Nothing beats a good rack of ribs.
The succulent, smoky flavor of the meat combined with the perfect sauce is enough to make your mouth water.
But finding the right sauce can be tricky.
From BBQ sauces to honey glazes and hot sauces, there are so many to choose from that it can be hard to know which one will best bring out the flavors in your ribs.
That’s why I’ve compiled this list of 15 of the best sauces for ribs – all tried and tested by yours truly!
Whether you like sweet or spicy, tangy or savory, these sauces will take your next rib dinner up a notch.
Read Also: What Wine Goes With Ribs? (10 Best Wines)
The 15 Best Sauces for Ribs
Ribs are a classic comfort food, but it’s the sauce that really makes them shine.
If you’re looking for the perfect rib sauce, here are fifteen options that will take your ribs to the next level:
1. BBQ Sauce
If you’re looking for a classic way to sauce up your ribs, look no further than barbecue sauce.
This condiment is made primarily from tomato paste, brown sugar, molasses or honey, Worcestershire sauce, and various spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.
It can vary in sweetness and spiciness depending on the recipe used. The deeply smoky flavor of dedicated BBQ sauces makes them perfect for slathering all over your slow-cooked ribs.
2. Sweet And Sour Sauce
Sweet and sour sauce takes rib dishes onto a whole new level with its sweet-yet-tangy bite that will have everyone begging for more.
Traditional recipes mix vinegar with either cane or fruit juice to provide the desired contrast between sweet and sour tones; however, some creative cooks add pineapple juice to achieve an extra fruity zest to their delicious rib creations!
3. Honey Mustard Sauce
An interesting alternative to traditional barbecue or sweet/sour sauces is honey mustard sauce – this unique combination of pungent yellow mustard complemented by sweetened honey makes it possible to enjoy an incredibly flavorful variety of succulent ribs in one single meal!
While there are many different ways you can whip up a bowl of homemade honey mustard dipping goodness (with added seasonings such as cayenne pepper or garlic), its rich color provides eye appeal as well without having too much overpowering spice finish each bite off with sweetness instead!
4. Teriyaki Sauce
This classic Asian-style sauce is made from a combination of soy sauce, sake or mirin (Japanese Cooking Wine), sugar, and spices for flavor. It has a slightly sweet taste and is thick enough to coat your ribs with a glossy glaze.
Best of all, it only takes about 10 minutes to prepare and can be used as both a marinade and basting liquid while cooking the ribs in the oven or over an open flame.
5. Honey Garlic Sauce
If you’re looking for something that’s just as flavorful but isn’t as pungent as teriyaki, try honey garlic sauce instead!
This version of ribs’ sauces combines minced fresh garlic, honey, vinegar, and soy sauce for attention-grabbing flavor without being too overpowering.
If you want some extra kick, add hot pepper flakes when blending the ingredients together before brushing on top of your perfectly cooked ribs for an irresistible finish.
6. Hot Sauce
Hot sauce, which is often made from cayenne peppers or habaneros, is a classic addition to any rib dish. Depending on what hot sauce you use and how much of it you use, the intensity of heat varies.
A few drops can work wonders in adding some kick to your ribs while still allowing the flavor of the meat to shine through.
It’s not only great for added heat but adds layers of flavor with its combination of vinegar, garlic, and other herbs and spices.
7. Hot Honey BBQ Sauce
This type of barbecue sauce combines sweetness with a little kick thanks to habanero-infused honey that’s been added into the mix.
This delicious combo creates a unique depth of flavor and pairs perfectly with pork ribs due to its balance between sweet and spicy flavors that play nicely off one another when melded together over an open flame or slow-cooked oven heat.
The hint of smokiness from slow cooking also enhances these subtle nuances making this topping an unforgettable choice for any barbecue occasion!
8. Bourbon Peach BBQ Sauce
Bourbon peach BBQ sauce has become increasingly popular over recent years as more people are discovering its mouthwatering taste profile – it features both sweet peaches combined with aromatic bourbon whiskey for just enough warmth without overtaking your senses!
