Is BBQ Sauce Vegan?

Is BBQ sauce vegan?

No BBQ sauce is not vegan because honey, which is a popular ingredient used in BBQ sauce is an animal product and isn’t considered to be vegan-friendly. There isn’t a definitive answer to whether BBQ sauce is vegetarian because it is largely dependent on the specific ingredients that the brand employs.

BBQ sauce can be a must-have in many homes and certain meals can’t be complete without it! It doesn’t matter if it’s a BBQ sauce is served alongside fries, or to marinade an excellent meat, it’s something which almost all families use.

But, if you’re eating the vegan lifestyle, BBQ sauce might not be the most suitable sauce to have in your kitchen.

Different types of BBQ sauce are made with various ingredients. You could even create the own BBQ sauce at your home. However, knowing the ingredients to search for and which ones to avoid can aid you in choosing the BBQ sauce that is suitable for you.

We’ve listed the essential ingredients are essential to consider when you are choosing the right BBQ sauce. It is possible that it will not be suitable for vegans and even some brands that are vegan-friendly and others that aren’t.

The Reasons BBQ Sauce Doesn’t Have To Always Be Vegan

There are some ingredients that BBQ sauce could include that could indicate that the sauce isn’t vegan. Although BBQ sauce is comprised of most vegan ingredients, the addition of one or two additional animal products could change the recipe.

The most commonly used non-vegan ingredients used in BBQ sauces includes honey. Honey is an ingredient that can be problematic when it comes to veganism since it comes from bees.

It’s true that there are exceptions to the rule that brand name BBQ sauces have honey as well as a number of your favorite sauces may actually be vegan.

It’s crucial, in the end you should examine the label of every BBQ sauce in order to get more knowledge about the components the sauce is made of before deciding on the best one.

Certain are not vegan-friendly at all Some are, however, slightly more complicated.

The addition of anchovies and honey in the form of a BBQ sauce is bound cause it to not be vegan However, there are additional ingredients, including natural flavors as well as processed sugars that are more gray areas.

Some processed sugars are not vegan, and not all natural flavors are , however, they could be.

It is likely that you will not be able determine this by looking at the label and you’ll need to be sure that they’re vegan, or learn more about the company’s website.

To conclude it’s always safer to pick an BBQ sauce which is certified as vegan in order to ensure there aren’t any animal byproducts present within the dish!

Ingredients To Look Out For

Knowing the ingredients you should be looking for when buying BBQ sauce that may not be vegan, is the best method to determine whether it’s an appropriate choice that is suitable for your preferences.

There are four elements that BBQ may contain that are worth a lookout for Certain ingredients are more vegan than others. They include anchovies, honey and anchovies. They are also processed sugars as well as the natural flavorings.

Certain of them are simple to recognize, for example, honey and anchovies. However, the sugars that are processed and natural flavors may be somewhat more difficult to identify.

Here’s a brief description of each one, and the way to determine whether they are vegan-friendly or not.


Honey is a controversial topic in regards to its vegan-friendly nature. Many people believe that because honey comes from bees, it’s an animal item therefore it shouldn’t include in any vegan diet similar to eggs and milk.

There are those who think that since bees don’t suffer any harm during the process of making honey, and because they do it naturally and according to their own discretion It is not a problem eating honey while on the vegan diet.

It’s a totally personal decision and one that you must make for yourself.

If you think honey is non-vegan, it’s one of the ingredients you need to be looking on within BBQ sauce. Bees produce honey for the sake of their own but it is not meant for human consumption and therefore it is easy to see why it is classified as non-vegan.

There are reports that many bees have been killed during the collection of honey, which is in the line of the cruelty to animals.

The decision to believe it or not is entirely up to you. And if you decide to stay clear of the use of honey when making BBQ sauce, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover your options aren’t all that limited.


Therefore, it’s fairly easy to see why anchovies aren’t considered vegan. Anchovies are a tiny species of fish that, to the delight of many, are an important component of the flavoring BBQ sauce.

There are a few major BBQ brand names that make use of anchovies in their sauces This is something you should keep an eye on.

There’s no way you could savor BBQ sauce that is flavored with anchovies while eating an all-vegan diet.

There are also BBQ sauces that don’t contain anchovies despite the fact that it’s a very common ingredient in the making of BBQ sauce. There is no reason it isn’t possible to get a quality BBQ sauce that doesn’t contain anchovies.

