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The Rib House: A Taste of Kansas City Barbecue in the Heart of Colorado

The Rib House: A Taste of Kansas City Barbecue in the Heart of Colorado


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Tracy and Merry Ann Webb never really intended to open a barbecue rib joint. When they moved from Kansas City, Missouri to Longmont in Colorado, they both missed the sort of barbecue that they were used to in their hometown, famous for its smoked meats.

The origin of The Rib House was not unlike many restaurateurs who start out from humble beginnings. In Tracy’s case, he had a smoker in the backyard where he would cook his own version of ribs and brisket. Of course, the wafting aroma of smoke led to samples given to neighbors who then started requesting more of his mouth-watering, tasty pork.

In 2001, he saw an ad for a retail space in the trendy, 80-acre urban community of New Town Prospect in Longmont. The rest, as they say, is history.

Customers can order at the front counter and find seating in a couple of expanded areas. The walls are lined with numerous awards including Channel 7’s A-List for the Best Barbecue in Colorado (2007) and Discovery Channel’s Best of Colorado for Barbecue (2015). The one, however, that even caught the owners by surprise was Sunset Magazine’s accolade that bestowed their coveted Top Barbecue in the Western U.S. in 2009.

Tracy is a humble man, reminding people that he is just an average guy from the car industry who loves barbecue.

His secret? He starts with some of the best pork and beef he can find, straight from Iowa. Next it is given a dry rub with his own blend of seasonings. Then he slowly cooks it for 11 to 12 hours over hickory wood which is specially brought in from Missouri since Colorado doesn’t have this kind of tree. When done the meat is fork-tender and literally falls off the bone. Finally, the fat is trimmed so customers can eat everything without getting all “messy from the ribs,” as he puts it.

Add to all this a variety of tomato-based sauces and you have a recipe for success over the years. Tracy and Merry Ann’s loyal clientele includes people who drive from other states like Wyoming and Nebraska, and Hollywood celebrities and businessmen who fly in to a nearby tiny airport from around the world just to eat here.

It’s no surprise that the #1 seller is Tracy’s Famous Illegal Ribs, followed by beef brisket and boneless beef short ribs.

“I also serve something that nobody else has,” says Tracy with a smile. Coming out of the kitchen he holds a basket with two humongous (4 to 5 ounce) chicken wings. “I give these a dry rub, smoke them and crisp them up in the fryer,” he says, which makes them plump, juicy, and delicious.


We Tasted Six BBQ Sauces and Here's What We Learned

Not all bottled sauces were made the same. Find out which grocery store brands are worth the money.

Armed with a stack of fluffy white bread slices, associate editor Hannah Hayes and I sampled six different brands of barbecue sauces commonly found in grocery stores throughout the South. What you like in a barbecue sauce depends on where you&aposre from and what you grew up eating. It&aposs almost as personal as your football team or place of worship. This taste test was limited to tomato-based "red" sauces, with the exception of one white barbecue sauce. We didn&apost include mustard-based sauces in this taste test𠅊lthough I personally love them, especially on pulled pork. Read on to find out which brands came out on top.

Big Bob Gibson Champion Red Sauce
This tomato-based sauce from Alabama&aposs Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q was named "Best Sauce on the Planet" at the American Royal International Sauce Contest. That&aposs quite a title to live up to, but we were fans of this rich, heavily spiced sauce. Made with raisin paste, brown sugar, and molasses, it&aposs definitely on the sweeter side, but it&aposs not cloyingly sweet. A hint of orange peel adds complexity. Try this sauce with pulled pork or chicken.

Kraft Slow-Simmered Original Barbecue Sauce
This sauce packs a whole lot of spicy, tangy flavor. We detected a strong tomato (most likely ketchup) base, livened up with a good amount of smoke and heat—possibly from ground cayenne. The label is unclear about the specific spices used, other than paprika, dried garlic, and dried onions. Try this sauce on ribs or as a dipping sauce for chicken.

