7 Best Sugar-Free BBQ Sauces – Guilt-Free and Keto-Friendly Pleasure!

We put together this helpful buying guide of the best sugar-free BBQ sauces to help you find the perfect sauce that meets all of your dietary (and flavor) needs.
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Last updatedLast updated: August 29, 2021
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Barbecue sauce is one of the best condiments around, hands down. There’s just something so delicious about the combination of tangy and sweet that really hits the spot. We absolutely love that it can go on just about anything savory, but what we don’t love is the high sugar content. We decided that we deserved the best of both worlds, though, and went on the hunt to find the absolute best sugar-free BBQ sauce that money can buy.

In order to determine the best sugar-free BBQ sauce, we tested all the options we could get our hands on and compared the flavor and texture to find the very best. It was a highly competitive process, but that makes us even more confident that we picked the real winner.

Top 7 Sugar Free BBQ Sauces Review 2021

1.

Walden Farms Barbecue SauceEditor’s Choice

Features
  • Bottle size: 12 oz (three bottles in a set)
  • Flavor: original, honey barbecue, hickory smoked
  • Ingredients: triple filtered purified water, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, white distilled vinegar, cellulose gel, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, xanthan gum, propylene glycol alginate, natural flavorings, cayenne pepper, red cabbage coloring, Sucralose, and potassium sorbate

More features: Kosher certified, fat-free

These sauces really took first place by a mile. They come as a three-pack that includes Original, Hickory Smoked, and Honey flavors. Each flavor is quite different, and all are sugar and calorie-free.

These sauces are perfect for someone who likes a variety of flavor options and prefers their BBQ slightly on the thinner side. These are a great option if you’re following the keto diet or you’re just trying to cut back a bit on carbs and sugar without compromising taste.

What stands out?

  • We loved the variety in flavor that these three sauces offered. Each one is great for a different reason, and you really couldn’t tell at all that they don’t have calories. It almost seems like witchcraft that the flavors could be that bold with no bad stuff added. These were really great for marinating meat, and we also devoured them as dipping sauces. They caramelized well during the cooking process and created the perfect glaze.

What cons did we manage to find?

  • There’s not much to complain about with these sauces (hence the nearly perfect score). They were a bit on the sweeter side, though, which may be contrary to some people’s preferences. The Honey flavor was especially sweet, but that’s probably to be expected in anything honey flavored. The Hickory flavor is also very smoke forward, which took us by surprise a bit. All in all, though, these were really delicious.
RELATED: 9 Finger-Licking Good BBQ Sauces to Make Your Meats and Veggies Even Better
Features
  • Bottle size: 14 oz
  • Flavor: classic
  • Ingredients: tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, onion, paprika, black pepper, natural smoke flavor, monk fruit extract, bay leaf, water, garlic, chili powder, mustard seed

More features: low carb, vegan, gluten-free, paleo-friendly, made with non-GMO tomatoes, set of two bottles

This sauce is so tasty and is only made with fresh, natural ingredients. It’s low carb, dairy-free, gluten free, and has no added sugar. The space is really versatile and can be used on a wide variety of foods.

Great for someone who loves bold flavor and is passionate about eating natural, fresh ingredients. Also great for someone who prefers low sugar sauces but doesn’t like artificial sweeteners like Sucralose. This sauce is sweetened with monk fruit, and doesn’t have any artificial aftertaste. You can really taste the difference in these sauces.

What are our favorite features?

  • We love the depth of flavor with this sauce. All Yo Mama’s products are amazing, and we were excited to try this new BBQ sauce when we saw it on the shelves. It definitely didn’t disappoint. We especially loved how the ingredients were chosen with care and were all-natural. Sometimes it can feel a little icky eating too much artificial stuff, but that's really not a concern with this sauce. The monkfruit sweetens everything nicely without being too overpowering, and the spices are blended amazingly.

What could be better?

  • We wish there were more flavors of this sauce! We were sad that we could only find the original flavor, but we’re hopeful that they’ll be coming out with more soon. The acidity was powerful in this sauce, but we didn’t dislike it. All in all, this was a really great sauce, so there’s not a lot we would improve on. Maybe our biggest complaint was that the bottle wasn’t big enough!
Features
  • Bottle size: 12 oz each
  • Flavor: Oh So Sweet, Smoking Hot
  • Ingredients: tomato paste, water, apple cider vinegar, monk fruit sweetener, (non-GMO erythritol and monk fruit extract), cream (milk), natural flavor, distilled white vinegar, pink Himalayan sea salt, hickory smoke flavoring, spices, dehydrated onion

More features: bundle of two, low carb, certified ketogenic, family-friendly, low glycemic

This two-pack of sauces comes with one each of Keto Primo’s Oh So Sweet and Smoking Hot Super BBQ sauces. Each has no more than 3 net carbs per serving, and they boast 0 grams of added sugar, plus, the ingredients are all-natural!

