Are you looking for the perfect sauce for pulled pork?
Pulled pork is a crowd favorite, and it’s easy to see why.
The juicy, tender meat pairs perfectly with a variety of sauces.
Whether you like your pulled pork sweet or spicy, there’s bound to be a sauce that tickles your taste buds.
From classic BBQ sauces to creamy honey mustard dressings, here are 11 of the best sauces for pulled pork.
What is Pulled Pork?
Pulled pork is a type of barbecue dish made from slow-cooked pork shoulder.
The meat is cooked until it’s tender enough to be “pulled” or shredded into small pieces.
It can then be served on its own, in sandwiches, tacos, burritos, and more.
Pulled pork is usually seasoned with a dry rub or marinade before cooking and often finished with a sauce after cooking.
The most popular way to cook pulled pork is by smoking it over indirect heat for several hours at low temperatures (around 225°F).
This method allows the fat in the meat to slowly render out while keeping the moisture locked in so that the meat stays juicy and flavorful.
After smoking, some people like to finish their pulled pork off by braising it in liquid such as beer or apple cider vinegar for an extra layer of flavor.
Pulled pork has become increasingly popular over recent years due to its versatility and delicious flavor profile—it’s sweet yet smoky with just a hint of spice from whatever seasoning you choose!
11 Best Sauces for Pulled Pork
Pulled pork is one of the most popular meats around and it’s easy to see why – it’s flavorful, juicy, and pairs with a variety of sauces.
If you’re looking for an extra kick of flavor, here are eleven sauces that will take your pulled pork to the next level:
1. BBQ Sauce
Regular BBQ sauce is a type of condiment made from tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, and spices.
It is used to add flavor to grilled or smoked meats such as pork, beef, chicken, and fish.
The sauce can be either sweet or spicy depending on the ingredients used in its preparation.
- Taste: Regular BBQ sauce has a tangy taste with a hint of sweetness that comes from the combination of tomato paste and sugar. Depending on the recipe used for making it, it may also have smoky notes due to the addition of smoked paprika or other spices like cumin and chili powder.
- Common Uses: Regular BBQ sauce is most commonly used as a marinade for grilled or smoked meats such as pork ribs or pulled pork sandwiches. It can also be used as a dipping sauce for fried foods like chicken wings or french fries. Additionally, it can be added to burgers and hot dogs for extra flavor.
White BBQ Sauce, also known as Alabama White Sauce, is a mayonnaise-based sauce that originated in the state of Alabama.
It is made with mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice, horseradish, black pepper and salt.
The sauce has a tangy flavor and creamy texture that pairs well with smoked meats such as pulled pork or chicken.
- Taste: White BBQ Sauce has a tangy flavor from the vinegar and lemon juice combined with the creaminess of the mayonnaise. The horseradish adds an extra kick to the sauce while the black pepper provides some heat.
- Common Uses: White BBQ Sauce is most commonly used on smoked meats such as pulled pork or chicken. It can also be used as a dip for french fries or onion rings and can be added to sandwiches for extra flavor.
Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce is a type of barbecue sauce that originated in South Carolina.
It is made with yellow mustard, vinegar, sugar, and spices.
The combination of these ingredients creates a tangy and slightly sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with pulled pork.
- Taste: This type of BBQ sauce has a unique flavor profile due to the combination of yellow mustard and vinegar. The mustard adds a sharpness to the sauce while the vinegar provides an acidic kick. The sweetness from the sugar balances out the tartness from the other ingredients for an overall delicious taste.
- Creative Ideas: Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce can be used as more than just a condiment for pulled pork sandwiches or sliders; it can also be used as a marinade or glaze for grilled meats like chicken or ribs, as well as vegetables such as corn on the cob or roasted potatoes. Additionally, it can be used to make dressings for salads or even added to macaroni and cheese for extra flavor!
Spicy BBQ sauce is a type of barbecue sauce that has been spiced up with chili peppers, hot sauces, and other spices.
It is usually made from tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, and various seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and mustard.
- To make your own spicy BBQ sauce at home you can start by combining ketchup or tomato paste with apple cider vinegar and brown sugar.
- Then add in some heat with chili peppers or hot sauces like Sriracha or Tabasco. You can also add in some smokiness with smoked paprika or chipotle powder.
- Finally mix in some classic BBQ flavors like garlic powder, onion powder and Worcestershire sauce to round out the flavor profile.
Pinot Noir BBQ Sauce is a type of barbecue sauce made with the addition of Pinot Noir wine.
It has a rich, smoky flavor and is slightly sweet, making it perfect for pulled pork dishes.
- Creative Ideas: Pinot Noir BBQ Sauce can be used in many different ways to add flavor to your favorite dishes. Try using it as a marinade for grilled meats or vegetables, or use it as a dipping sauce for chicken wings or nuggets. You can also use it as an ingredient in your favorite slow cooker recipes like pulled pork sandwiches or tacos.
- Where To Buy: Pinot Noir BBQ Sauce can be found at most grocery stores and specialty food shops. You can also find it online from various retailers such as Amazon and Walmart.