Stubb&aposs Original
If you&aposre not a fan of overly sweet barbecue sauce, the sauce from this Texas barbecue joint might be your new favorite. We liked its savory, smoky flavor, which reminded us of a good charred salsa, or fire-roasted tomatoes. Vinegar, molasses, and black pepper balance out the tomatoes and add complexity and a nice amount of sweetness, tanginess, and spice. We think this sauce would be great on brisket.

Sweet Baby Ray&aposs Original Barbecue Sauce
Pineapple juice concentrate and tamarind make Sweet Baby Ray&aposs sauce fruity, a little bit tropical, and, well. sweet. This sauce had the thickest consistency of the bunch, and a dark, rich color. We think it would work best with ribs or baked beans. (We&aposre going to overlook the fact that it&aposs made in Chicago.)

KC Masterpiece
Made with tomatoes, onions, molasses, and spices (including turmeric), this "kettle-cooked" Kansas City-style sauce was the sweetest and darkest sauce we tested. We thought it would pair well with grilled chicken.

Big Bob Gibson&aposs Original White Sauce
The one outlier of the bunch was this white, mayonnaise-based sauce, a cult favorite in North Alabama. Typically served with chicken, this mild and tangy white sauce has a little heat from black pepper. If you&aposre looking for a change of pace from the usual tomato-based sauce, give it a try. Or use it as an easy dressing for coleslaw or dipping sauce for grilled shrimp.


We Tasted Six BBQ Sauces and Here's What We Learned

Not all bottled sauces were made the same. Find out which grocery store brands are worth the money.

Armed with a stack of fluffy white bread slices, associate editor Hannah Hayes and I sampled six different brands of barbecue sauces commonly found in grocery stores throughout the South. What you like in a barbecue sauce depends on where you&aposre from and what you grew up eating. It&aposs almost as personal as your football team or place of worship. This taste test was limited to tomato-based "red" sauces, with the exception of one white barbecue sauce. We didn&apost include mustard-based sauces in this taste test𠅊lthough I personally love them, especially on pulled pork. Read on to find out which brands came out on top.

Big Bob Gibson Champion Red Sauce
This tomato-based sauce from Alabama&aposs Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q was named "Best Sauce on the Planet" at the American Royal International Sauce Contest. That&aposs quite a title to live up to, but we were fans of this rich, heavily spiced sauce. Made with raisin paste, brown sugar, and molasses, it&aposs definitely on the sweeter side, but it&aposs not cloyingly sweet. A hint of orange peel adds complexity. Try this sauce with pulled pork or chicken.

Kraft Slow-Simmered Original Barbecue Sauce
This sauce packs a whole lot of spicy, tangy flavor. We detected a strong tomato (most likely ketchup) base, livened up with a good amount of smoke and heat—possibly from ground cayenne. The label is unclear about the specific spices used, other than paprika, dried garlic, and dried onions. Try this sauce on ribs or as a dipping sauce for chicken.

Stubb&aposs Original
If you&aposre not a fan of overly sweet barbecue sauce, the sauce from this Texas barbecue joint might be your new favorite. We liked its savory, smoky flavor, which reminded us of a good charred salsa, or fire-roasted tomatoes. Vinegar, molasses, and black pepper balance out the tomatoes and add complexity and a nice amount of sweetness, tanginess, and spice. We think this sauce would be great on brisket.

Sweet Baby Ray&aposs Original Barbecue Sauce
Pineapple juice concentrate and tamarind make Sweet Baby Ray&aposs sauce fruity, a little bit tropical, and, well. sweet. This sauce had the thickest consistency of the bunch, and a dark, rich color. We think it would work best with ribs or baked beans. (We&aposre going to overlook the fact that it&aposs made in Chicago.)

KC Masterpiece
Made with tomatoes, onions, molasses, and spices (including turmeric), this "kettle-cooked" Kansas City-style sauce was the sweetest and darkest sauce we tested. We thought it would pair well with grilled chicken.