These sauces are perfect for someone who wants a keto BBQ sauce with a non-keto flavor. These were so rich and decadent, it was hard to believe they were actually low carb.

What stands out?

  • We loved that these didn’t taste sickly sweet (yes, even the Oh So Sweet one was very nicely balanced), but both offered quite the punch of delicious barbecue flavor. The tomato flavor comes across really well and balances nicely with the tang of the vinegar flavorings. Unless someone told you these were keto sauces, you’d never be able to spot them for what they really are. Yes… they’re that good.

What cons did we manage to find?

  • The only downside to these sauces is the texture, which has a slightly thick, tomato paste-y feel to it. All in all, it really does baste and spread well when you get down to it, but it wasn't as smooth as we normally like when we used it for dipping. The Smoking Hot flavor was also quite spicy, so if you're spice sensitive, this is not the sauce for you.
4.

G Hughes Smokehouse Sugar-Free BBQ SauceBest Low Carb BBQ Sauce

Features
  • Bottle size: 18 oz each
  • Flavor: Original and Hickory
  • Ingredients: crushed tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, modified cornstarch, salt, onion, lemon juice, garlic powder, black pepper, ground cinnamon, natural hickory smoke, natural caramel color, xanthan gum, Sucralose

More features: comes in a pack of two, gluten-free, no artificial sweeteners

This sampler pack of G Hughes sugar-free BBQ sauces comes with one each of Original and Hickory flavored sauces. These are both low carb with no added sugars and have a great, medium-thick consistency. Each flavor is unique, which is a huge plus!

These are great for someone looking for a true low-carb option without limiting their flavors. If you love BBQ sauce and cook a lot of BBQ (or just like to use the sauce for dipping), this two-pack is perfect for you.

What do we love it for?

  • We absolutely LOVED both flavors and thought it was a great idea to sell them as a pack. At first, our favorite was the hickory, but now we think it's the original. They're both good enough flavor-wise to spark a passionate debate at your next BBQ about which is superior. Honestly, though, we really loved this sauce. We’d put it at the top of any list, keto or not!

What were we disappointed with?

  • There is a bit of an aftertaste to these sauces, but that’s not uncommon with foods that use Sucralose in place of sugar. They’re also not as thick as some people like their BBQ sauce to be, although we didn’t mind that at all. If you’re not someone who uses BBQ sauce all the time, the two-pack may be too much sauce, especially if you want to finish one bottle before opening another.
5.

Lillie's Q Zero Sugar Carolina Barbeque SauceBest Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce

Features
  • Bottle size: 18 oz
  • Flavor: Tangy BBQ
  • Ingredients: water, apple cider vinegar, mustard seed, salt, turmeric, paprika, spices, tomato paste, modified food starch, Worcestershire, lime juice, more spices, Sucralose

More features: keto-friendly, gluten-free, abalone free

This all-natural, preservative-free sauce is a delicious ode to the Carolina-style barbecue sauce. If you’re unfamiliar with Carolina style, these sauces tend to be a bit thinner and have a stronger vinegar flavor.

This is the perfect sauce for someone looking for a classic Carolina-style sauce that doesn’t compromise on flavor. It’s a great sugar-free alternative to other BBQ sauces. It reminds us of the sauce you’d actually find in a traditional Carolina BBQ restaurant.

What are its best features?

  • We loved this sauce so much that we've already almost finished the bottle if you can believe it. The vinegar base is perfect for marinating meats (we used chicken breast), and it also makes a great dipping sauce despite being a little on the thinner side. The flavor wasn’t too sweet and had a great peppery flavor without kicking you in the teeth. We loved that it wasn’t goopy like a lot of other store-bought sauces, and we can’t stop raving about the flavor!

What could be improved?

