The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Thu Sep 30, 2010

Sauced: Stubb's Original Bar-B-Q Sauce

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Stubb's Bar-B-Q Sauce

Sauce Stats

Stubb's Original Bar-B-Q Sauce
Produced by
Stubb's Bar-B-Q
$7.78 for 2 18 oz. bottles on Stubb's Online Store
Water, Tomato Paste, Corn Syrup, Distilled White Vinegar, Molasses, Sugar, Corn Starch, Pregelatinized Tapioca Dextrin, Salt, Brown Sugar, Spices, Onion, Chili Powder, Garlic, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Chipotle Powder, Soy Sauce Solids, Palm Oil, and Tamarind
Opaque reddish-brown
Meatwave Rating
out of 10
Just OK
More Sauce Reviews

Stubb's Bar-B-Q Sauce


Stubb's got its start in Lubbock, Texas in 1968 when Christopher B. "Stubb" Stubblefield opened his first barbecue joint. His restaurant became known not only for the barbecue, but also for the live music. In the 1980s a series of circumstances forced Stubb to close and relocate in Austin. In 1992, Stubb's gained some national fame follwing an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman, and after that, went on to start a line of barbecue products for the backyard chef. Stubb's passed away in 1995, but his empire lives on with the Austin location and a national offering of six different sauce, six marinades, and five rubs.


Unlike most sauces that have a sweet ketchup smell, this sauce has a deeper tomato base, reminiscent of tomato paste. A strong vinegar mixes with the tomato to define the aroma, and notes of chipotle and molasses round it out.

Thickness & Texture

The thickness is right in the center of my scale, but the sauce doesn't quite flow off the spoon, instead coming down in globs. The sauce is opaque, but with visible specks of what looks like black pepper and garlic or onion powder.

Out of the Jar

First taste of the sauce is pure tomato, thick and deep like tomato paste spiked with a heavy dose of vinegar. There isn't much sweetness going on, instead you get the bite of vinegar followed by a wallop of heat, tasting mostly of sharp black pepper and smoky chipotle. The sauce has a grainy, gritty feel that bothered me slightly, but not enough to ruin the sauce on the whole.

Stubb's Bar-B-Q Sauce

Slathered & Cooked

The strong tomato base of the sauce is accentuated after being cooked, with the sauce tasting mostly of tomato and not much else. There was minimal caramelization, but where it did, those pieces had a nice, deep flavor, but the unfortunately, the majority of the sauce that didn't get a slight char ended up being a bit flat, despite the strong flavors that were there before being grilled.

Put to Use

This sauce definitely performed better before being cooked, where there was a lot more going on, but those flavors were a little strong on vinegar and pepper and the sauce a little gritty, which makes it hard to really recommend this for one particular thing. Although in general I didn't hate the sauce, the inability to really pair it with anything definitely puts it further down on my list. Originating from Texas, I could see this going along with beef, where the heavy flavors of the sauce might come into balance with the beef, but I think there are much better sauces out there for this use.


  • 01
  • Stubb's Legendary BBQ says
    We appreciate all feedback, positive, negative, as well as middle of the road like here. Thank you for taking your time and giving us a shot.

    We hope you'll try our other sauces and marinades and see which one is tuned for your preferences. Also, we wanted to share that our current recipes (working its way into grocery store inventories now) maintain the flavors of our older recipe but do away with all corn syrup (and all glutens).
    Posted Fri, Oct 1 2010 5:45pm
  • 02
  • Ralph says
    are you kidding? this sauce is flawless and it just became my favorite sauce! Im a big BBQ sauce guy and after trying everything this is my top sauce for sale.
    Posted Sun, Apr 15 2012 1:34am
  • 03
  • Randy says
    this is my favorite sauce, I have tried several and even a home made version, this is by far the best.
    Posted Fri, Jul 6 2012 5:28pm
  • 04
  • Pauly says
    I'm with Ralph and Randy. To me, nothing beats Stubb's original. I love the strong tomato flavor, and the lack of a cloying sweetness. It's just right.
    Posted Fri, Aug 17 2012 5:33pm
  • 05
  • Eddie says
    I bought this to use for pulled pork I made for my dad. He's diabetic, and I don't care much for sweet sauce, so I chose this for the low sugar content. I enjoyed it a great deal. I would have gone for the hot version, but dad doesn't like spicy. All in all, I'd get it again and I'd certainly rate it higher than a 4/10.
    Posted Mon, Feb 4 2013 10:55pm
  • 06
  • Mike Altomare says
    Has anybody tried Stubb's Sweet Heat?
    Posted Tue, Mar 12 2013 11:16am
  • 07
  • Tom says
    My favorite "supermarket sauce". A great alternative to the other supermarket sauces ranked higher which are thick brown goo with a overly sweet taste due to corn syrup, molasses and Honey..
    Posted Mon, Jun 10 2013 1:44pm
  • 08
  • Dave says
    Opened a bottle of this up last weekend and really enjoyed it. I love the peppery flavor and the fact there is no sugar finish. Sweet sauces have their place but so do bold sauces such as Stubbs. This sauce is great with brisket and pork shoulder or even on a plain hamburger. I would rate it higher in the 7-8 range.
    Posted Thu, Jun 20 2013 8:30am
  • 09
  • Michelle Lewis says
    My daughter tried this on a whim and called me raving about it, so I went into the supermarket and brought two bottles, the sticky sweet and hot. can I tell you this is hands down the best barbeque ever!!! I will never as long as I'm on planet earth use another barbeque sauce other than stubb's, both my parents were cooks and my daughter and I are foodies and never have I tasted a barbeque sauce with this much flavor, I had to stop myself from putting the bottle to my mouth and just drinking it straight out the bottle. this is barbeque sauce, I will put this on everything!! in fact tomorrow I'm making red rice and beans and guess the gravy going over that up Stubb's!!!
    Posted Mon, Apr 13 2015 7:23pm
  • 10
  • Mark says
    At 65 years of age I have tried a ton of BBQ sauces including many of my own. I can say hands down whether on a brisket or on burgers, Stubbs is the best of the best. I will continue to use these products until I meet my maker.
    Posted Sat, May 20 2017 10:01pm
  • 11
  • Terry hicks says
    The best I%u2019ve tasted in quite some time
    Posted Fri, Oct 20 2017 9:05pm
  • 12
  • Andy says
    Hey, there's no arguing in matters of taste and you are entitled to your tastes and preferences but . . . I love the Stubbs! The original and the smoky mesquite are viscous liquid gold. The black pepper variety didn't do it for me, but the original gets 9/10 stars from me.
    Posted Wed, Apr 4 2018 3:26pm
  • 13
  • Ryan McCain says
    You misspelled following. Nice article.
    Posted Sat, May 26 2018 7:50pm
  • 14
  • Mike says
    4/10? Wow
    Posted Wed, Jun 13 2018 11:08pm

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