Big Bob Gibson&aposs Original White Sauce
The one outlier of the bunch was this white, mayonnaise-based sauce, a cult favorite in North Alabama. Typically served with chicken, this mild and tangy white sauce has a little heat from black pepper. If you&aposre looking for a change of pace from the usual tomato-based sauce, give it a try. Or use it as an easy dressing for coleslaw or dipping sauce for grilled shrimp.


We Tasted Six BBQ Sauces and Here's What We Learned

Not all bottled sauces were made the same. Find out which grocery store brands are worth the money.

Armed with a stack of fluffy white bread slices, associate editor Hannah Hayes and I sampled six different brands of barbecue sauces commonly found in grocery stores throughout the South. What you like in a barbecue sauce depends on where you&aposre from and what you grew up eating. It&aposs almost as personal as your football team or place of worship. This taste test was limited to tomato-based "red" sauces, with the exception of one white barbecue sauce. We didn&apost include mustard-based sauces in this taste test𠅊lthough I personally love them, especially on pulled pork. Read on to find out which brands came out on top.

Big Bob Gibson Champion Red Sauce
This tomato-based sauce from Alabama&aposs Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q was named "Best Sauce on the Planet" at the American Royal International Sauce Contest. That&aposs quite a title to live up to, but we were fans of this rich, heavily spiced sauce. Made with raisin paste, brown sugar, and molasses, it&aposs definitely on the sweeter side, but it&aposs not cloyingly sweet. A hint of orange peel adds complexity. Try this sauce with pulled pork or chicken.

Kraft Slow-Simmered Original Barbecue Sauce
This sauce packs a whole lot of spicy, tangy flavor. We detected a strong tomato (most likely ketchup) base, livened up with a good amount of smoke and heat—possibly from ground cayenne. The label is unclear about the specific spices used, other than paprika, dried garlic, and dried onions. Try this sauce on ribs or as a dipping sauce for chicken.

Stubb&aposs Original
If you&aposre not a fan of overly sweet barbecue sauce, the sauce from this Texas barbecue joint might be your new favorite. We liked its savory, smoky flavor, which reminded us of a good charred salsa, or fire-roasted tomatoes. Vinegar, molasses, and black pepper balance out the tomatoes and add complexity and a nice amount of sweetness, tanginess, and spice. We think this sauce would be great on brisket.

Sweet Baby Ray&aposs Original Barbecue Sauce
Pineapple juice concentrate and tamarind make Sweet Baby Ray&aposs sauce fruity, a little bit tropical, and, well. sweet. This sauce had the thickest consistency of the bunch, and a dark, rich color. We think it would work best with ribs or baked beans. (We&aposre going to overlook the fact that it&aposs made in Chicago.)

KC Masterpiece
Made with tomatoes, onions, molasses, and spices (including turmeric), this "kettle-cooked" Kansas City-style sauce was the sweetest and darkest sauce we tested. We thought it would pair well with grilled chicken.

Big Bob Gibson&aposs Original White Sauce
The one outlier of the bunch was this white, mayonnaise-based sauce, a cult favorite in North Alabama. Typically served with chicken, this mild and tangy white sauce has a little heat from black pepper. If you&aposre looking for a change of pace from the usual tomato-based sauce, give it a try. Or use it as an easy dressing for coleslaw or dipping sauce for grilled shrimp.


We Tasted Six BBQ Sauces and Here's What We Learned

Not all bottled sauces were made the same. Find out which grocery store brands are worth the money.

Armed with a stack of fluffy white bread slices, associate editor Hannah Hayes and I sampled six different brands of barbecue sauces commonly found in grocery stores throughout the South. What you like in a barbecue sauce depends on where you&aposre from and what you grew up eating. It&aposs almost as personal as your football team or place of worship. This taste test was limited to tomato-based "red" sauces, with the exception of one white barbecue sauce. We didn&apost include mustard-based sauces in this taste test𠅊lthough I personally love them, especially on pulled pork. Read on to find out which brands came out on top.

