|Place of origin||United States|
|Main ingredients||Vinegar, tomato paste, or ketchup|
|Ingredients generally used||Liquid smoke, onion powder, spices such as mustard and black pepper, mayonnaise, and sugar or molasses|
Barbecue sauce (also abbreviated as BBQ sauce) is a sauce used as a marinade, basting, condiment, or topping for meat cooked in the barbecue cooking style, including pork or beef ribs and chicken. It is a ubiquitous condiment in the Southern United States and is used on many other foods as well.
Ingredients vary, but most include vinegar, tomato paste, or mayonnaise (or a combination) as a base, as well as liquid smoke, onion powder, spices such as mustard and black pepper, and sweeteners such as sugar or molasses.
Main article: Barbecue in the United States
Some place the origin of barbecue sauce at the formation of the first American colonies in the 17th century. References to the sauce start occurring in both English and French literature over the next two hundred years. South Carolina mustard sauce, a type of barbecue sauce, can be traced to German settlers in the 18th century.
Early homemade barbecue sauces were generally made of just vinegar, salt, and pepper. Sugar, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce started to be used in the 1920s, but after World War II, the quantity of sugar and the number of ingredients increased dramatically.
An early commercially produced barbecue sauce was advertised by the Georgia Barbecue Sauce Company of Atlanta in 1909. Heinz was the first major company to sell bottled barbecue sauce, in 1940. Soon afterwards, General Foods introduced "Open Pit". Kraft Foods only entered the market in around 1960, but with heavy advertising, succeeded in becoming the market leader. Kraft also started making cooking oils with bags of spice attached, supplying another market entrance of barbecue sauce.
Different geographical regions have allegiances to their particular styles and variations for barbecue sauce.