. Combine all ingredients, simmer gently, and that’s it! In less than 30 minutes, you’ll have some of the best BBQ sauce the East Coast has to offer.
You can also add a dash of this tangy and sweet sauce to grilled chicken, steamed veggies, slaw, or any of your favorite sides.
The next BBQ sauce on our list is bold, tangy, and undeniably unique. Carolina vinegar BBQ sauce, a product of South Carolina, is a thicker, mustard-infused sauce that evolved from the original, vinegar-based sauces of the area.
When German immigrants began settling in the area of the Carolinas, they brought their preferred tastes and ingredients with them. They began adding mustard to some of the area’s more traditional sauce recipes.
Eventually, tomato paste, honey, hot sauce, and spices were added to make a sauce that is perfectly smooth, balanced, and versatile.
Carolina gold barbecue sauce has a remarkable tanginess, slight sweetness, and subtle heat that makes it perfect for pulled pork, chicken tenders, burgers, salmon, and more.
Here’s another tangy sauce with a different spin. Instead of tomato sauce, vinegar, or mustard, Alabama white sauce starts with mayonnaise as its base.
Apple cider vinegar, lemon, mustard, Worcestershire, and spices add layers of bold flavor, while a touch of brown sugar adds a balancing sweetness. Overall, this white bbq sauce is rich, creamy, and robustly flavored.
Don’t let the rich creaminess throw you off, though! Alabama white sauce is not overly thick or heavy. You’ll find it somewhere in the middle of a thick and thin sauce, with just the right consistency for drizzling. In fact, the recipe includes a few ways to lighten it up even further.
This is one of my all-time favorite sauces for pulled pork or smokehouse chicken.
Skip the trip to the drive-through and make your favorite Arby’s sauce right at home. This easy-to-make copycat recipe gives you the formula to craft your very own batch of this sweet, tangy, and spicy sauce.
This combination of flavors makes it one of the best BBQ sauces for pulled pork, chicken, burgers, and so much more. In fact, this is the very sauce that makes all of Arby’s sandwiches so irresistible and is one of my personal favorites.
Add some to your next chicken, roast beef, pastrami, or turkey sandwich. It is so delicious, there is no way you can go wrong!
It doesn’t get much more downhome than this rich, zingy, homemade BBQ sauce recipe! Through a slow-simmering process, the alcohol from the whiskey evaporates off, leaving behind a concentrated, woodsy flavor that really sets this sauce apart.
In addition to the bourbon flavor, this BBQ sauce has a dash of Liquid Smoke in the recipe. If this is your first time working with this seasoning, get ready! It adds an intense burst of savory and smoky goodness.
Overall, the recipe was designed to be bold and zesty with just a touch of sweetness. I think you’ll find the rustic flavor perfect for pulled pork. However, you can add a bit more sweetness if you prefer.
This root beer BBQ sauce is hands down one of my very favorite sauces for pulled pork.
Loaded with layers of bright, tangy, sweet, and savory flavor, it is a crowd-pleasing sauce that can take pulled pork, grilled meats, sandwiches, and other dishes to the next level.
As a sweetener, root beer adds a subtle yet rich flavor profile with tones of vanilla, sassafras, cinnamon, molasses, and more. It might seem like a simple ingredient, but it really makes a huge difference!
That’s not the only secret ingredient in this recipe though! Orange juice adds a blast of bright citrus flavor, while Liquid Smoke adds a dash of deep smoky flavor — and the list goes on. This sauce will tantalize just about every taste bud you have!
For a well-rounded and versatile sauce, this Memphis BBQ sauce recipe is hard to beat. It has the ideal balance of tangy brightness and sweet heat, making it delicious on just about everything it touches.
What’s better, I’m willing to bet you have everything you need to make it in the pantry right now. This easy-to-make sauce comes together in just 15 minutes with simple ingredients like ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, and spices.
I’ve used this excellent sauce on pulled pork, ribs, grilled chicken, wings, and burgers. Whenever it’s available, it is also my go-to dipping sauce for french fries and other crispy treats. Make one batch of this sensational sauce and you’ll never want to be without it again!