Big Bob Gibson Champion Red Sauce
This tomato-based sauce from Alabama&aposs Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q was named "Best Sauce on the Planet" at the American Royal International Sauce Contest. That&aposs quite a title to live up to, but we were fans of this rich, heavily spiced sauce. Made with raisin paste, brown sugar, and molasses, it&aposs definitely on the sweeter side, but it&aposs not cloyingly sweet. A hint of orange peel adds complexity. Try this sauce with pulled pork or chicken.

Kraft Slow-Simmered Original Barbecue Sauce
This sauce packs a whole lot of spicy, tangy flavor. We detected a strong tomato (most likely ketchup) base, livened up with a good amount of smoke and heat—possibly from ground cayenne. The label is unclear about the specific spices used, other than paprika, dried garlic, and dried onions. Try this sauce on ribs or as a dipping sauce for chicken.

Stubb&aposs Original
If you&aposre not a fan of overly sweet barbecue sauce, the sauce from this Texas barbecue joint might be your new favorite. We liked its savory, smoky flavor, which reminded us of a good charred salsa, or fire-roasted tomatoes. Vinegar, molasses, and black pepper balance out the tomatoes and add complexity and a nice amount of sweetness, tanginess, and spice. We think this sauce would be great on brisket.

Sweet Baby Ray&aposs Original Barbecue Sauce
Pineapple juice concentrate and tamarind make Sweet Baby Ray&aposs sauce fruity, a little bit tropical, and, well. sweet. This sauce had the thickest consistency of the bunch, and a dark, rich color. We think it would work best with ribs or baked beans. (We&aposre going to overlook the fact that it&aposs made in Chicago.)

KC Masterpiece
Made with tomatoes, onions, molasses, and spices (including turmeric), this "kettle-cooked" Kansas City-style sauce was the sweetest and darkest sauce we tested. We thought it would pair well with grilled chicken.

Big Bob Gibson&aposs Original White Sauce
The one outlier of the bunch was this white, mayonnaise-based sauce, a cult favorite in North Alabama. Typically served with chicken, this mild and tangy white sauce has a little heat from black pepper. If you&aposre looking for a change of pace from the usual tomato-based sauce, give it a try. Or use it as an easy dressing for coleslaw or dipping sauce for grilled shrimp.


We Tasted Six BBQ Sauces and Here's What We Learned

Not all bottled sauces were made the same. Find out which grocery store brands are worth the money.

Armed with a stack of fluffy white bread slices, associate editor Hannah Hayes and I sampled six different brands of barbecue sauces commonly found in grocery stores throughout the South. What you like in a barbecue sauce depends on where you&aposre from and what you grew up eating. It&aposs almost as personal as your football team or place of worship. This taste test was limited to tomato-based "red" sauces, with the exception of one white barbecue sauce. We didn&apost include mustard-based sauces in this taste test𠅊lthough I personally love them, especially on pulled pork. Read on to find out which brands came out on top.

Big Bob Gibson Champion Red Sauce
This tomato-based sauce from Alabama&aposs Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q was named "Best Sauce on the Planet" at the American Royal International Sauce Contest. That&aposs quite a title to live up to, but we were fans of this rich, heavily spiced sauce. Made with raisin paste, brown sugar, and molasses, it&aposs definitely on the sweeter side, but it&aposs not cloyingly sweet. A hint of orange peel adds complexity. Try this sauce with pulled pork or chicken.

Kraft Slow-Simmered Original Barbecue Sauce
This sauce packs a whole lot of spicy, tangy flavor. We detected a strong tomato (most likely ketchup) base, livened up with a good amount of smoke and heat—possibly from ground cayenne. The label is unclear about the specific spices used, other than paprika, dried garlic, and dried onions. Try this sauce on ribs or as a dipping sauce for chicken.