It’s an obvious ingredient in the list of ingredients, and is simple to find.

Natural Flavors

Natural flavors sound wonderful when written on paper. However, the reality is that many natural flavors can’t be described as vegan. Although the majority of natural flavors are derived from plants but some come from animals.

When you think of natural flavor, fruit juice, fruit vegetables, and juice from vegetables immediately come to mind. Vegans can also enjoy natural flavors made from spices and bark, root leaves and other plant materials.

There are exceptions, however, there are also non-vegan natural flavors made from poultry, meat fish, dairy items and eggs..

You may be lucky enough to discover the ingredients or the origin for the flavor’s natural source within this list, however If you’re not sure, it’s recommended to call the manufacturer to discover more about where the natural flavorings originate from.

The majority of these natural flavors originate from plants, however there is possibility that these flavors may have come by using the products of animals.

Certain vegans believe that eating food products with natural flavors that are derived from animals is fine since it’s more healthy than actually eating meat, however once again, this is entirely up to you as to what you decide to do with your food.

Processing Sugar

On the surface processed sugar appears to be a simple vegan. However, it’s not quite as simple as this even.

The white sugar that is processed is usually thought of as non-vegan, since the bone charcoal is utilized in order to whiten, bleach and filter the sugar. The bone char is made from the bones of cattle that are heated at high temperatures before being transformed into carbon.

It’s not difficult to understand the reason this might be classified as non-vegan. But it is important to be aware it is not all sugar processed is bleached or filtered using bone char. Also, not all sugar is derived directly from sugarcane.

Sugar companies utilize vegan alternatives to make their sugar. Some even get sugar from other sources like beets.

It’s often difficult to determine the kind of sugar for BBQ sauces, and in other dishes at all, because it’s not often specified.

To ensure your safety it is possible to eat items made with sugar that is organic only because it isn’t typically made from bone charcoal.

BBQ Sauce Brands

There are certain BBQ sauces that aren’t vegan, but you can find some of them vegan, which means you don’t have to miss delicious sweet or smoky flavours that BBQ sauce offers!

We’ve taken a look at our top picks of well-known BBQ sauces and have included whether or not they’re vegan or not, as well as what their products are!

Heinz BBQ Sauce

Heinz BBQ sauce is one of the most sought-after available on the market. And you’ll be delighted to learn it is it is the first Heinz BBQ Sauce, as in addition to numerous other flavors, are recognized as being vegan!

It’s made of processed sugar, and you’ll need to choose the sugar content for yourself.

Non-vegan Heinz BBQ Sauces

These BBQ sauces originate from Heinz are made with anchovies therefore they are not vegan:

  • Memphis Style BBQ Sauce
  • Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce
  • Texas Style BBQ Sauce

Vegan Heinz BBQ Sauces

The following BBQ sauces made by Heinz are considered to be vegan however, they do contain sugar that has been processed:

  • Carolina Mustard Style BBQ Sauce
  • Original Sweet and The Thick Sauce for BBQ
  • Carolina Vinegar Style Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce
  • Kentucky Bourbon Style Rich and Savory BBQ Sauce
  • Hawaii Food and Drinks Sauce

Kraft BBQ Sauce

Kraft BBQ sauces have been an essential ingredient in many homes for quite a while, and you can be sure that the majority of Kraft BBQ sauces are in fact vegan except for a couple of a couple.

The reason why some sauces aren’t considered vegan is due to the fact that they contain honey. However, not all of them do.

Non-Vegan Kraft BBQ Sauces

The following contain honey and therefore are not vegan:

  • Honey BBQ Sauce
  • Hot Honey BBQ Sauce
  • Mesquite Smoke BBQ Sauce
  • Sweet Honey BBQ Sauce

Vegan Kraft BBQ Sauces

The following are vegetarian and are safe for you to incorporate into your daily diet:

  • Original Barbecue Sauce
  • Spicy and thick Barbecue Sauce
  • Hot and spicy Barbecue Sauce
  • Sweet Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce

Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce

Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce is a favorite of many because of its delicious, authentic smokey taste, and how well it works with many different dishes and recipes!

The only issue with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce is that the flavors that are natural are not known although there is a possibility that they originate from animals, it’s likely that they originate from plants.

