Best BBQ Sauce That Is Not Sweet (Top 5 Picks)

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BBQ sauces are usually better known for being sweet and savory at a time. They indeed add an irresistible essence to the dish on the whole.

But what if you don’t like those traditional BBQ sauces with overly sweetening ingredients? In that case, you should look for the best BBQ sauce that is not sweet.

But is there any such sauce without sweet flavoring? Yes, there are some amazing choices and I handpicked the top five among them to please your taste bud.

So, let’s explore them below.

Best BBQ Sauce That Is Not Sweet You Can Go For

Originally, BBQ sauces were made with salt, pepper, and vinegar only. As time passed by, it went on adding more and more items to the list and the taste of these flavorful sauces kept on changing.   

Based on the ingredients used, a BBQ sauce could be sweet, spicy, hot, or tangy. You can choose any flavor which suits your zest. However, I have five names here if you are looking for the best non sweet BBQ sauce. 

Quick Decision Making Chart –

Key FeaturesTexas Spicy BBQ SauceTangy Vinegar BBQ SauceTexas Flavored BBQ Sauce
BrandTraegerHeath Riles BBQStubb’s
FlavorTexas SpicyTangy BBQOriginal
Package TypeBottleBottleBottle
Package Weight1.30 lbs18 Ounces1.75 Pounds
The HallmarksVersatile Use, Giftable, Amazing Taste, Perfect Pairing & Peppery and TangyGluten free, Mouthwatering flavors, Value for money, Best in conjunction & Made in USALegendary Texas flavor, Versatility, Gluten-free, Real Ingredients & Family loved
PriceCheck on AmazonCheck on AmazonCheck on Amazon

“Simplicity meets sophistication in a non-sweet BBQ sauce, where the richness of smoke takes center stage.”

Traeger Peppery And Tangy Versatile Bbq Sauce

When looking for a non-sweet pellet grill sauce, nothing can beat Traeger. This Traeger Texas Spicy BBQ sauce is both spicy and peppery. Can’t you name a better duo?  I bet NO.

Traeger peppery and tangy versatile BBQ Sauce

Top Features

  • Made in the USA
  • Adds a super spicy flavor to food
  • Packaged in a 0.59 kg plastic bottle
  • Suitable for beef, chicken, poultry,  seafood, and vegetables 
  • Pairs well with prime rib rub and mesquite hardwood pellets

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FlavorTexas Spicy
Package TypeBottle
Weight0.59 Kilograms
Made InUSA

First thing first, you can avail yourself of this commercial-grade BBQ sauce in five different flavors- apricot, sugar lips, sweet & heat, texas spicy, and Traeger ‘Que.

Among all these flavors, the Texas Spicy seals the deal with a subtle mixture of super spicy smack.

It is, indeed, a versatile sauce that covers most of your BBQ needs. 

Whether you are marinating a chicken or beef with this Traeger sauce, rest assured of entertaining your dinner guests with an irresistible aroma.

It works for spicing up the wild game as well. 

If you want to create a new history in the BBQ world, rely on this tangy sauce and you won’t regret it. 

Amazingly enough, it serves several purposes on the dinner table. You can serve it both as a sauce and as a marinade.

On top of that, it uses natural flavor only. That surely counts as a big plus in the nutritional value of this peppery seasoning. Also, Traeger makes one of the best bbq sauce for burnt ends

Upon taking a dig into the ingredients, I found tomato puree, vinegar, spices, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and molasses to dominate the list.

Yes, it has sugar on the list, but the other elements are more influential here to make it a non-sweet one.

Overall, it’s one of the greatest premade sauces on the market to add a little zest to anything you cook.


