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15 Best Fast Food BBQ Sauces

Barbecue sauce in a saucer with basting brush

If you’re searching for the ultimate fast-food BBQ sauce, your quest ends here. I’ve got you covered. As a self-proclaimed fast-food enthusiast and BBQ sauce lover, I have tried my fair share of BBQ sauces, and I’m excited to share my top picks with you. I’ll explain why I love my favorite picks and suggest the best menu items to pair them with – because no one wants to eat BBQ sauce alone! From smoky and sweet to tangy and spicy, here’s a list of the best fast food BBQ sauce.

Arby’s Tangy BBQ sauce

Arby’s has long been known for its high-quality meats and delicious sauces, and its tangy BBQ sauce is no exception. It has the perfect balance of tangy sweetness, making it one of my favorite fast food sauces to add to any order, regardless of what I’m in the mood for. Paired with their classic beef sandwich or crispy French fries, it elevates the flavors to a new level. However, if you want to take it up a notch, I highly recommend trying it on their loaded curly fries – the combination is truly a match made in heaven!

Wendy’s BBQ sauce

Wendy's french fry, burger and bbq sauce

Wendy’s is a long-standing player in the fast food industry and is one of my favorite spots. And their commitment to high-quality ingredients and exceptional taste is evident in their BBQ sauce. It’s hands down one of the best fast-food BBQ sauces out there, with a smoky flavor that’s not overpowering and just the right amount of sweetness. It’s the perfect condiment for their chicken sandwich or nuggets, adding a flavorful kick to the delicious meal. And if you’re looking for something to dip in this sauce, their sea salt fries are a great choice. Wendy’s commitment to quality extends to every aspect of its menu, and its BBQ sauce is no exception!

Burger King BBQ sauce

Chicken nuggets on table with a hand dipping one in BBQ sauce

Burger King always delivers flame-grilled burgers and classic sauces, which has made them a household name. Their BBQ sauce is no exception, with a sweet, smoky flavor that perfectly complements their signature Whopper. The sauce is made with high-quality ingredients, ensuring a familiar and exceptional taste. Beyond burgers, I find this sauce an ideal dip for their crispy onion rings and juicy nuggets, enhancing the flavor of these already delicious sides. Burger King’s dedication to delivering classic flavors is evident in its BBQ sauce, making it a must-try for any fast-food enthusiast.

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Chick-fil-A Barbeque Sauce

Chick-fil-A may have controversial views, but they’re undoubtedly renowned for their commitment to quality ingredients and exceptional taste. The smoky and tangy blend in their barbecue sauce perfectly complements almost all of their menu items, with a subtle sweetness that balances out the distinct smoky flavor. It’s the ideal condiment for dipping, but what sets it apart is how it elevates the flavor of their crispy chicken sandwich, grilled chicken sandwich, and even their famous waffle fries.  Check out other Chick-fil-A sauces we love.

Church’s Chicken Honey BBQ Sauce

Church’s Chicken has been serving delicious, Southern-style fried chicken for decades, and their Honey BBQ sauce is a testament to why they’re so well-loved – and almost addictive! The sauce is super sweet with a hint of smokiness, making it a great complement to their fried chicken, tenders, and jalapeño poppers. So if you typically like adding honey or sugar to your meals, or if you have a sudden sweet tooth but want to stay moderate on sugar, then this sauce is a must-try.

KFC Summertime BBQ Sauce

KFC is one of the most iconic fast-food chains in the world, and KFC’s original recipe, created by Colonel Sanders himself, is a closely guarded secret that only a handful of people know. This dedication to quality and tradition has made KFC one of the most beloved fast-food chains in the world. And their Summertime BBQ Sauce speaks highly to their bold, homestyle-like flavors. This sauce perfectly balances sweetness and smokiness, making it a versatile condiment that pairs well with any of their fried chicken items.

McDonald’s Tangy Barbeque Sauce

McDonald’s is the world’s largest fast-food chain restaurant in terms of revenue, and – love it or hate it – it’s easy to see why. I’d be able to identify McDonald’s Tangy Barbecue Sauce out of a long lineup of other sauces due to its signature tangy and inexplicable “McDonald’s” flavor. It’s the perfect accompaniment to their famous Big Mac and their crispy chicken sandwich. I often just get their French fries and this barbecue sauce as a quick snack, forgoing the ketchup.

