Home Recipe Roundup 10 BEST Sauces for Pulled Pork

10 BEST Sauces for Pulled Pork

You could just grab a jar from the store, but these sauces for pulled pork will take your dinner to new heights.

And no, they’re not all BBQ!

A brush with sauce placed on top of a glass jar half filled with homemade BBQ sauce.

Top 10 Pulled Pork Sauce Ideas

The mark of any good pulled pork spread is options.

So why not give your guests a choice between sweat-inducing spice and cool, creamy mayo? 

From the Carolinas and Memphis to Alabama, these sauces for pulled pork pair perfectly with tender, juicy meat.

So, fire up the grill, and let’s get cooking.

1. Homemade BBQ Sauce

Okay, okay, I have to start with a classic. And this homemade BBQ sauce is a stunner.

Ready in a flash, it flawlessly balances sweet, smokey, tangy, and savory flavors. And it calls for pretty basic ingredients, which I love.

Just mix brown sugar with ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and apple cider vinegar. Add some spices, then slather it on your meat.

It’s a classic for a reason. But making it at home lets you control the flavor. Yum!

2. Carolina Vinegar BBQ Sauce

This Carolina vinegar BBQ sauce is thinner than most, and, as the name suggests, it’s pretty tangy.

The thinner consistency ensures it seeps into every nook and cranny.
So every mouthful is a bright flavor explosion. 

And it’s so simple!

Like the recipe above, you’ll need ketchup, spices, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar. But you’ll also add red pepper flakes to give it a spicy punch. 

If you want more heat, add more red pepper flakes or a splash of Tabasco. 

3. Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce

Carolina mustard BBQ sauce is the golden nectar of the grill gods. It’s gorgeous and such a welcome change from the usual dark sauces.

It pairs simple yellow mustard with sweet and sour additions like apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire, spices, and a hint of chipotle pepper in adobo. 

Add as much or as little as you like, and get ready to fall in love!

4. Tangy Memphis BBQ Sauce

We’ve spent a little time in the Carolinas. And now it’s time to move on to Memphis. 

Memphis is famous for thin, tangy sauces that coat every inch of pulled pork with bold flavor.

And this one is unlike any BBQ sauce out there. 

I love the tangy, peppery finish. And I especially love that I can add extra spice when I’m feeling adventurous.

Measure the cayenne pepper with your heart and have some water on hand – this one’s hot!

5. Alabama White Sauce

White BBQ sauce is a must-have for hosting a backyard bash this summer.

It’s super unique, utterly delish, and you won’t believe the secret ingredient!

Instead of a ketchup base, you’ll use mayo, making it nice and thick and perfectly creamy.

To that, you’ll add a few BBQ sauce staples like apple cider vinegar, spices, and lemon juice for a tangy zip. 

And that secret ingredient? Horseradish

So it’s cool and creamy at first, then the heat creeps in the more you eat.

6. Apple Butter BBQ Sauce

In the mood for something sweet and totally unique? Then you have to try this apple butter sauce.

It starts as you’d expect, with ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce.

That seems to be the golden base, huh?

Add some spices, then mix in a generous portion of deeply flavorful and wonderfully fruity apple butter.

It’s different, but who doesn’t love apple and pork?

7. Kansas City-Style Barbecue Sauce

Kansas City-style barbecue sauce is pretty traditional. It’s super thick and hearty with the perfect balance of sweet, savory, and tangy flavors. 

Like the rest, you’ll mix brown sugar with ketchup, then add onion, garlic, cayenne pepper, and mustard. 

But the secret ingredient here is molasses. It adds sweet caramel notes that bring out the smokey flavors of pork.

It’s ideal for family gatherings when you need to keep things mellow.

8. Hawaiian BBQ Sauce

Have you ever tried tender pulled pork in a soft bun with grilled pineapple?

It’s a thing of beauty! And this Hawaiian sauce is the best way to enhance that sweet and savory combo.

Along with the usual suspects, you’ll add pineapple juice, ginger, rice wine vinegar, and Sriracha.

It’s complex, sweet, sticky, and impossible to resist.

9. Easy Gochujang Sauce

Here’s one for my fellow spice lovers. And yes, it really is fiery, so use it with caution!

Gochujang is a potent Korean chili pepper paste. And while many can eat it straight up, I think it’s a little too spicy.

So, I like to mix it into sauces, like this one!

Between the gochujang, agave nectar, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, and lemon juice, it’ll certainly wake you up.

I suggest starting with just a little and adding more to the meat as needed. Add some cooling, crunchy slaw, and you’re all set.

10. Cilantro Lime Crema

This classic Mexican condiment goes great on everything – but especially pulled pork. 

If you need a bit of a palette cleanser from those thick and spicy BBQ sauces, cilantro lime crema is just the thing.

It has a sour cream and mayo base with bright, tangy additions, including lime juice, garlic, red wine vinegar, and cilantro.

Throw in some crumbled cotija cheese or queso fresco to take the creamy flavors over the edge. 

10 BEST Sauces for Pulled Pork

You could just grab a jar from the store, but these sauces for pulled pork will take your dinner to new heights. And no, they’re not all BBQ!


  • Homemade BBQ Sauce

  • Carolina Vinegar BBQ Sauce

  • Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce

  • Tangy Memphis BBQ Sauce

  • Alabama White Sauce

  • Apple Butter BBQ Sauce

  • Kansas City-Style Barbecue Sauce

  • Hawaiian BBQ Sauce

  • Easy Gochujang Sauce

  • Cilantro Lime Crema


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a delicious sauce for pulled pork in 30 minutes or less!
Sauces for Pulled Pork

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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