  • Portable packaging
  • Perfect consistency
  • Affordable price range 
  • Unmatched flavor range 
  • Made of premium-quality ingredients 


  • The tomato flavor is a bit overwhelming 
  • Contains sugar, resultantly, it has a subtly sweet flavor

Tangy Vinegar Gluten-Free Award-Winning Barbecue Sauce

Next comes an award-winning BBQ sauce from the famous Heath Riles BBQ. Here are the key specifications of this sauce to blow your mind-

Tangy Vinegar Gluten Free Award Winning Barbecue Sauce

Top Features

  • A gluten-free sauce
  • Comes in an 18-ounce bottle
  • Available in two other flavors
  • Carefully hand-crafted in the USA
  • Suitable for both BBQ and grilling

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BrandHeath Riles BBQ
FlavorTangy BBQ
Package TypeBottle
Weight18 Ounces
Allergen InformationGluten Free

Let’s look forward to the ingredients first. It contains corn syrup, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, salt, slice, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and xanthan gum.

However, the ketchup makes all the difference with a regular BBQ sauce. It’s a perfect blending of tomatoes, distilled vinegar, onion powder, high fructose corn syrup, and above all, natural flavoring.

See! How does this special BBQ mix differ from a regular vinegar sauce?

Contrary to what you may think, it’s absolutely gluten-free. And there’s no MSG added. 

Resultantly, the nutritional value of this top-quality BBQ sauce is pretty high. Among the 70 calories per serving, there’s no fat or cholesterol. 

One of the biggest selling points of this famous BBQ flavoring is that you can use it for grilling, smoking, BBQing, and whatnot! 

And guess what, you can use it even as a salad dressing. The authentic essence of the carefully chosen ingredients makes your taste buds want more. 

So, beware! It’s really addictive! Get a bottle and you will keep buying this amazing tangy-flavored topping. There’s no turning back.

And do you know what the best part of this sauce is? Heath Riles BBQ provides the same sauce they used during the championships.

Yes, you get the same product that expert pitmasters use to prepare mouthwatering dishes.

And I call it a perfect family ketchup as it is available both in tangy BBQ and sweet BBQ flavors. 

So, if different members of a family crave different BBQ toppings, this is a good choice, indeed.


  • Pretty good for burnt ends 
  • Adds authentic BBQ flavor to your dish 
  • A perfect balance of vinegar and spice without overpowering each other


  • A little bit expensive 
  • Too thick for a vinegar-based sauce
Also Read: Which Is The Best Soy Sauce for Fried Rice? My Top 6 Picks

Stubb’s Original Gluten-Free BBQ Sauce

Stubb’s is a legendary name in the BBQ world and its original BBQ sauce is the pinnacle when it comes to creating a magical essence in your meal.

Top Features

  • Absolutely gluten-free
  • Delivers a finger-licking flavor
  • No high fructose corn syrup added
  • Serves the purpose of all grilling occasions 
  • Enriched with the exclusive hickory pit flavor

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Package TypeBottle
Weight1.75 Pounds
Allergen InformationGluten Free

As the name suggests, it is truly a legendary BBQ sauce with an all-natural flavor.

Having gluten-free ingredients, it makes its place on the list of the healthiest BBQ sauces as well. 

Truth be told, this is more than just a plain BBQ sauce. Rather, the exclusive Texas flavor makes it everyone’s favorite, for good reasons though.

However, when first-time tried it, I was literally blown away by the original hickory essence. It infuses an amazing smoky aroma whether you cook ribs, chicken steak, or wings.

On the same note, you can rely on this super savory sauce whether it’s a friends’ gathering or backyard BBQing.

Nevertheless, only a few sauces can create magic with spice and this sauce is surely one of them.

A proper ratio of salt, spices, molasses, and distilled vinegar fires up your beef, chicken, poultry,  and ribs with a mouthwatering gusto.

Best of all, it is a vegan sauce. So, those who have problems with animal ingredients can go for it unhesitatingly. 

Try it once and you will find other products bland compared to its fiery hot flavor.


  • Not sweet and syrupy
  • Nice non-messy packaging 
  • Pretty decent vinegary flavor


  • Some people found it too hot and spicy

Primal Kitchen Sugar-Free Unsweetened BBQ Sauce

Not everybody in the world has a sweet tooth, right? Therefore, it’s only natural to look for different essence in a BBQ sauce other than sweetness. 