Apart from that, most of the BBQ sauces are vegan..

Non-vegan Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauces:

These BBQ sauces contain honey so they’re not vegan:

  • Maple Barbecue Sauce
  • Honey-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
  • Honey Barbecue Sauce

Vegan Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauces:

Apart from the unknown natural flavor, these sauces could be considered as vegan:

  • Original Barbecue Sauce
  • Hawaiian Barbecue Sauce
  • Sweet ‘N’ Spicy Barbecue Sauce
  • Sweet Golden Mustard Barbecue Sauce
  • Sweet Vidalia Onion Barbecue Sauce
  • Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • Steakhouse Marinade
  • Sweet Teriyaki Marinade
  • Kickin’ Bourbon Wing Barbecue Sauce

Bull’s Eye BBQ Sauce

The majority of barbecue sauces from Bull’s Eye are vegetarian However, some contain honey or bacon and honey, which makes them not vegan.

Non-Vegan Bull’s Eye BBQ Sauces

Two out of Bull’s Eye BBQ sauces are not vegan because they have honey or bacon flavoring:

  • Smoky Bacon BBQ Sauce
  • Tennessee Style Sweet Whiskey Glaze

Vegan Smokey BBQ Bull’s Eye Sauces

The majority of Bull’s Eye BBQ sauces are vegan, which means you can are able to choose from a variety of choices:

  • The Original BBQ Sauce
  • Dark Beer BBQ Sauce
  • Hickory Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce
  • Red Hot Chilli Hot Sauce
  • New York Steakhouse BBQ Sauce
  • Memphis Style Sweet and Spicy Hot Sauce
  • The Roasted Onion BBQ Sauce
  • Smoky Chipotle Hot Sauce

Making Sure that the BBQ Sauce is Vegan

One of the best ways to be sure you are getting barbecue sauce that you are able to taste can be vegan, is to prepare it by yourself!

This method you are in complete control over the ingredients you use and you can prepare it and enjoy your dish freshly and tweak the sauce to your liking precisely!

Here are a few items that are vegan you can utilize in the making of BBQ sauce yourself at home. You can also pick vegan choices for each one to make sure!

  • Ketchup
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of lemon
  • Organic brown sugar
  • Worcestershire sauce (vegan)
  • Mustard
  • Spices (such as pepper, smoked paprika chili powder, onion powder, and garlic)

They are all vegan or vegan-friendly or alternatives. You can whip up a huge amount of BBQ sauce at home to use with various dishes, without worrying about the ingredients that are hidden!

Is BBQ Sauce Vegan?

Certain BBQ sauces contain vegan ingredients while others aren’t. The difference is in the use of anchovies, honey, natural flavors or sugars that are processed, the vegan-friendlyness of BBQ sauces can vary.

Utilizing the above list of vegetarian-friendly BBQ sauces even developing your own recipe, you will not have to miss out of the amazing flavors an excellent BBQ sauce has to offer!

Be sure to go the ingredient lists thoroughly and conduct your own research to discover the BBQ sauce that fits your needs most.

Interesting Facts & Questions

Wow! We hope we’ve addressed your concerns about everything BBQ sauce, and whether or not it’s vegan. We’re sure you’ll have more questions, so continue reading below for additional information!

Is BBQ sauce vegetarian?

The majority of BBQ sauces, although not all the time vegan, are still vegetarian. It is important to be cautious of BBQ sauces which contain anchovies or bacon, since these could make the sauce not vegan.

They are typically listed on the list of ingredients and should be easily accessible. Pescatarians can indulge in BBQ sauce that is made from anchovies, provided that it isn’t made with bacon.

Is BBQ sauce gluten-free?

Certain BBQ sauces could be gluten-free, whereas other sauces might not. There are a few BBQ sauces that are created with thickeners or colorants that could contain gluten.

You’ll need to look over the list of ingredients carefully or select the BBQ sauce advertised as gluten-free and is certified as such.

It is also possible to create the own barbecue sauce at home, since this is the most reliable method to determine exactly what ingredients are used in your food!

Is BBQ sauce kosher?

You must be looking for BBQ sauces that have been certified as kosher, since there are a few BBQ sauces are kosher.. The information can be located in the BBQ sauce website, or contact customer service for assistance.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

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