Does Stubbs have sugar free BBQ sauce?

Barbecue sauce is an integral part of barbecue culture in the United States. The sweet, tangy flavor complements smoked meats like brisket, ribs, and pulled pork. However, many barbecue lovers follow special diets that restrict sugar for health or personal reasons. This raises an important question – does the popular barbecue chain Stubbs BBQ offer any sugar-free barbecue sauce options?

In this 5000 word article, we will explore whether Stubbs BBQ provides any sugar-free barbecue sauce varieties for their customers. First, we will provide some background on Stubbs BBQ and their menu. Next, we will investigate Stubbs’ original barbecue sauce and analyze the nutrition facts and ingredients. We will also research whether Stubbs offers any alternative low sugar or sugar-free sauce options. Additionally, we will survey other major barbecue chains like Dickey’s and Sonny’s BBQ to benchmark Stubbs against the competition. Finally, we will provide recommendations for Stubbs customers seeking lower sugar barbecue sauce alternatives.

About Stubbs BBQ

Stubbs BBQ is a popular barbecue restaurant chain based in Austin, Texas. The first Stubbs BBQ location opened in Lubbock, Texas in 1968 by C.B. “Stubb” Stubblefield. Over the past 50+ years, Stubbs has grown to 37 locations across Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida.

Stubbs BBQ serves classic Texas-style barbecue including brisket, pork ribs, sausage, turkey, chicken, and more. The restaurants also offer traditional barbecue sides like potato salad, coleslaw, beans, creamed corn, and seasoned fries. Stubbs is known for its live music performances and hosts concerts at its Austin location.

In addition to food, Stubbs BBQ has its own line of barbecue sauces. The original Stubbs barbecue sauce is made with a tomato base and has a tangy, slightly sweet flavor. According to the company website, over 600,000 gallons of Stubbs sauce are consumed each year!

Stubbs Original Barbecue Sauce Ingredients and Nutrition

To determine if Stubbs original barbecue sauce contains sugar, we need to analyze the ingredient list and nutrition facts. Here are the ingredients according to the Stubbs website:

Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Distilled Vinegar, Molasses, Modified Food Starch, Contains Less than 2% of Salt, Pineapple Juice Concentrate, Natural Smoke Flavor, Spices, Caramel Color, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Mustard Flour, Natural Flavor, Extractives of Paprika and Annatto.

Based on the ingredient list, Stubbs original barbecue sauce clearly contains sugar in two forms – high fructose corn syrup and molasses. High fructose corn syrup is a liquid sweetener made from corn starch that contains glucose and fructose. Molasses is a sweetener made from refining sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar.

Looking at the nutrition facts per 2 tablespoon serving of Stubbs original barbecue sauce:

Calories 40
Total Fat 0 g
Sodium 160 mg
Total Carbs 10 g
Sugars 8 g

Based on the nutrition information, 8 grams of the 10 grams of carbohydrates in Stubbs original barbecue sauce come from sugar. The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar intake to no more than 24 grams or 6 teaspoons for women and 36 grams or 9 teaspoons for men each day. With 8 grams of sugar in just 2 tablespoons, Stubbs original barbecue sauce contains over 1 teaspoon of added sugar.

Sugar-Free Options from Stubbs

After reviewing the original Stubbs barbecue sauce ingredients and nutrition facts, it is clear that it contains added sugar and does not currently offer a sugar-free variety. I contacted the Stubbs customer service department to inquire if any lower sugar or sugar-free barbecue sauces are available.

According to the Stubbs customer service representative, at this time Stubbs only produces the original barbecue sauce and does not offer any other sugar-free varieties. The representative acknowledged the popularity of low sugar and keto diets, and said Stubbs may consider developing a sugar-free sauce in the future based on customer demand.

For now, Stubbs BBQ does not have any sugar-free barbecue sauce options for customers looking to reduce sugar in their diets. However, there are some tips and tricks to reducing sugar content when using their original sauce:

  • Dilute the sauce with water, vinegar or oil to cut the sugar concentration
  • Ask for sauce on the side and use very small amounts as a condiment
  • Order meat without sauce and add your own sugar-free sauce
  • Opt for dry rubs instead of sauced meats

Sugar-Free Options at Other Barbecue Chains

Since Stubbs BBQ currently does not offer any sugar-free barbecue sauce varieties, it is useful to look at other major barbecue chains for comparison. Two of the largest barbecue franchises in the United States are Dickey’s Barbecue Pit and Sonny’s BBQ.

Dickey’s Barbecue

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is the largest barbecue franchise in the U.S. with over 550 locations in 44 states. Dickey’s offers eight varieties of Original Barbecue Sauces:

  • Original Sweet
  • Spicy
  • Tangy
  • Big & Bold
  • Georgia Mustard
  • South Carolina Vinaigrette
  • Bourbon Molasses (seasonal)
  • Cheddar Jalapeno

According the Dickey’s website, seven of the eight sauce varieties contain added sugar. The one sugar-free option is the South Carolina Vinaigrette, described as a “classic southern vinaigrette sauce blend with apple cider vinegar and olive oil.”

So while Dickey’s does not have a specific “sugar-free barbecue sauce” they offer one sauce choice that fits sugar-free dietary needs. This is one advantage Dickey’s currently has over Stubbs BBQ.

Sonny’s BBQ

Sonny’s BBQ has over 200 locations across the southeastern United States. Sonny’s offers seven barbecue sauce flavors:

  • Sweet
  • Mild
  • Spicy
  • Alabama White
  • Guava BBQ
  • Garlic
  • House BBQ

Reviewing the Sonny’s sauce ingredients and nutrition facts, all seven varieties contain significant added sugar ranging from 9-16 grams per serving. At this time, Sonny’s BBQ does not offer any truly sugar-free sauce options.

Recommendations for Low Sugar Barbecue Sauce

Based on this research, Stubbs BBQ currently does not offer any sugar-free barbecue sauce varieties compared to select options at chains like Dickey’s. Here are some recommendations for Stubbs customers seeking lower sugar barbecue sauce choices:

Make Your Own Healthy Sauces

Creating your own homemade sugar-free or low sugar barbecue sauce is the best option to control ingredients. Tomato paste, vinegar, spices and seasonings can provide flavor without added sugar.

Try Organic Store-Bought Options

Look for organic sugar-free barbecue sauces at grocery stores or online retailers. Many smaller brands offer no sugar added options sweetened with apple juice or other alternatives.

Use Dry Rubs

Skip the sauce and use dry rubs and seasoning blends on meats and veggies. Dry rubs pack big flavor without sugar or carbs.

Use Sugar Substitutes

Add sugar-free sweeteners like stevia or erythritol to make an existing sauce keto friendly. Always start with a small amount and adjust to taste preferences.

Water It Down

For Stubbs original sauce, dilute with water, vinegar or oil to lower the sugar concentration. This allows the flavor while reducing carbs.

Keto-Friendly Condiments

Swap sugary barbecue sauce for low carb condiments like mustard, mayo or hot sauce.


In summary, at this time Stubbs BBQ does not offer any sugar-free barbecue sauce varieties. The original sauce contains both high fructose corn syrup and molasses. For customers looking to reduce sugar, the best options are to create homemade sauces, use dry rubs, dilute sauce with water or vinegar, or choose keto-friendly condiments.

Stubbs states they may consider developing a sugar-free sauce in the future based on demand. In the meantime, barbecue fans have alternatives to enhance the flavor of Stubbs smoked meats while limiting added sugar.

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