Going keto doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy BBQ! But barbecue sauce often hides a lot of sugar, so make sure you pick a keto-friendly BBQ sauce to slather on your meat this summer. These are some of the best store-bought keto barbecue sauce brands you can buy (with a homemade option for inveterate DIYers).
Summer is nearly over and that means maximizing all the grilling time that’s left. For those living by a ketogenic diet, it may seem as if only boring grilled bites are in the future. Not so. As keto has caught on as a healthy lifestyle, as has paleo and Whole30, a plethora of products have entered the marketplace to ensure the flavors you crave won’t have to be flavor you miss. And one of these flavors is the big, bold taste of barbecue sauce.
We scoped out all of the barbecue sauces on the market that are keto-approved—from classic flavors to specific styles—and put together a list of the best keto-friendly BBQ sauce for you to add to your shopping cart as grilling season flames out (not that it has to end on Labor Day—nor do you have to put away the barbecue sauce until next year).
A cult favorite, Primal Kitchen has been on the cutting edge of healthy living for years. Its classic barbecue sauce has the bold flavor that those on keto may be missing from their lives, thanks in part to cumin and chipotle powder. It can be used as a marinade and dipping sauce for all sorts of meat, as well as added to ribs and chicken wings in the last few minutes of grilling for a flavor boost. The product is organic, too.Buy Now
Different than the classic sauce, Primal Kitchen’s golden BBQ sauce mimics mustard-based South Carolina barbecue sauce and omits the smoke for a sweet and tangy flavor instead (with the former coming from the natural sweetness in tomatoes and balsamic vinegar). Recommended for pulled pork and veggies, it also makes the perfect dipping sauce for grilled chicken strips.Buy Now
Primal Kitchen 3-Pack: Classic BBQ, Golden BBQ, and Steak Sauce, $17.46 from Amazon
Try both Primal Kitchen BBQ sauces, plus their steak sauce, with this variety pack.
This condiment is everything you would expect from a barbecue sauce. It’s sweet, spicy, and tangy all at once. Containing no refined sugar (the sweetness comes mostly from dates), this product complements any cut of meat that’s ready for grilling season, and can add even more flavor to grilled vegetables as well.Buy Now
Related Reading: Low-Sugar Cookbooks for Keto, Paleo, and Diabetic Diets
Love North Carolina-style barbecue? Lillie’s Q created as close a match as possible to the real thing, except this one has no sugar added. Dubbed Western Carolina Tomato, the sauce has a slight tang to it, just like vinegary Carolina BBQ sauce should. The brand recommends using this on pulled pork, brisket, and smoked chicken.Buy Now
Sweetened with pineapple juice concentrate (which also adds a little extra tang), this keto and Whole30 compliant BBQ sauce contains a delicious mix of spicy, smoky, tangy, and naturally sweet ingredients, like apple cider vinegar, tamarind, ginger, allspice, and arbol chile powder. Be aware: It does contain grass-fed beef bone broth powder too, so is not suitable for slathering your grilled vegetarian and vegan dishes—but it is extra savory. Also, it’s cheaper on Thrive Market if you have a membership there.Buy Now
Related Reading: 11 Perfect Sides to Serve with BBQ Ribs
This sugar-free BBQ sauce contains sucralose, which is keto-friendly, but if you prefer to avoid artificial sweeteners, you’ll want to skip it. Some reviewers suggest that it’s a bit mild and like to add things like Dijon mustard and chipotle powder. YMMV, but it’s affordable enough that it’s definitely worth a try.Buy Now
Sweetened with stevia, this sauce only has two carbs per serving. If it’s not spicy or complex enough for you, you can always doctor it with cayenne, smoked paprika, garlic, and more. Or, just make your whole batch of BBQ sauce yourself (look below for a recipe).Buy Now
Have a few minutes? You can make your own low-carb, sugar-free barbecue sauce with just a few keto-friendly ingredients, including mustard, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, and a few spices. In fact, making your own gives you a chance to develop the sauce to your liking, which can make being keto an easier pill to swallow.
RWM Silicone Basting Brush, $13.89 from Amazon
Whatever sauce you choose, paint it on thick with this heat-resistant brush.
Related Reading: The Ultimate Guide to BBQ & Grilling | Keto BBQ Tips, Tricks & Recipes for a Satisfying Low-Carb Summer
Header image courtesy of Primal Kitchen.