With that said, let’s look forward to a sugar-free sauce from Primal Kitchen, a name that needs no introduction. 

Primal Kitchen Sugar Free Unsweetened BBQ Sauce

Top Features

  • Imparts a bold BBQ smack
  • Comes in a package of three bottles
  • Made of the freshest ingredients ever
  • Contains no sugar, gluten, soy, or canola
  • The package includes three flavors- classic, golden, and steak

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BrandPrimal Kitchen
FlavorClassic, Golden, and Steak Sauce
SpecialtySugar Free
Package TypeBottle
Allergen InformationGluten Free

Primal Kitchen is a reliable name among food geeks for offering high-quality fresh foods.

Their BBQ and Steak sauce variety pack is no exception with the finest flavors.

Thanks to its bold and dominant aroma, you can use it as a marinade, dipping sauce, condiments, etc.

In fact, nothing comes close to this no-sugar sauce if you are looking for the best non sweet bbq sauce.

As all the sauces are made with real ingredients, you need not worry about any side effects.

Being Non-GMO project verified, keto certified, and Whole30 approved, this BBQ sauce is currently making a splash among food enthusiasts. 

Best of all, you get three different flavors in a single package and the price is quite reasonable as well. 

What more could you want from an organic sugar-free BBQ mixture? Nothing, I guess.

So, get this essence-enriched BBQ sauce now and use it for dressing, marinating, dipping, or simply as a flavor enhancer to your stomach’s content. 


  • Comes with one year of shelf life
  • Ensures clean and quality ingredients 
  • Sugar-free, therefore, suitable for diabetic patients


  • The steak sauce is very runny, hence difficult to control its flow 

Jack Stack Original and Spicy Sauce Natural BBQ Sauce

Finally, meet an all-purpose sauce from Jack Stack Barbecue that imparts an unmatched smokey aroma. Let’s break down the key specialties of this BBQ sauce below.

Jack Stack Original and Spicy Sauce Natural BBQ Sauce

Top Features

  • Gluten, soy, nut, and dairy free
  • A vegetarian diet-friendly sauce 
  • Goes with a wide variety of meat
  • Made with the finest quality ingredients 
  • Enriched with Jack Stack’s signature hickory smack

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BrandFiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue
FlavorOriginal & Spicy
Package TypeBottle
Allergen InformationGluten Free, Soy

First of all, it’s a 2-pack BBQ sauce in original and spicy flavors. The deadly combination in the Kansas City tradition makes it a crowd favorite in the history of BBQ.

Talking about the ingredients, you get tomato, onion, cayenne pepper, and molasses blended with other natural components. 

On top of that, the famous hickory smoked essence is a big plus for any BBQ seasoning to let you create history in your dishes. 

With more than 60 years of experience in this field, Jack Stack won over other BBQ sauces in the market with this 2-pack sauce with a subtle hint of smokiness. 

Initially, it started as a traditional seafront BBQ stand. But today, Jack Stack is synonymous with the classic Kansas City BBQ.

As already mentioned, it works as an all-purpose sauce and takes your BBQ game to the next level. 

Whether you need to flavor up steak, brisket, seafood, or vegetables, Jack Stack has a solution. 

Try this low-sugar sauce once and you will order the second batch in no time.

Saying that it contains very little sugar. Resultantly it’s more on the tart side rather than sweet.

Isn’t that what we are looking for? 


  • Pretty decent consistency 
  • Flavors up a huge variety of meat
  • The spicy essence doesn’t overpower its authenticity 


  • A bit too spicy for a sweet lover
  • The pepper wasn’t blended well

How To Choose BBQ Sauce That Is Not Sweet

Picking the right BBQ sauce, that too in the non-sweet flavor is a bit tricky, I understand. But with a little time and effort, you can catch on to the magic.

Apparently, it’s the ingredient that makes all the difference. Sweet BBQ sauces are generally tomato-based whereas non-sweet ones are vinegar based. 

Nonetheless, there are some other factors as well which should be taken into account when you are buying a BBQ sauce that is not sweet. Have a look below.