  • We were disappointed that this sauce wasn't actually keto-friendly because of the added corn starch. If you're looking for a keto sauce option, this is definitely not for you, although Lillie's Q does offer two keto sauces if you’re interested and want to stick with this brand. We’re a huge fan of Carolina-style BBQ, so we were really hoping that this would be good for keto.
6.

Gourmet Warehouse Sugar-Free BBQ SauceBest Keto-Friendly BBQ Sauce

Features
  • Bottle size: 16 oz
  • Flavor: classic BBQ
  • Ingredients: water, tomato paste, stevia, white vinegar, sea salt, onion powder, dry mustard, garlic powder, paprika, mustard, apple cider vinegar, hickory smoke flavoring, crushed red pepper

More features: pack of two bottles, low carb, paleo, and keto-friendly, gluten-free, made in the USA

These two packs of sauces are perfect for marinating and dipping. Both bottles are Original BBQ flavor, and the formula is low carb, paleo, gluten-free, and keto friendly!

This sauce is perfect for someone who wants a “craft BBQ sauce” experience without the added sugar. The flavor profile is so well-balanced it tastes like something you’d find at a gourmet restaurant. Hard to believe there’s no added sugar!

What do we love it for?

  • We loved the bold flavors of this sauce. Everything was balanced so perfectly, and there wasn't an overwhelmingly spicy or sweet flavor. There was a nice kick, but we loved how subtle it was. The texture was nice and thick without being goopy and was the perfect choice for marinating and basting meat on the grill. Even though this two-pack comes with two of the same flavors, we wouldn’t want it any other way. We need both bottles!

What were we disappointed with?

  • This sauce is flavored with stevia, and there was a slight artificial after taste, which was disappointing. It’s hard to find a sugar free sauce that doesn’t have an artificial aftertaste, though, and we definitely wouldn’t knock any points for that. Aside from that, we could have used a bit more vinegar flavor, but it’s still nearly perfect. All in all, this felt like a really great, healthy sauce choice that we’d purchase again.
Features
  • Bottle size: 18 oz
  • Flavor: original BBQ
  • Ingredients: water, tomato paste, distilled vinegar, allulose, salt, modified corn starch, apple cider vinegar, natural smoke flavor, garlic, caramel color, natural flavor, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate, spice, xanthan gum, mustard flour, paprika, onion, Sucralose, citric acid, sodium citrate

More features: gluten-free, keto-friendly

This sauce features a deliciously smoky flavor with strong notes of tomato and vinegar. The sauce reminded us the most of traditional, old-fashioned BBQ sauce, and is definitely one of the best keto BBQ sauces on the market today.

This is the perfect sauce for someone looking for a new family staple. The classic flavor lends itself well to dipping, which kids will love, but it’s also great as a marinade or topping on a good ol’ BBQ sandwich.

What makes it stand out?

  • We absolutely loved the flavor of this sauce. It uses Sucralose instead of sugar, but it doesn’t have an overwhelmingly “fake sweet” taste at all. The old-fashioned flavor reminded us of some of the best molasses-based sauces we’ve ever had. The vinegar flavor, although strong in its way, isn’t overly sour or dominant, and the smokiness reminds us of family barbecues we had growing up. If we didn’t already know this was good for us, we’d swear we were eating something sinful.

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • Although tasty, the sauce was a bit too thick for our liking. It was difficult to get it to stay on the food we were cooking during the grilling process, as it kept sliding off when we rotated the meat. Mixing it with a little water or vinegar helped a lot, though. The price was also a bit high for a BBQ sauce, but we’re willing to overlook that for the delicious flavor.

Things to Consider

Barbecue is one of the most delicious types of food around, and the variety of barbecue sauces makes it even tastier. Who doesn’t love a good pulled pork sandwich or grilled chicken leg?
Some BBQ sauce is LOADED with sugar, though, and can really add up calorie-wise if you’re not careful! Sugar free BBQ sauces are great alternatives to the classic, sugar-heavy sauces on the shelves today, especially if you’re keto or have other dietary restrictions.

Advantages of Sugar Free BBQ Sauce

7 Best Sugar-Free BBQ Sauces - Guilt-Free and Keto-Friendly Pleasure!

Did you know that one serving of regular BBQ sauce has at least 15g of sugar? That’s more than half of what the American Heart Association recommends you eat in an entire day! In fact, added sugar is one of the leading causes of heart disease Trusted Source The sweet danger of sugar - Harvard Health People consume too much added sugar—extra amounts that food manufacturers add to products to increase flavor and extend shelf life—which can have a serious impact on heart health. www.health.harvard.edu , so cutting it out is a smart idea.

