What is the Best Substitute for Barbecue Sauce?

by Charlie
Barbecue Sauce

It’s almost impossible for you to not have barbecue sauce in your kitchen. Many people love it for its ability to immediately add flavor and heat to your recipe.

But, what happens when barbecue sauce doesn’t do it for some reason? There are just some times when you need to experience something else, and barbecue sauce is no stranger to that.

What is the best substitute for barbecue sauce? While the options are abundant, hoisin sauce is considered as the best substitute for barbecue sauce. Hoisin sauce is similar to barbecue sauce in many ways, although it has some differences in general taste. But, if you want the savory feeling that will immediately spice up your dish, hoisin sauce is perfect for you. 

An Overview of Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue sauce is a regular in the kitchen. It is a major ingredient that has been used in different recipes for centuries. 

Interestingly, there are different variations of barbecue sauce – as well as origin stories for it. Many believe that use of barbecue sauce for meat consumption dates as far back as 700 B.C., while others are more recent with their estimations. Regardless, however, one thing we all agree on is the fact that barbecue sauce is almost a must-have if you’re looking to smoke or grill dessert.

With a strong and savory taste, barbecue sauce immediately spices up a dish. It also leaves a strong aftertaste, and you can find different types of the sauce based on your heat and taste preference. 

Why Replace Barbecue Sauce?

  • Non-availability: Barbecue sauce is incredibly popular. But, you might not be able to get it quickly sometimes. So, a substitute will need to suffice.
  • Too much heat: Some people might not have a threshold to handle the intense heat of barbecue sauce. So, they will need a substitute to make up for the lack of heat in your dishes. 

Options for Barbecue Sauce Substitutes

Best Overall Substitute for Barbecue Sauce: Hoisin Sauce

You might not know much about it, but hoisin sauce is a beauty to have. If you’re a fan of stir-fry dishes or just regular sauce, then consider this one. 

Hoisin sauce originates from China. In fact, it is so similar to barbecue sauce that some people know it as “Chinese barbecue sauce.”

It has been used for years to marinate different meats, as well as to act as a dipping sauce and as stir fry pan sauce. This allows the sauce to mimic the glazed and thick appeal of barbecue sauce. However, while it has a similar appeal and texture as barbecue sauce, its taste isn’t quite the same. So, if you’re looking for something to change your taste palette, you can consider hoisin sauce too. 

In general, hoisin sauce shares some ingredients in common with barbecue sauce – particularly, honey and vinegar. Other ingredients found here include sesame paste, chili, and soy sauce. You don’t want to be anywhere near this sauce if your taste buds can’t handle the heat. You should also note that hoisin sauce differs from traditional barbecue sauce due to its salt content. 

Hoisin sauce is great for any type of grilled or smoked meal. It’s an ideal voice for anyone who loves spicy food, and it has several similarities to different barbecue sauce variants. 

Best Non-Savor Substitute: Mustard Sauce 

Mustard sauce is one of those ingredients that many people have in their kitchens. But, you might not necessarily know what it does. 

Most people only think of mustard sauce when they see burgers, hot dogs, and more. However, in recent times, the sauce has also been used in savory dishes. Some people even call mustard sauce “golden BBQ sauce” due to its color and savory taste. In many recipes, the secret for this is the dijon mustard that offers enough heat for the sauce to be prominent. 

Most of the mustard sauces that can be used to substitute for barbecue sauce tend to include ingredients like ketchup, honey, apple cider vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. These ingredients bring out different qualities, including color, taste, and texture. 

In general, mustard sauce can help to bring some much-needed tang to your dish. It works for different recipes – from meat to pork and even chicken. While it might not be as savory as the traditional barbecue sauce, mustard sauce is a solid substitute nonetheless. 

Best Non-Sauce Substitute: Dry Spice Rub

If you’re tired of using sauces in general, then you could go with some dry spice rub. This is especially true if you’re a fan of chicken ribs. Who needs all the sauce when you’ve got dry spice rub? 

Dry spice rub and barbecue sauce have their similarities. Both have the savory taste that you’ve got to love, and they can instantly make a meal better once you add them. Your meat dish won’t have that iconic shimmering glaze with dry spice rub, but its taste will be improved nonetheless. 

Dry spice rub comes with several ingredients – including salt, pepper, paprika, and brown sugar. However, some base recipes could also have additional dry spices as recipes, including chili powder and red pepper flakes. If you’re really ready to give your taste buds a shake, look for dry spice rub variants with garlic powder and onions. 

Regardless of the combination, however, a dry spice rub will give you a great additional flavor to your dish. It works for meat dishes, fish, and even some grilled dishes, and it will give you a memorable dish.

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