Stubb&aposs Original
If you&aposre not a fan of overly sweet barbecue sauce, the sauce from this Texas barbecue joint might be your new favorite. We liked its savory, smoky flavor, which reminded us of a good charred salsa, or fire-roasted tomatoes. Vinegar, molasses, and black pepper balance out the tomatoes and add complexity and a nice amount of sweetness, tanginess, and spice. We think this sauce would be great on brisket.

Sweet Baby Ray&aposs Original Barbecue Sauce
Pineapple juice concentrate and tamarind make Sweet Baby Ray&aposs sauce fruity, a little bit tropical, and, well. sweet. This sauce had the thickest consistency of the bunch, and a dark, rich color. We think it would work best with ribs or baked beans. (We&aposre going to overlook the fact that it&aposs made in Chicago.)

KC Masterpiece
Made with tomatoes, onions, molasses, and spices (including turmeric), this "kettle-cooked" Kansas City-style sauce was the sweetest and darkest sauce we tested. We thought it would pair well with grilled chicken.

Big Bob Gibson&aposs Original White Sauce
The one outlier of the bunch was this white, mayonnaise-based sauce, a cult favorite in North Alabama. Typically served with chicken, this mild and tangy white sauce has a little heat from black pepper. If you&aposre looking for a change of pace from the usual tomato-based sauce, give it a try. Or use it as an easy dressing for coleslaw or dipping sauce for grilled shrimp.


We Tasted Six BBQ Sauces and Here's What We Learned

Not all bottled sauces were made the same. Find out which grocery store brands are worth the money.

Armed with a stack of fluffy white bread slices, associate editor Hannah Hayes and I sampled six different brands of barbecue sauces commonly found in grocery stores throughout the South. What you like in a barbecue sauce depends on where you&aposre from and what you grew up eating. It&aposs almost as personal as your football team or place of worship. This taste test was limited to tomato-based "red" sauces, with the exception of one white barbecue sauce. We didn&apost include mustard-based sauces in this taste test𠅊lthough I personally love them, especially on pulled pork. Read on to find out which brands came out on top.

Big Bob Gibson Champion Red Sauce
This tomato-based sauce from Alabama&aposs Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q was named "Best Sauce on the Planet" at the American Royal International Sauce Contest. That&aposs quite a title to live up to, but we were fans of this rich, heavily spiced sauce. Made with raisin paste, brown sugar, and molasses, it&aposs definitely on the sweeter side, but it&aposs not cloyingly sweet. A hint of orange peel adds complexity. Try this sauce with pulled pork or chicken.

Kraft Slow-Simmered Original Barbecue Sauce
This sauce packs a whole lot of spicy, tangy flavor. We detected a strong tomato (most likely ketchup) base, livened up with a good amount of smoke and heat—possibly from ground cayenne. The label is unclear about the specific spices used, other than paprika, dried garlic, and dried onions. Try this sauce on ribs or as a dipping sauce for chicken.

Stubb&aposs Original
If you&aposre not a fan of overly sweet barbecue sauce, the sauce from this Texas barbecue joint might be your new favorite. We liked its savory, smoky flavor, which reminded us of a good charred salsa, or fire-roasted tomatoes. Vinegar, molasses, and black pepper balance out the tomatoes and add complexity and a nice amount of sweetness, tanginess, and spice. We think this sauce would be great on brisket.

Sweet Baby Ray&aposs Original Barbecue Sauce
Pineapple juice concentrate and tamarind make Sweet Baby Ray&aposs sauce fruity, a little bit tropical, and, well. sweet. This sauce had the thickest consistency of the bunch, and a dark, rich color. We think it would work best with ribs or baked beans. (We&aposre going to overlook the fact that it&aposs made in Chicago.)

KC Masterpiece
Made with tomatoes, onions, molasses, and spices (including turmeric), this "kettle-cooked" Kansas City-style sauce was the sweetest and darkest sauce we tested. We thought it would pair well with grilled chicken.

Big Bob Gibson&aposs Original White Sauce
The one outlier of the bunch was this white, mayonnaise-based sauce, a cult favorite in North Alabama. Typically served with chicken, this mild and tangy white sauce has a little heat from black pepper. If you&aposre looking for a change of pace from the usual tomato-based sauce, give it a try. Or use it as an easy dressing for coleslaw or dipping sauce for grilled shrimp.