Carl’s Jr. Sweet & Bold BBQ sauce

I wasn’t a huge fan of Carl’s Jr. initially, but everything changed when I finally tried their Sweet & Bold BBQ Sauce. It’s one of the most intriguing fast food BBQ sauces out there, with an inviting and extra zesty flavor that I can’t resist, livening up all their menu items. More specifically, the sauce’s sweet, smokey, and spicy flavors all in one give each bite a burst of flavor that I can only get from Carl’s Jr. Plus, the sauce is so thick and rich that I can use it as a dip for their crinkle-cut fries as well.

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Dairy Queen BBQ sauce

As if Dairy Queen’s classic Blizzards needed to be sweeter, they also have BBQ sauce. It’s on the sweeter side, with a bit of smokiness to give it an extra kick. I recommend using this sauce to dip your fries into or add some tanginess to their famous sandwiches, like the spicy chicken strip sandwich. Their BBQ sauce is also a no-brainer choice alongside their chicken strip baskets because the two were clearly made for each other. In short, there’s no wrong way to enjoy Dairy Queen’s BBQ sauce – just make sure you remember it the next time you’re there!

Jack in the Box BBQ sauce

Jack in the Box’s BBQ sauce is one of my favorite fast food sauces. It has a mild sweetness and smokiness, with a hint of heat that makes it stand out. I love to smother the sauce all over their signature tacos and use it as a dip for their hash browns and other breakfast items. I know pairing barbecue sauce with breakfast might sound strange, but you can’t knock it until you try it! Something about the sweet smokiness in the sauce makes it a way better pairing than simply sweet ketchup.

Popeye’s BBQ sauce

Popeye’s BBQ sauce pairs perfectly with crispy chicken tenders and nuggets or as a dipping sauce for Cajun fries. I also suggest trying it on their classic chicken sandwich for a simple yet delicious twist. It has a unique and savory flavor, with just the right amount of sweetness that compliments the spicy kick in their chicken. Popeye’s BBQ sauce is bold and zesty but not overpowering. It’s one of those sauces you can’t forget; once you’ve tried it, you’ll want to continue returning for more.

Shake Shack BBQ Sauce

Shake Shack is one of my favorite fast food restaurants because of their wide variety of menu items, dedication to quality ingredients, and innovative advances. So, it was no surprise how much I loved their BBQ sauce when I finally tried it. It’s a classic smoky-sweet blend that adds a nice kick and a thick but not too thick consistency that gels with various foods. For some reason, it also has an air of “freshness” or lightness, making it the perfect complement to their greasy and delicious burgers, fries, and onion rings.

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White Castle Barbecue Sauce

White Castle’s BBQ sauce is a true standout among fast food sauces. It has a distinct flavor unique to White Castle, making it a must-try for anyone who loves their burgers. The sauce is mildly sweet and pairs perfectly with their famous sliders. But what I love most about this sauce is its versatility. You can use it for dipping your fries or onion chips or even as a glaze for grilled meats. And if you’re a fan of White Castle, you’ll appreciate the extra touch of nostalgia that this sauce brings to the table.

Whataburger Honey BBQ sauce

Whataburger is an iconic fast-food restaurant that has been serving delicious burgers and sandwiches in Texas for decades.  Their Honey BBQ Sauce is a testament to their commitment to creating tasty and flavorful food that can stand out among hundreds of renowned Texas eateries. The sauce has a perfect blend of sweet and tangy flavors, with just the right amount of smokiness that makes it stand out from other BBQ sauces. It’s a great complement to their famous Whataburger, but it also works well with their chicken sandwiches, onion rings, and even their French fries. If you’re a fan of Whataburger, you’ll definitely want to try their Honey BBQ Sauce.

Checkers/Rally’s BBQ sauce

I’m obsessed with Cheers/Rally’s seasoned fries and don’t mind eating them alone. However, their BBQ sauce takes them up a notch. This restaurant chain is known for its bold and flavorful menu items, and this sauce is a must-try for anyone who likes a bit of smoky flavor with a touch of heat. The sauce’s mild sweetness adds the perfect balance to those delicious, seasoned fries in particular, and it’s also great for dipping their crispy chicken wings or nuggets. With Checkers/Rally’s BBQ sauce, you’ll always want to satisfy with bland, plain fries or nuggets again.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

Follow him on LinkedIn, Instagram, Quora, Google Guide and Facebook.