What Are the Most Popular BBQ Sauces in Texas?

Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Not that Texans need an excuse to cook, serve and eat barbecue, but May is National BBQ Month. To the surprise of no one in the Lone Star State, Texas ranks as the top state in the nation for BBQ, according to WorldPopulationReview.

So what sauces do Texans love the most? Some of the most popular BBQ sauces in Texas include Salt Lick and Franklin. BetTexas.com, home to coverage of Texas sports betting, utilized Google Trends to calculate the most popular BBQ sauces by search volume from May 1, 2022, to September 6, 2022. The BBQ sauces chosen were determined by Texas Heritage and H-E-B.

Sure enough, Salt Lick and Franklin ran a close 1-2 in the search rankings at 36% and 35%, respectively. Stubbs ranks third with 14% of the search volume.

Top Texas BBQ Sauces by Search

Rank Sauce Search Volume
1Salt Lick BBQ Sauce36%
2Franklin BBQ Sauce35%
3Stubbs BBQ Sauce14%
4Terry Black’s BBQ Sauce9%
5Luling City Market6%

When sports betting does become legal in the state, BetTexas.com will likely have a BetMGM Texas bonus code, as well as promos for other national operators.

Salt Like Sauce Vinegar Based

According to Salt Lick’s website, its sauce is part of everything they do from preparation of their meats and sides to their tables. What makes Salt Lick’s sauce different is it has no tomatoes. The sweet, tangy sauce is vinegar-based mixed with cayenne and chili powder. The family says their ancestors brought it from the Carolinas in the 1870s and then it got “Texa-fied” to give it some kick.

A visit to the original location in Driftwood should be on any BBQ lover’s bucket list. It’s a little out of the way on Farm to Market Road 1826, but worth the drive and the wait while you smell the open pit inside the restaurant.

Franklin BBQ just east of I-35 in Austin isn’t that hard to find, but you’ve got to plan way ahead for the wait. And if you can’t be there, Franklin has three sauces you can find at H-E-B and online for your cookouts at home. There’s tangy Pork BBQ, Espresso BBQ and the sweet and tangy Texas BBQ sauce.

And then Stubbs BBQ is just on the west side of I-35 in Austin, and its sauce has also become a staple for backyard cooking. The spicy hickory sauce is one of the best, and once again, H-E-B carries Stubbs’ sauces.

Find your favorite sauce or expand your horizons with something new and enjoy National BBQ Month with some of Texas’ best flavors.


Douglas Pils has been a sports journalist for 30 years in Texas, Arkansas and New York having worked for the San Antonio Express-News, the Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News and Newsday. He most recently ran the Student Media Department at Texas A&M for eight years.

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