Chipotle Crema is a Mexican condiment made from sour cream, mayonnaise, and chipotle peppers.
It has a creamy texture and smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with pulled pork or tacos.
- Creative Ideas: Chipotle Crema can be used as a dip for chips or vegetables, spread on sandwiches or burgers, drizzled over salads, added to soups or stews for extra flavor, and even used as an ingredient in dressings and marinades.
- Where To Buy: Chipotle Crema can usually be found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores near the other Mexican condiments like salsa and guacamole. It can also be purchased online from specialty food retailers.
Maple BBQ sauce is a sweet and smoky condiment made with maple syrup, tomato paste, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and other spices.
It has a unique flavor that combines the sweetness of maple syrup with the smokiness of barbecue sauce.
- Creative Ideas: Maple BBQ sauce can be used in many different ways. It’s great for marinating meats or as a dipping sauce for fried foods like chicken wings or french fries. You can also use it to make pulled pork sandwiches or sliders. Or try adding it to macaroni and cheese for an extra layer of flavor!
- Where To Buy: Maple BBQ Sauce can be found at most grocery stores in the condiment aisle. You can also find it online from specialty food retailers such as Amazon or Thrive Market.
Cilantro Lime Crema is a creamy, tangy sauce made with cilantro, lime juice, and sour cream.
It’s the perfect accompaniment to Mexican-style dishes such as tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and pulled pork.
The combination of flavors creates a unique balance of tartness and freshness that complements the richness of the dish.
- Creative Ideas: Cilantro Lime Crema can be used in many different ways. Try using it as a dip for chips or vegetables; drizzle it over tacos or burritos; use it as a topping for nachos; or even mix it into guacamole for an extra zing!
- Where To Buy: You can find Cilantro Lime Crema at most grocery stores in the refrigerated section near other condiments like salsa and sour cream. Alternatively, you can make your own by combining equal parts cilantro leaves (chopped), lime juice (freshly squeezed), and sour cream in a blender until smooth.
Apple cider vinegar BBQ sauce is a tangy, sweet and smoky barbecue sauce made with apple cider vinegar as its main ingredient.
It’s a popular condiment for pulled pork sandwiches, ribs, and other grilled meats.
- Creative Ideas: Apple cider vinegar BBQ sauce can be used in many different ways. Try using it as a marinade for chicken or pork before grilling or baking. You can also use it to make a delicious dip for french fries or onion rings. Or try adding some to your favorite macaroni and cheese recipe for an extra kick of flavor!
- Where To Buy: Apple cider vinegar BBQ sauce can be found in most grocery stores in the condiment aisle. You can also find it online from specialty food retailers like Amazon or Thrive Market.
Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce is a type of barbecue sauce that combines sweet and spicy flavors.
It typically contains ingredients such as tomato paste, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and other spices.
- Creative Ideas: Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce can be used in many different ways to add flavor to your favorite dishes. Try using it as a marinade for grilled meats or vegetables; brush it on chicken wings before baking; use it as a dip for fried foods; or mix it into ground beef for burgers.
- Where To Buy: Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce can be found in most grocery stores in the condiment aisle. You can also find it online from specialty retailers or make your own at home with your favorite ingredients.
Honey mustard BBQ sauce is a sweet and tangy condiment made with honey, mustard, vinegar, and spices.
It’s a popular accompaniment to pulled pork sandwiches, ribs, chicken wings, and other grilled meats.
The combination of the sweetness from the honey and the tanginess from the mustard creates an irresistible flavor that will have your guests coming back for more.
- Creative Ideas: Honey mustard BBQ sauce can be used in many different ways beyond just as a condiment for pulled pork sandwiches or ribs. Try using it as a marinade for chicken or fish before grilling or baking; use it as a dip for vegetables; mix it into macaroni and cheese; spread it on pizza crusts before adding toppings; or drizzle over roasted potatoes.
- Where To Buy: You can find honey mustard BBQ sauce at most grocery stores in either the condiments aisle or near the barbecue sauces. If you’re looking for something more unique than what’s available in stores, you can also make your own by combining equal parts honey and yellow mustard with some apple cider vinegar and spices like garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.
What to Look for in a Pulled Pork Sauce
When it comes to pulled pork, the sauce is just as important as the meat itself. The right sauce can take a good pulled pork and turn it into an unforgettable culinary experience. But what makes a great pulled pork sauce?
Here are a few things to look for:
- Flavor profile: The flavor profile of the sauce is perhaps the most important factor to consider. Some people prefer a sweet sauce, while others like it tangy or spicy. Consider your personal preferences and choose a sauce that complements your taste buds.
- Consistency: The consistency of the sauce can also affect the overall taste of the dish. Some people like a thick sauce that coats the meat, while others prefer a thinner sauce that allows the meat to shine. Choose a sauce that has the right consistency for your preferences.
- Heat level: Heat level is another important factor to consider when choosing a sauce. If you like it hot, go for a spicy sauce, but if you prefer milder flavors, look for a sauce with less heat.