  • Flavor

If you don’t have a sweet tooth, you should go for the spicy flavor instead. There are so many sauces in the smoky or spicy flavor with a tangy smack. Also, you should go for vinegar or mustard-based sauces to avoid sweetness.

  • Key Ingredients 

As we all know, the flavor of a sauce mainly depends on what it is made of. So, focus on the ingredients list. If it contains high fructose corn syrup, it will be too on the sweet side.

Moreover, you should avoid sugar, salt, tomato ketchup, or any other sweetening element. 

Surprised to see salt on the list? Although it’s not sweet itself, it enhances the sweetness of a dish.

Always try to get a bottle that has apple cider vinegar, mustard, pepper, spice, soy sauce, lemon, etc. inside.

All these ingredients make the sauce non-sweet and add heat to your meat.

  • Calorie Count

The calorie count is a crucial factor in whatever you eat. A BBQ sauce is no exception as it might contain a lot of calories. So, pay careful attention to the calories per serving.

All the sauces mentioned above are not too high in terms of calories but obviously enriched with nutritional values.

So, you can pick any of them based on your preference. The Primal Kitchen Sugar-Free Unsweetened Sauce could be a great choice in this regard, especially, if you have diabetics. 

  • Packaging

Packaging is another thing to consider whether you buy a regular or sweet-free BBQ sauce. As it’s a liquid product, the packaging should be secured enough to keep the sauce protected. 

Also, the shelf life matters. So, be sure to check how long you can use them before buying.

  • Allergen-Free

If you have sensitive skin and you are allergic to any particular food element, check the ingredient list thoroughly. It should not have any gluten on the list.

Therefore, I handpicked some excellent gluten-free BBQ sauces above which are absolutely non-allergenic. 

Furthermore, avoid artificial additives in the sauce that could hamper your health and skin.

  • Consistency

Whether you use the sauce as a marinade or a salad dressing, the consistency does matter. It should not be too thick or too thin. A proper balance among the ingredients is much wanted by expert pitmasters to make the meat tender and juicy.

Another important thing to remember, you love spicy sauces instead of sweet ones, and that’s alright. But the spicy smack shouldn’t overpower the authentic BBQ essence in any way.

Why Non-Sweet BBQ Sauce

Umm, it depends on your taste buds, right? Although the original BBQ sauces are mostly sweet, everyone doesn’t need to be born as sweet-toothed.

Apart from that, there are so many advantages of using a non-sweet sauce while BBQing.

First of all, most of them are either sugar-free or low in sugar. Naturally, they have high nutritional values by cutting off the excess calories and high sodium count.

If you are on diet, non-sweet sauces could be your best friend to appease your tart carve.

Unlike traditional BBQ sauces, non-sweet ones have no high fructose corn syrup, and that’s why they are absolutely okay for a diabetic patient to have a taste.

How Do I Cut The Sweetness In Bbq Sauce?

To cut the sweetness out of a BBQ sauce, you need to add some acidic elements such as apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, citrus juice, etc.

These acidic flavors overpower the sweetness and make the sauce taste savory.

How Do You Make Bbq Sauce Less Sweet?

I suggest adding something that counteracts the sweetness of the sauce. It could be something spicy, sour, or even bitter in taste.

To make the BBQ sauce less sweet, avoid using salt as it works as a sweet enhancer. And try adding mustard, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, etc. Even coffee works great to round off the excess sweet essence. 

Apart from apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar is also a good choice to balance the sweetness without making the sauce too sour.


Most of the store-bought BBQ sauces are often too sweet. Moreover, they lack the balance between sweet, tangy, smokey, and spicy essence.

But it’s not always possible to use homemade BBQ sauces, right? Everyone is busy these days. 

Saying that I always look for the best BBQ sauce that is not sweet and here I listed my five top picks based on their wonderful tangy taste.

Moreover,  they are gluten-free, corn-syrup-free, and high in nutrition.

Now, it’s time to take the privilege of reading this review and bless your taste cell with some out-of-the-world BBQ extracts other than sweet.

Happy BBQing!

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