Sugar free BBQ sauces are a great way to cut out the sugar without cutting out the flavor. Let’s face it, you really shouldn’t have to compromise delicious taste for health benefits!

Whether you’re following a diet like keto or simply want to avoid the added calories and sugar, these sauces are a great solution. We promise you won’t even notice they’re good for you (seriously… we couldn’t tell!).

Important Features

There are a few key features one needs to consider when shopping for a sugar free BBQ sauce. The most important, of course, is the flavor, which can really make or break an entire dish. Next you should look at the ingredients. If you’re cutting out sugar, you don’t want to be replacing it with something even worse for you, after all.

If you’re following the keto diet, you should also double-check that your sauce is keto-friendly (not all sugar free sauces are). You should also consider sweetness level and the best ways to eat your delicious sugar free sauce. Don’t forget to read sugar free BBQ sauce reviews when choosing your new go-to sauce. They can tell you a lot about how other customers enjoyed the product.

Flavor

We would argue that flavor is the most important part of eating anything. Sometimes you need to compromise flavor for health (especially if you’re sticking to a certain diet), but with every sauce on this list of best sugar free BBQ sauces, that’s not the case. Each one is bursting with a unique and delicious flavor.

7 Best Sugar-Free BBQ Sauces - Guilt-Free and Keto-Friendly Pleasure!

The Walden Farms and Gourmet Warehouse sauces definitely had the most delicious flavors of all the sauces we tried. Walden Farms sauces came in a two pack of flavors that were both amazing, especially if you’re looking for a sweet and a spicy option.

Gourmet Warehouse was also super tasty and reminded us of a delicious sauce you’d find on the secret menu of a 5-star restaurant. It really was that tasty, and was the winner of flavor in our opinion.

Ingredients

Using the best ingredients is also a really important consideration when choosing the perfect sugar free BBQ sauce. We love making sure we’re nourishing our bodies with only the best ingredients and natural foods. This can sometimes be difficult when choosing a sugar free BBQ sauce, but it’s definitely not impossible!

Lillie’s Q BBQ Sauce was a great choice for all-natural ingredients that didn’t compromise on flavor. They use only the best ingredients and you can really tell the difference when tasting their sauce.

Yo Mama’s sauce was also another amazing choice for their delicious and healthy ingredients. Just like Lillie’s Q, they only used natural ingredients when crafting their sauce, and didn’t even add artificial sweeteners. Instead, they use monk fruit extract. If you’ve never heard of monk fruit, read about it here Trusted Source Low-Calorie Sweeteners | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health The health effects of low-calorie/artificial sweeteners are inconclusive, with research showing mixed findings. See what the existing studies show. www.hsph.harvard.edu .

Keto diet

7 Best Sugar-Free BBQ Sauces - Guilt-Free and Keto-Friendly Pleasure!

If you’re following a keto diet and need keto friendly sauce options, Keto Primo’s Super BBQ Sauces will really hit the spot for you. They’re certified keto, which is important to check when you’re trying to stick to a diet. Often times you can look for tiny badges on the labels of your food products that will tell you if that item is keto certified.

If you’re not sure what a keto diet is, here’s a brief run-down. In essence, the keto diet encourages people to eat low carb, high fat diets. It’s said to lower blood sugar and insulin levels in those that abide by it, and can reportedly shift your body’s metabolism away from carbs and towards fat.

This means your body will begin to burn the stored fat on your body, and can supposedly help you lose weight and stubborn fat more quickly. We also loved the Gourmet Warehouse sauce as a keto friendly option, and, as we’ve already said, found the taste hard to beat.

Sweetness

Barbecue sauce, as we’ve discussed, is usually very sweet and high in sugar. In fact, some of the original recipes for regional barbecue sauces were based on molasses and have always relied on the balance between sweet and tangy.

Trying to achieve the same flavor without adding sugar can be a tricky line to walk, and it all depends on how sweet you like your sauce to be. If you’re someone who loves their sauce nice and sweet, then you ought to give Keto Primo’s Oh So Sweet Sauce a try. This sauce was nice and sweet without making us feel like we were drinking straight maple syrup (we assume you don’t want that, either).