We Tasted Six BBQ Sauces and Here's What We Learned

Not all bottled sauces were made the same. Find out which grocery store brands are worth the money.

Armed with a stack of fluffy white bread slices, associate editor Hannah Hayes and I sampled six different brands of barbecue sauces commonly found in grocery stores throughout the South. What you like in a barbecue sauce depends on where you&aposre from and what you grew up eating. It&aposs almost as personal as your football team or place of worship. This taste test was limited to tomato-based "red" sauces, with the exception of one white barbecue sauce. We didn&apost include mustard-based sauces in this taste test𠅊lthough I personally love them, especially on pulled pork. Read on to find out which brands came out on top.

Big Bob Gibson Champion Red Sauce
This tomato-based sauce from Alabama&aposs Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q was named "Best Sauce on the Planet" at the American Royal International Sauce Contest. That&aposs quite a title to live up to, but we were fans of this rich, heavily spiced sauce. Made with raisin paste, brown sugar, and molasses, it&aposs definitely on the sweeter side, but it&aposs not cloyingly sweet. A hint of orange peel adds complexity. Try this sauce with pulled pork or chicken.

Kraft Slow-Simmered Original Barbecue Sauce
This sauce packs a whole lot of spicy, tangy flavor. We detected a strong tomato (most likely ketchup) base, livened up with a good amount of smoke and heat—possibly from ground cayenne. The label is unclear about the specific spices used, other than paprika, dried garlic, and dried onions. Try this sauce on ribs or as a dipping sauce for chicken.

Stubb&aposs Original
If you&aposre not a fan of overly sweet barbecue sauce, the sauce from this Texas barbecue joint might be your new favorite. We liked its savory, smoky flavor, which reminded us of a good charred salsa, or fire-roasted tomatoes. Vinegar, molasses, and black pepper balance out the tomatoes and add complexity and a nice amount of sweetness, tanginess, and spice. We think this sauce would be great on brisket.

Sweet Baby Ray&aposs Original Barbecue Sauce
Pineapple juice concentrate and tamarind make Sweet Baby Ray&aposs sauce fruity, a little bit tropical, and, well. sweet. This sauce had the thickest consistency of the bunch, and a dark, rich color. We think it would work best with ribs or baked beans. (We&aposre going to overlook the fact that it&aposs made in Chicago.)

KC Masterpiece
Made with tomatoes, onions, molasses, and spices (including turmeric), this "kettle-cooked" Kansas City-style sauce was the sweetest and darkest sauce we tested. We thought it would pair well with grilled chicken.

Big Bob Gibson&aposs Original White Sauce
The one outlier of the bunch was this white, mayonnaise-based sauce, a cult favorite in North Alabama. Typically served with chicken, this mild and tangy white sauce has a little heat from black pepper. If you&aposre looking for a change of pace from the usual tomato-based sauce, give it a try. Or use it as an easy dressing for coleslaw or dipping sauce for grilled shrimp.


We Tasted Six BBQ Sauces and Here's What We Learned

Not all bottled sauces were made the same. Find out which grocery store brands are worth the money.

Armed with a stack of fluffy white bread slices, associate editor Hannah Hayes and I sampled six different brands of barbecue sauces commonly found in grocery stores throughout the South. What you like in a barbecue sauce depends on where you&aposre from and what you grew up eating. It&aposs almost as personal as your football team or place of worship. This taste test was limited to tomato-based "red" sauces, with the exception of one white barbecue sauce. We didn&apost include mustard-based sauces in this taste test𠅊lthough I personally love them, especially on pulled pork. Read on to find out which brands came out on top.