Here’s another versatile BBQ sauce to jazz up your next batch of pulled pork. It has all the sweet, tangy flavor you crave in a BBQ sauce plus a nice, spicy kick.
This is the perfect sauce when you’re in the mood for something spicy with a hint of sweetness. A perfect balance of sweet and tangy, this sauce gets its heat from both cayenne pepper and sambal oelek — a popular Indonesian chili paste.
If desired, you can replace the sambal oelek with a different hot sauce of your choosing. You can also adjust the spiciness level of the recipe by adding more or less cayenne as suits your tastes.
Remember to add slowly and taste periodically. Adding a bit more spice is far easier than fixing a sauce that is way too hot. Chef’s choice, though!
For a different kind of heat, whip up a batch of this zesty horseradish sauce. An Arby’s copycat, this recipe is a simple combination of mayonnaise with prepared horseradish, sugar, and salt.
Mix it up, refrigerate for 30 minutes, and get ready for a luxuriously creamy sauce with a sharp horseradish bite. Don’t fret, though! A teaspoon of sugar gives the sauce just the right amount of harmonizing sweetness, leaving it with a perfectly balanced flavor.
Rich and creamy horseradish sauce makes an excellent spread for pulled pork and other sandwiches. It also works great as a dip for fries, wings, chicken fingers, and all manner of tasty fried snacks.
10. Steak Sauce
If you are a fan of Heinz 57, you are going to be a big fan of this recipe. This simple-to-craft recipe combines pantry staples like ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire, lemon, and spices. It comes out tasting almost identical to the famous steak sauce brand.
As the name implies, this homemade sauce tastes amazing on steak, but don’t let that limit you. This sauce is also a great fit for burgers, ribs, pulled pork, chicken, and more. I even love it on my baked potato with melted cheese, scallions, and a dollop of sour cream. Yes, please!
11. Campfire Sauce
Here’s a flavor bomb of a sauce that you can whip up in just 5 minutes with 4 simple ingredients. Toss some mayo, BBQ sauce, garlic powder, and chipotle powder in a bowl. Stir to combine and get ready to enjoy one incredibly tasty sauce.
Inspired by the campfire sauce at Red Robin restaurants, this copycat recipe is rich, creamy, smoky, and sweet. So easy to make and so loaded with flavor!
I like to use campfire sauce as a spread on pulled pork and other sandwiches. It also makes an excellent dipping sauce for fries, onion rings, and so much more.
12. Buffalo Sauce
If you’re looking to add some zesty heat to your pulled pork, this buffalo sauce recipe is the one for you.
It is a simple combination of hot sauce, Worcestershire, vinegar, melted butter, plus cayenne if you really want to crank up the heat a notch! This recipe uses Frank’s Red Hot, but feel free to use any hot sauce you prefer.
Buttery, savory, tangy, and hot, this is the best BBQ sauce for jazzing up pulled pork, hot wings, chicken tenders, french fries, pizza, and more.
This classic red BBQ sauce is made with a base of ketchup, mustard, and spices and is sweetened with a touch of brown sugar and molasses.
However, the addition of Coca Cola is what really sets this flavor profile apart and gives it a special sweetness and depth of character. As it cooks, the sweetness of the soda takes on a robust, almost savory note that enhances the flavor of everything it touches.
Add this sauce to your next pulled pork sandwich or use it to slather your next rack of baby back ribs!
Whether you are making pork, chicken, or beef, this is one sweet sauce you want to have in your kitchen.
And since the main ingredient is pineapple juice, this sauce will work to tenderize as it flavors. Double whammy! This makes it an excellent choice any time you are making pulled pork in the slow cooker.
This pineapple BBQ sauce recipe is great in the summertime or anytime you want to add a little sweet sunshine flavor.
Sweeten up pulled pork or any of your favorite meat dishes with this mouthwatering pineapple BBQ sauce. It’s also amazing for adding a touch of tropical flavor to seafood like shrimp, salmon, or tilapia.
More easy sauce recipes
Let me know if you made any of these sauces for pulled pork sandwiches in the comments. Which one is your favorite?
14 Best Sauces For Pulled Pork
- 1 cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Place the ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir together to combine.
- Heat over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and serve or store in the refrigerator.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.