Another great choice for a sweet sugar free BBQ sauce is Walden Farms Honey BBQ Sauce which has a really balanced maple/honey flavor profile. It was the perfect sauce for glazing chicken or ribs, and would definitely be popular with kids who have a sweet tooth. That being said, it wasn’t so sweet that we thought about calling the dentist.

If you prefer a sauce on the less sweet side, you should look at Sweet Baby Ray’s Sauce, which had a really nice tomato and vinegar flavor. It definitely still had some notes of sweetness, but it was clear that the sauce was meant to have a complex flavor profile, and it reminded us of a less sweet version of their original sauce.

We also found Lillie’s Q sauce to be a great option for someone who prefers their sauce a little less sweet. It had a great peppery flavor that was balanced well by the vinegar base. If you love this vinegar flavor profile, you should check out other Carolina BBQ style sauces, as this is common for that region.

Best ways to eat

7 Best Sugar-Free BBQ Sauces - Guilt-Free and Keto-Friendly Pleasure!

The truth of the matter is that there is no wrong way to eat BBQ sauce. You could probably even put it on ice cream if you were feeling particularly bold.

Some of the most common ways to enjoy BBQ sauce— including sugar free BBQ sauce— are as a marinade or dipping sauce.

You can also add a few ingredients to your BBQ sauce and quickly turn it into a delicious vinaigrette for salads.

We particularly love sugar free BBQ sauces basted onto ribs, steaks, and chicken. They make great dips for chicken tenders, fries, and even potato chips!

Another fun idea is to drizzle your sugar free BBQ sauce onto a pizza (or keto pizza, if you prefer), and toss on some grilled chicken and red onions. You can also add BBQ sauce to nachos, hot dogs, potato salad and more. We once had a cocktail that had some BBQ sauce stirred in, and it was way more delicious than we could have ever dreamed.

FAQ

Yes. Everything is healthy in moderation, and it’s certainly preferable to eat less sugar as opposed to more. That being said, nutrition and health is something that you should always discuss with your doctor if you have questions, as it can vary greatly from person to person. Sugar free BBQ sauces often substitute artificial sweeteners for real sugar in order to achieve the same sweet flavor. There’s little consensus on whether these sweeteners are good or bad for you, but again, as long as you eat a balanced diet, you can consider most foods to be healthy.

After opening, BBQ sauce can last up to nine months with proper storing technique. Some people may prefer to store their opened BBQ sauce in the pantry at room temperature, but it should be noted that this method will cause your sauce to spoil more quickly. BBQ sauce stored in the pantry will only last about one month before it goes bad and should be thrown away. If you store your BBQ sauce in the fridge, however, it can last you from six to nine months. Always consult the best by date on your BBQ sauce as well, as this could impact how long it stays good for after opening.

It’s unlikely that you would be allergic to BBQ sauce as a whole, but it is possible to be allergic to any ingredient in the sauce or an ingredient the sauce came into contact with at the manufacturing facility. Many facilities process multiple food products, and this makes cross-contamination possible. If a facility processes a common food allergen (like peanuts), they will usually write on the labels of their other products that it was processed in a facility that also processes peanuts (or whatever the allergen in question is). If you know that you have a food allergy, no matter how severe, you should always read nutrition labels and ingredient lists very closely before consuming a product to avoid triggering an allergic reaction.

Our Verdict

We had so much fun (and so many tasty meals) while compiling this list of the best sugar free BBQ sauces for you. It was really hard to choose our favorite, but we had to award the number one spot (and Editor’s Choice) to the unbeatable Walden Farms Hickory Smoked and Honey Barbecue Sauce. These two sauces were a delicious duo, and you couldn’t tell they were sugar free.

We awarded Best Value to Keto Barbecue BBQ Sauce by Yo Mama’s Foods, which had a stellar flavor profile, great price point, and is made with all-natural and healthy ingredients. Premium Pick went to Keto Super BBQ Sauce by Keto Primo, whose sauce duo was out of this world in terms of flavor and texture. We loved using it to baste our chicken and our kids actually licked the plate clean! No matter which sauce you pick from this list of best sugar free BBQ sauces, you’re sure to find a winner that you love.

References

1.
The sweet danger of sugar - Harvard Health
People consume too much added sugar—extra amounts that food manufacturers add to products to increase flavor and extend shelf life—which can have a serious impact on heart health.
2.
Low-Calorie Sweeteners | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
The health effects of low-calorie/artificial sweeteners are inconclusive, with research showing mixed findings. See what the existing studies show.
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