Big Bob Gibson Champion Red Sauce
This tomato-based sauce from Alabama&aposs Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q was named "Best Sauce on the Planet" at the American Royal International Sauce Contest. That&aposs quite a title to live up to, but we were fans of this rich, heavily spiced sauce. Made with raisin paste, brown sugar, and molasses, it&aposs definitely on the sweeter side, but it&aposs not cloyingly sweet. A hint of orange peel adds complexity. Try this sauce with pulled pork or chicken.

Kraft Slow-Simmered Original Barbecue Sauce
This sauce packs a whole lot of spicy, tangy flavor. We detected a strong tomato (most likely ketchup) base, livened up with a good amount of smoke and heat—possibly from ground cayenne. The label is unclear about the specific spices used, other than paprika, dried garlic, and dried onions. Try this sauce on ribs or as a dipping sauce for chicken.

Stubb&aposs Original
If you&aposre not a fan of overly sweet barbecue sauce, the sauce from this Texas barbecue joint might be your new favorite. We liked its savory, smoky flavor, which reminded us of a good charred salsa, or fire-roasted tomatoes. Vinegar, molasses, and black pepper balance out the tomatoes and add complexity and a nice amount of sweetness, tanginess, and spice. We think this sauce would be great on brisket.

Sweet Baby Ray&aposs Original Barbecue Sauce
Pineapple juice concentrate and tamarind make Sweet Baby Ray&aposs sauce fruity, a little bit tropical, and, well. sweet. This sauce had the thickest consistency of the bunch, and a dark, rich color. We think it would work best with ribs or baked beans. (We&aposre going to overlook the fact that it&aposs made in Chicago.)

KC Masterpiece
Made with tomatoes, onions, molasses, and spices (including turmeric), this "kettle-cooked" Kansas City-style sauce was the sweetest and darkest sauce we tested. We thought it would pair well with grilled chicken.

Big Bob Gibson&aposs Original White Sauce
The one outlier of the bunch was this white, mayonnaise-based sauce, a cult favorite in North Alabama. Typically served with chicken, this mild and tangy white sauce has a little heat from black pepper. If you&aposre looking for a change of pace from the usual tomato-based sauce, give it a try. Or use it as an easy dressing for coleslaw or dipping sauce for grilled shrimp.


We Tasted Six BBQ Sauces and Here's What We Learned

Not all bottled sauces were made the same. Find out which grocery store brands are worth the money.

Armed with a stack of fluffy white bread slices, associate editor Hannah Hayes and I sampled six different brands of barbecue sauces commonly found in grocery stores throughout the South. What you like in a barbecue sauce depends on where you&aposre from and what you grew up eating. It&aposs almost as personal as your football team or place of worship. This taste test was limited to tomato-based "red" sauces, with the exception of one white barbecue sauce. We didn&apost include mustard-based sauces in this taste test𠅊lthough I personally love them, especially on pulled pork. Read on to find out which brands came out on top.

Big Bob Gibson Champion Red Sauce
This tomato-based sauce from Alabama&aposs Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q was named "Best Sauce on the Planet" at the American Royal International Sauce Contest. That&aposs quite a title to live up to, but we were fans of this rich, heavily spiced sauce. Made with raisin paste, brown sugar, and molasses, it&aposs definitely on the sweeter side, but it&aposs not cloyingly sweet. A hint of orange peel adds complexity. Try this sauce with pulled pork or chicken.

Kraft Slow-Simmered Original Barbecue Sauce
This sauce packs a whole lot of spicy, tangy flavor. We detected a strong tomato (most likely ketchup) base, livened up with a good amount of smoke and heat—possibly from ground cayenne. The label is unclear about the specific spices used, other than paprika, dried garlic, and dried onions. Try this sauce on ribs or as a dipping sauce for chicken.

Stubb&aposs Original
If you&aposre not a fan of overly sweet barbecue sauce, the sauce from this Texas barbecue joint might be your new favorite. We liked its savory, smoky flavor, which reminded us of a good charred salsa, or fire-roasted tomatoes. Vinegar, molasses, and black pepper balance out the tomatoes and add complexity and a nice amount of sweetness, tanginess, and spice. We think this sauce would be great on brisket.