Why Use Sauces For Pulled Pork?
- Enhances Flavor and Moisture: Sauces can significantly enhance the flavor and moisture of pulled pork barbecue, making it more enjoyable to eat. When cooked low and slow, pulled pork can sometimes end up dry and lacking in flavor. However, using the right sauce can add complementary flavors and spices, creating a perfect balance of taste that complements the meat. Additionally, sauces can help to add moisture to the meat, especially if it has been cooked for an extended period. The sauce can seep into the meat and keep it moist, resulting in a more tender and juicy dish.
- Adds Variety and Excitement: Using different types of sauces can add variety and excitement to your pulled pork. Experimenting with different flavors and spice levels can be fun, and it allows you to tailor the dish to your preferences. You can try classic barbecue sauces, hot sauces, pork finishing sauces, or other unconventional sauces like Korean BBQ, mango, or peach. Each sauce will add a unique twist to your pulled pork, making it more interesting and enjoyable to eat.
- Complements the Cooking Method: Pulled pork is often cooked low and slow, which can result in a dry and flavorless meat without the right sauce. Using a sauce can balance out the flavor and texture of the meat, making it more enjoyable to eat. The right sauce can help to bring out the natural flavors of the meat and complement the cooking method. It’s important to choose a sauce that matches the flavor profile of the meat and the cooking method to create a harmonious dish.
Classic Barbecue Sauces for Pulled Pork
Barbecue sauces are a classic choice for pulled pork and are loved by many for their sweet and tangy flavor.
Here are three classic barbecue sauces that are perfect for pulled pork:
This sauce is perfect for those who prefer a sweeter taste. It usually includes brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, and spices like garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika.
This sauce is perfect for those who like a smoky taste. It typically includes ingredients like liquid smoke, molasses, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce.
This sauce is perfect for those who prefer a tangy taste. It usually includes vinegar, ketchup, mustard, and spices like cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and black pepper.
These classic barbecue sauces are a great starting point for anyone looking to experiment with pulled pork sauces. While they can be easily found in stores, you can also try making your own at home for a fresher and more personalized taste.
Hot Sauces for Pulled Pork
For those who like to spice things up, hot sauces are a great option for pulled pork.
Here are three hot sauces that are perfect for adding some heat to your pulled pork:
Made from one of the hottest chili peppers in the world, habanero hot sauce is not for the faint of heart. It’s perfect for those who love extreme heat and want to add a bold flavor to their pulled pork.
Chipotle hot sauce is made from smoked jalapenos and has a smoky and slightly sweet flavor. It’s perfect for those who want to add some heat to their pulled pork without it being too overpowering.
Made from one of the hottest peppers in the world, ghost pepper hot sauce is not for the faint of heart. It’s perfect for those who love extreme heat and want to add a bold flavor to their pulled pork.
These hot sauces can be used to add a fiery kick to your pulled pork. However, be careful not to overdo it with the heat, as it can overpower the flavor of the meat.
Other Sauces for Pulled Pork
In addition to classic barbecue sauces, hot sauces, and pork finishing sauces, there are other sauces that can be used to add some variety to your pulled pork. Here are three other sauce options for pulled pork:
This sauce is made with soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. It adds a sweet and savory flavor to the pulled pork and is perfect for those who want to try something different.
This sauce is made with mango, brown sugar, ketchup, and spices like ginger and cinnamon. It adds a fruity and slightly spicy flavor to the pulled pork and is perfect for those who prefer a sweeter taste.
This sauce is made with fresh peaches, brown sugar, ketchup, and spices like cumin and coriander. It adds a fruity and slightly spicy flavor to the pulled pork and is perfect for those who want to add a unique flavor to their dish.
These other sauce options can be used to add some variety and excitement to your pulled pork. They can be served on the side or brushed onto the meat towards the end of the cooking process for some extra flavor.
In conclusion, pulled pork is a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed with a variety of sauces.
The best sauces for pulled pork are BBQ sauce, white BBQ sauce, Carolina mustard BBQ sauce, spicy BBQ sauce, pinot noir BBQ sauce, chipotle crema, maple BBQ sauce, cilantro lime crema, apple cider vinegar BBQ sauce, sweet & spicy BBQ sauce, and honey mustard BBQ sauce.
Each of these sauces adds a unique flavor to the pulled pork and can be used to create a variety of dishes.
With so many options, you’re sure to find the perfect sauce for your pulled pork dish.
11 Best Sauces for Pulled Pork
- BBQ Sauce
- White BBQ Sauce (aka Alabama White Sauce)
- Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce
- Spicy BBQ Sauce
- Pinot Noir BBQ Sauce
- Chipotle Crema
- Maple BBQ Sauce
- Cilantro Lime Crema
- Apple Cider Vinegar BBQ Sauce
- Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce
- Honey Mustard BBQ Sauce
- Select your favorite recipe.
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- Prep a sauce recipe in 30 minutes or less!
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.