Top 10 Pulled Pork Sauces to Make for Your Next Barbecue

The most popular and best pulled pork sauce recipes

Person making pulled pork sandwich
wundervisuals/Getty Images

Barbecue sauce has become an overpowering condiment for dipping fried bits of something that might be chicken. Down in the Carolinas, barbecue sauce is something to enhance smoked meats (pork). These pulled pork barbecue sauces are not what you typically find in the grocery store. That's because these sauces are actually good and perfect for the most traditional of barbecue.

Pulled pork sauces are frequently optional, but how you apply it is up to you. The sauce is never added while the pork...MORE is cooking, but after it is pulled. You can add the sauce to the after you shred the meat, pour it over before you serve it, or let the individual decide if and how much they want.

  • 01 of 10
    Big Daddy's Carolina Style Barbecue Sauce
    Regarding BBQ Inc.

    This is a variation on a classic mustard barbecue sauce. The combination of savory mustard flavor with sweet sugars added to a touch of smoke flavor makes this a great general pork sauce. This sauce recipe has a lot of flavor so I recommend putting this one on the side and letting the people you serve the pulled pork to decide how much they want.

  • 02 of 10

    Memphis barbecue means pork and this tomato-based barbecue sauce is equally good on pulled pork as it is on ribs. This is not a traditional Carolina sauce, but it is a great barbecue sauce. What makes this sauce perfect for pork is the balance of vinegar to tomato. This gives it that tangy flavor that works so well with any kind of pork, grilled or smoked.

  • 03 of 10
    Best Odds Pulled Pork Sauce
    Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

    This is a simple pulled pork barbecue sauce that calls for ingredients you probably have in the kitchen. While simple, this barbecue sauce adds that perfect vinegar tanginess that makes pulled pork so good. This is the kind of sauce you want to mix into pulled pork as you shred it. If you want to add some heat try increasing the amount of cayenne.

  • 04 of 10
    Piedmont Barbecue Sauce
    Danielle Loiselle/Getty Images

    In the Piedmont area of the Carolinas, barbecue sauce starts with vinegar but gets a touch of tomato to give it an extra savory flavor. This is very much a traditional Southern barbecue sauce with the tangy flavor of the vinegar with a little heat and a little sweet. This is a thin sauce that is perfect for mixing into pulled pork as soon as it is shredded. It helps keep the meat moist before it hits the plate or the bun.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    Person making a pulled pork sandwich
    wundervisuals/Getty Images

    This is an old recipe for a barbecue sauce that has no tomato or mustard but does contain butter and lemon. A thin and savory sauce, use this on pork. Because this vinegar barbecue sauce contains butter it is particularly good at keeping meat moist. In fact, I would say that if you have ended up with dry pulled pork, this is the sauce to give it back its moisture.

  • 06 of 10
    Mustard Sauce
    Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

    In the south of South Carolina and the north of Georgia mustard is king. These barbecue sauces never contain tomato and have the savory heat or mustard over the tangy taste of vinegar. This mustard barbecue sauce gets an extra kick from balsamic vinegar which not only adds a flavor but gives this sauce its unique color.

  • 07 of 10
    Pulled pork barbecue sauce
    Craig Silberman/Getty Images

    As I've said, there are no rules for barbecue sauce when it comes to pulled pork. This sauce recipe is specifically designed to be put in a bottle and placed on the table when you are serving pulled pork. This sauce is a general pulled pork sauce that relies on vinegar, tomato, and mustard to give your pulled pork the best odds of being great.

  • 08 of 10
    Tar-Heel BBQ Sauce
    Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

    The Barbecue has been a mainstay of churches throughout the south for centuries so it is only fitting that we have one recipe that comes from an actual Minister. This vinegar barbecue sauce is North Carolina style (there are actually several) and contains no tomato and no spicy heat, but it does have a lot of flavor. This is kind of like a barbecue stock without boiling anything. Add this to pulled pork and it gives it loads of flavor and plenty of moisture.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10
    Pulled pork with beans and greens
    sbossert/Getty Images

    This classic style Southern Barbecue Sauce starts with ketchup and then adds a good dose of vinegar to give it the proper tangy flavor. Add to that a little sweet and a little heat plus a lot of savory flavors and this is the perfect pulled pork sauce whether it gets mixed right in or served on the table.  

  • 10 of 10
    Wicker's BBQ Sauce
    James and James/Getty Images

    This vinegar barbecue sauce comes from Missouri but still has a lot in common with those Carolina vinegar sauces while also carrying on some of the traditions of Memphis barbecue. Heavy on the vinegar tanginess, this is a savory barbecue sauce with a hint of sweet and a touch of heat.