Sweet Baby Ray&aposs Original Barbecue Sauce
Pineapple juice concentrate and tamarind make Sweet Baby Ray&aposs sauce fruity, a little bit tropical, and, well. sweet. This sauce had the thickest consistency of the bunch, and a dark, rich color. We think it would work best with ribs or baked beans. (We&aposre going to overlook the fact that it&aposs made in Chicago.)

KC Masterpiece
Made with tomatoes, onions, molasses, and spices (including turmeric), this "kettle-cooked" Kansas City-style sauce was the sweetest and darkest sauce we tested. We thought it would pair well with grilled chicken.

Big Bob Gibson&aposs Original White Sauce
The one outlier of the bunch was this white, mayonnaise-based sauce, a cult favorite in North Alabama. Typically served with chicken, this mild and tangy white sauce has a little heat from black pepper. If you&aposre looking for a change of pace from the usual tomato-based sauce, give it a try. Or use it as an easy dressing for coleslaw or dipping sauce for grilled shrimp.


We Tasted Six BBQ Sauces and Here's What We Learned

Not all bottled sauces were made the same. Find out which grocery store brands are worth the money.

Armed with a stack of fluffy white bread slices, associate editor Hannah Hayes and I sampled six different brands of barbecue sauces commonly found in grocery stores throughout the South. What you like in a barbecue sauce depends on where you&aposre from and what you grew up eating. It&aposs almost as personal as your football team or place of worship. This taste test was limited to tomato-based "red" sauces, with the exception of one white barbecue sauce. We didn&apost include mustard-based sauces in this taste test𠅊lthough I personally love them, especially on pulled pork. Read on to find out which brands came out on top.

Big Bob Gibson Champion Red Sauce
This tomato-based sauce from Alabama&aposs Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q was named "Best Sauce on the Planet" at the American Royal International Sauce Contest. That&aposs quite a title to live up to, but we were fans of this rich, heavily spiced sauce. Made with raisin paste, brown sugar, and molasses, it&aposs definitely on the sweeter side, but it&aposs not cloyingly sweet. A hint of orange peel adds complexity. Try this sauce with pulled pork or chicken.

Kraft Slow-Simmered Original Barbecue Sauce
This sauce packs a whole lot of spicy, tangy flavor. We detected a strong tomato (most likely ketchup) base, livened up with a good amount of smoke and heat—possibly from ground cayenne. The label is unclear about the specific spices used, other than paprika, dried garlic, and dried onions. Try this sauce on ribs or as a dipping sauce for chicken.

Stubb&aposs Original
If you&aposre not a fan of overly sweet barbecue sauce, the sauce from this Texas barbecue joint might be your new favorite. We liked its savory, smoky flavor, which reminded us of a good charred salsa, or fire-roasted tomatoes. Vinegar, molasses, and black pepper balance out the tomatoes and add complexity and a nice amount of sweetness, tanginess, and spice. We think this sauce would be great on brisket.

Sweet Baby Ray&aposs Original Barbecue Sauce
Pineapple juice concentrate and tamarind make Sweet Baby Ray&aposs sauce fruity, a little bit tropical, and, well. sweet. This sauce had the thickest consistency of the bunch, and a dark, rich color. We think it would work best with ribs or baked beans. (We&aposre going to overlook the fact that it&aposs made in Chicago.)

KC Masterpiece
Made with tomatoes, onions, molasses, and spices (including turmeric), this "kettle-cooked" Kansas City-style sauce was the sweetest and darkest sauce we tested. We thought it would pair well with grilled chicken.

Big Bob Gibson&aposs Original White Sauce
The one outlier of the bunch was this white, mayonnaise-based sauce, a cult favorite in North Alabama. Typically served with chicken, this mild and tangy white sauce has a little heat from black pepper. If you&aposre looking for a change of pace from the usual tomato-based sauce, give it a try. Or use it as an easy dressing for coleslaw or dipping sauce for grilled shrimp.