Incorporating dark brown sugar gives this recipe an extra touch even better body than regular sauces because that almost creates a type of sticky glaze especially after being cooked low & slow – perfect consistency ideal when grilling those tangy fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs!
9. Orange Ginger Sauce
If you’re looking for the perfect sauce to grace your ribs, look no further than an orange ginger sauce. This combination of sweet and tangy flavors creates an umami flavor that will excite your taste buds with each bite.
With just a few ingredients like orange juice, soy sauce, garlic powder, honey, and freshly grated ginger, you’ll be able to make this special condiment in no time.
10. Honey Sriracha Sauce
For those who prefer a bit of heat on their ribs, this spicy-sweet treat is just what the doctor ordered!
You can quickly whip up this flavorful concoction with some honey (or substitute agave nectar), sriracha hot chili paste and rice vinegar or lime juice for extra acidity.
Trust us when we say that it’s one delicious way to spice things up in the kitchen!
11. Honey Chipotle BBQ Sauce
Chipotle provides the smoky kiss after which your tongue craves when biting into succulent baby back ribs — but why not add another dimension by pairing chipotles with sweet honey?
This classic combo creates an unforgettable savory-sweet balance unparalleled by any other rib recipe out there — so don’t hesitate to give it a try today!
Add tomato paste for color as well as some Worcestershire sauce for acidic complexity and you have yourself yet another amazing tasty treat your guests (and stomach!) won’t soon forget!
12. Buffalo Sauce
If you’re looking for a classic yet incredibly flavorful option, look no further than buffalo sauce. This tangy condiment should be no stranger to those who love chicken wings and is made with the requisite hot sauce, butter, garlic powder and paprika.
The original ingredient of this zesty blend is Tabasco pepper mash or the tabasco concentrate mixed with white vinegar, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt. It goes great with your favorite cut of ribs slathered in a generous helping of ranch dressing so don’t forget to grab some when you head out for grocery shopping!
13. Sweet Chili Sauce
Who says ribs have to be spicy?
Sweet chili sauce offers a tasty alternative that pairs just as well with pork as it does chicken (or even veggies if you lean more towards vegetarian dishes).
Viscous in texture and slightly sweet on the tongue, it’s made from red peppers along with an array of spices including cloves, ginger root extract, and star anise extract providing that perfect balance between savory flavors and sweetness.
Its subtle heat will tantalize your taste buds without leaving them scorched!
14. Coffee BBQ Sauce
Are you one of those people who craves bold flavors?
If so then coffee bbq sauce may just become your new favorite condiment; its rich flavor comes from the not-too-strong java which brings out the natural sweetness found in tomato paste while being blended together with smoky chipotle seasoning among other things like onion powder and maple syrup – thus creating a powerhouse combination capable of transforming any ordinary piece of rib into something truly extraordinary.
15. Vinegar-Based Carolina BBQ Sauce
Originating in South Carolina, this tangy vinegar-based barbecue sauce is perfect for ribs or pulled pork. It balances the sourness from the vinegar and Worcestershire with a hint of sweetness, making it an all-encompassing flavor profile that can’t be beaten.
Pick up some apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, hot sauce, and spices to create your own version of traditional Carolina-style ribs at home.
The 15 Best Sauces for Ribs
- BBQ Sauce
- Sweet And Sour Sauce
- Honey Mustard Sauce
- Teriyaki Sauce
- Honey Garlic Sauce
- Hot Sauce
- Hot Honey BBQ Sauce
- Bourbon Peach BBQ Sauce
- Orange Ginger Sauce
- Honey Sriracha Sauce
- Honey Chipotle BBQ Sauce
- Buffalo Sauce
- Sweet Chili Sauce
- Coffee BBQ Sauce
- Vinegar Based Carolina BBQ Sauce
- Select your favorite sauce from this article.
- Organize and prepare all of the required ingredients.
- Prep a sauce in 15 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.