Rhett & Link Put Popular BBQ Sauces in Head-to-Head Match-Ups

Our boys Rhett & Link put together a head-to-head tasting bracket consisting of some of the best-selling store-bought barbecue sauces, along with the top-rated barbecue sauces among Mythical Beasts (aka the “Beasts Eats”).

Rhett & Link tried the contenders in three rounds: first on chicken wings, then on pulled pork, and, finally, on ribs. Let’s find out which barbecue sauce made it to the top of the bracket. (For even more BBQ sauces, check out the Sporked ranking too.)

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Round 1: Chicken Wings

Sweet Baby Ray’s vs. Jack Daniels

While this one was a “tough decision,” Rhett & Link both loved the sweet and slightly spicy quality of Sweet Baby Ray’s, which led to it beating Jack Daniels. Link described the Jack Daniels as “notably smokier,” while Rhett said you can taste that it’s sweetened with raisin juice.

Winner: Sweet Baby Ray’s

Kraft vs. KC Masterpiece

“Mass produced, large batch” were the words that came to mind for Rhett when Link asked what he thought of the Kraft BBQ sauce. Link said the KC Masterpiece had a “dark goodness” and was “clearly better” than the Kraft, which he called “pretty horrible.” KC Masterpiece was the clear winner.

Winner: KC Masterpiece

Stubb’s vs. Bull’s-Eye

Link noted that Stubb’s is a “thinner sauce” with a bit more vinegar in it, and Rhett commented on the “interesting spice” coming through. The Bull’s-Eye sauce took Link back to the early 2000s when apparently it was the official barbecue sauce of Burger King’s Rodeo Cheeseburger before Sweet Baby Ray’s “swept in and took over.” Rhett said Bulls-Eye has that “I should go on something at Burger King” taste, which makes sense. Ultimately, Stubb’s won because of Bull’s-Eye’s “overwhelming” taste which they described as “a wall of sauce.”

Winner: Stubb’s

Head Country vs. Famous Dave’s

Rhett said of the Head Country BBQ sauce, “that’s a good sauce,” while Link described it as “smoky and sweet.” After tasting Famous Dave’s BBQ sauce, Rhett described it as “a little sassy,” adding, “It’s got some spice to it.” However, the two were not swayed by Famous Dave’s “raisiny, prune-like sweetness,” as Link described it. This one was close, but the more balanced flavor of Head Country helped it come out on top.

Winner: Head Country

Round 2: Pulled Pork

Sweet Baby Ray’s vs. KC Masterpiece

The Sweet Baby Ray’s is much more sweet than spicy, and the Kansas City is much smokier, Link pointed out. Rhett felt that the clear winner was Sweet Baby Ray’s as it’s a more balanced mix of tangy, spicy, and sweet, whereas the KC Masterpiece was “getting too sweet, too molasses.”

Winner: Sweet Baby Ray’s

Stubb’s vs. Head Country

Rhett & Link noted that Stubb’s BBQ sauce has a unique spiced flavor, but it’s not sweet. “If you’re going for sweet, you’re not gonna go for Stubb’s,” said Link. After tasting the Head Country sauce, the guys were not on the same page: Rhett disliked it while Link loved it. Rhett was disappointed in the way Head Country mingled with the pulled pork, but he disliked Stubb’s sauce even more, so he declared Head Country the winner.

Winner: Head Country

Finals: Ribs

Sweet Baby Ray’s vs. Head Country

In this round, Rhett & Link had a revelation while trying the Head Country sauce by itself on a spoon. “When you taste it by itself, it tastes like cocktail sauce,” said Link. Rhett said this was “not good, at all.” They both agreed that Sweet Baby Ray’s is better because even when you eat it on its own, it “doesn’t take a weird turn” like Head Country did. Link said Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce “restored my faith in humanity,” and Rhett said it’s “popular for a reason.” Congratulations, Sweet Baby Ray’s! 

Winner: Sweet Baby Ray’s

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About the Author

Naajia Shukri

Naajia Shukri is the editorial assistant at Sporked and the legit biggest fan of candy corn. She is interested in all things food, art, and beauty. After living in Korea for the past two years, she has gotten back to her L.A. roots, frequenting thrift stores and art museums.

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