We Reviewed the New Stubb’s BBQ Sauce and Here’s What We Found

With dozens of barbecue sauce brands and flavors vying for attention at the grocery store, will Stubb's new offering spark a fire with grill masters? Our on-staff grill master gave it a shot, and here's what he thought.

Like any red-blooded American, I love a good barbecue sauce—especially when it’s one of the homemade recipes our readers send in.  Not only is the finger-licking summer staple a must on grilled greats, but I also think it’s a lip-smacking addition to chicken fingers and potato skins. I’ve even used it with egg rolls when there was no sweet-and-sour sauce in the house. (Don’t judge me!)

So, when I had the chance to sample the limited edition of Stubb’s Sweet Honey & Spice Legendary Bar-B-Q Sauce, I thought I hit the lottery of writing assignments. I decided to put the new product to the test—a taste test.

Test #1: Grilled Pork Chops

The first test? Stubb’s sauce on grilled pork chops. (And if you want to grill your own chops, check out this 5-star recipe for Favorite Grilled Pork Chops!)

Initially, I was surprised how thin the sauce was. Personally, I like a thick sauce you have to slather on…one that really clings to the meat. No biggie, though. I happily grilled up the juicy pork chops and moved onto the taste test.

In the end, the chops were good, but the flavor of the sauce seemed a bit weak. I prefer barbecue sauces that feature a hint of sweetness, and I was slightly disappointed in this Sweet Honey & Spice variety.

Test #2: Skillet Chicken

The next night was nutty at our house, so I simmered up chicken breasts in a skillet with Stubb’s sauce. The sauce did thicken a bit as it cooked, but it was still thinner than I like. The flavor of the sauce came through better in this dish, but the vinegar, allspice and pepper masked any hint of honey. I served the chicken with potatoes wedges on the side, and the sauce complimented the spuds nicely.

Test #3: Burgers

Who doesn’t love a thick juicy burger? Everyone—that’s who. That said, my final taste test was using Stubb’s sauce was over All-American Bacon Cheeseburgers. The sauce held it’s own here—perhaps because I didn’t cook with it. Not as thick as ketchup, the sauce added change-of-pace spices and flair to my burger and complemented the bacon, cheddar and beef well.

My Conclusion

Today’s grocery shelves are lined with barbecue sauces, and many home cooks are stirring up their own sauces. As such, I’m not sure Stubb’s Sweet Honey & Spice Legendary Bar-B-Q Sauce will stand out against the competition. Don’t get me wrong—it’s not bad. I’m actually willing to bet plenty of barbecue-fanatics are going to like it. The thin texture, lack of sweetness and strong vinegar flavor just didn’t satiate the taste buds in my house. Sorry Mr. Stubb!

Have a BBQ sauce you love? Try it in one of these delish recipes.

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Mark Hagen
The former owner of his own catering business, Mark’s been part of the Taste of Home team for the past 20 years. His work has also appeared in Quick Cooking, Light & Tasty and Country Woman magazines as well as in various Pillsbury and Betty Crocker cookbooks. When he’s not spending time in the kitchen with his Westie, Rocco, he’s working in his yard, doing stand-up comedy or devouring a platter of nachos. (Most likely the latter.)