There’s a big world of barbecue rubs and sauces out there: I get a lot of them in the mail, and I love scouring the grocery store aisles for new flavors. These are some of the Texan products that I love using around the house and make sure you always have a supply. There’s a good chance you’ll get your favorite grill restaurant’s condiments and sauces at the restaurant, but these cured meat helpers are created for people who specialize in packing flavor into every bite.
Verde Chimichurri BBQ Sauce, AXEL Provisions
Axel Brave is a Houstonian with Argentinian roots. In 2018, he launched a line of barbecue sauces and condiments, including three types of chimichurri, Argentina’s national condiment. Any of these herb-heavy sauces can be used as a marinade, spread over the grill, or drizzled over as a garnish. The “verde” version has the distinct oregano flavor you’d expect from chimichurri, as well as parsley and coriander.
The Texas-style Smokin’ Red Hot Sauce, brand Boerne
Every Texas pantry needs an everyday hot sauce, and this smoky red hot sauce is mine. The thinner consistency lets it melt into a brisket-filled breakfast taco, and its pleasant spiciness is a welcome addition to smoked sausage slices or as a topping for a warm bowl of chili con carne.
Thundering Longhorn Beef Rub, Fire & Smoke Society
The label says this product is made in Arkansas, but it’s in the Austin kitchen of Paula Disbrowe, the company’s taste director, that all the rubs, seasonings and sauces are developed. I like the Thundering Longhorn flavor, which is a beef rub but also pairs well with poultry and pork. Disbrowe stays on the savory side with ingredients like ancho chile, espresso and garlic, meaning the rub won’t burn on a hot grill like many high-sugar rubs on the market.
Texas Tandoori Rub Halal BBQ Pitmasters
A friendly backyard barbecue cook-off between a few North Texas Muslim friends grew into a halal barbecue competition team, a WhatsApp group with hundreds of members, and a line of unique rubs. Turmeric, cardamom, ginger and cloves are as common as salt and pepper in Halal BBQ Pitmasters’ many flavors. The spiciness of Texas Tandoori comes from chili powder and livens up the crispy skin of half a chicken on the grill.
Honey Hog BBQ Rub, Fleischkirche
Matt Pittman has grown his brand of Meat Church from his home base in Waxahachie into a behemoth in the barbecue seasoning game. The company is always releasing great new flavors, but I keep reaching for one of the old standbys. Honey Hog BBQ (also available in a hot version) is great for topping a rack of ribs with candy or adding some pizzazz to a pot of pinto beans.
Medium Salsa, PickleSmash
Although this salsa is red, it doesn’t contain tomatoes—the hue comes from annatto seeds. It has a refreshing blend of pickled cucumbers, onions, and jalapeños. Made in Austin, the salsa adds a cool crunch and welcome sourness to barbecue sandwiches and is great for dipping tortilla chips.
Jalantro Hot Sauce, Sierra Diablo
Jalantro could be described as a smooth salsa or spoonable hot sauce. There’s also a “hot” and a “too hot” version, but this particular blend of green chillies and jalapeños falls right in the middle when it comes to spiciness. The San Antonio-based company calls it a no-cream cremosa. Layer it on a barbecue taco, over eggs, or simply dip a chip in this umami-rich sauce.
Roasted Turkey Seasoning, hardcore carnivores
Whether you’re deep frying, smoking, or roasting a turkey for the holidays this year, ditch the stale poultry seasoning and get a fresher flavor from this blend of aromatic herbs and spices with a kick of jalapeño powder. Sprinkle a little into the sauce and filling as you pull them out. This is a limited edition item so grab a bottle before it sells out like the Burnt Ends Sauce.
Bliss + Vinegar Wing Sauce, Yellowbird
Based on the spiciness of serrano peppers, this wing sauce features some unexpected ingredients like strawberries and dates. It provides a gentle burn, cooled somewhat by coconut cream. Of course, it goes great with chicken wings, but it would also make a mean buffalo dip or roast turkey dip. If you like living on the edge, sprinkle it over your pulled pork.
Gourmet Dijon Mustard, Bijan Mustardson
University of Texas running back Bijan Robinson launched a brand of punny mustard ahead of the 2022 football season. Luckily for him, his performance this year really cut the mustard with 1,401 yards and sixteen touchdowns in eleven games. I was hesitant to bring a bottle in because my wife is from Oklahoma, but it’s a really good mustard and I plan on whipping it into a mayo-horseradish sauce for the smoked turkey I bring to my Oklahoma gonna serve-laws this Thanksgiving. You can also use it as a base for a barbecue sauce or to season brisket or beef ribs.
Bonus: Japanese Yuzu BBQ Sauce, Bachan’s
There are mustard, vinegar and tomato based barbecue sauces, so why not a soy sauce based one? This isn’t a product with Texan ties (it’s made in California), but the original version of Bachan’s Japanese Barbecue Sauce has long been one of my favorite dipping sauces and glazes. I use it as a marinade base and squeeze it into the eggs I use for fried breast rice. The new yuzu flavor gets a kick from the Asian citrus and is one of my favorite commercially made sauces.