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Is BBQ Sauce Keto?

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Are you on the keto diet? Are you looking to add some flavor to your meals but are not sure whether BBQ sauce, in particular, is keto-friendly? Will this smoky-sweet sauce derail your efforts? Here is what you need to know!

So, is BBQ sauce keto? Most brands of BBQ sauce are not keto-friendly. This is a sauce that is typically high in carbohydrates, specifically sugar. That being said, there are keto-friendly brands of BBQ sauce on the market that you can purchase and consume more liberally without the risk of being kicked out of ketosis.

In other words, it depends on the brand!

The truth is, most grocery store brands are not going to be a good option.

And we will soon see why.

That being said, it is due to this very fact that certain brands have introduced products on the market that you are going to want to try!

Is BBQ Sauce High In Carbs?

Most brands and recipes of BBQ sauce are high in carbs. In fact, in typical recipes sugar (or a sugar alternative such as high fructose corn syrup) is one of the primary ingredients.

In fact, BBQ sauce is designed to be sweet.

It’s one of the primary flavors that this sauce is intended to provide.

As such, if you were to look at the nutrition of your typical or common brand/recipe, you’ll be quite shocked at how many carbs (specifical sugars) are in there.

And what’s even worse for your particular diet plan is that it has zero grams of fat.

That’s right.

In many ways, BBQ sauce is the antithesis (opposite) of what you are hoping to achieve.

Below is the nutritional content of the ever-popular Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce:

Total Fat0g
Total Carb18g
– Of which sugars17g
Per Serving of Sweet Baby Rays Original BBQ sauce (2 Tablespoons/36g)

18 grams of carbs, 17 grams of which are sugars. Yikes!

And 2 Tablespoons is not a lot when it comes to sauce.

I know what you are now probably thinking.

What about “low sugar BBQ sauce”?

Surely, that’s an option.

Below, I include the nutritional content for Sweet Baby Ray’s No Sugar Added Original Barbecue Sauce:

Total Fat0g
Total Carb4g
– Of which sugars1g
Per Serving of Sweet Baby Rays No Suagr Added Original BBQ sauce (2 Tablespoons/36g)

Better, but still not ideal.

As we shall see in the next section.

Can You Eat BBQ Sauce On Keto?

You may be able to eat BBQ sauce on the Keto diet. How much however is going to depend on the brand, recipe, and the rest of your diet.

Just because you can doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

Besides, sauces are for the most part, nutritionally void.

If you are on the keto diet, then you will know by now you’re working on a budget.

A budget of carbs!

In fact, you’ve only got up to around 20 grams of net carbohydrates (in total) that you can consume in one day.

Now, if we take our different brands of BBQ sauce, we can soon see what theoretically we could it while remaining in ketosis.

In regular recipes, we probably could get away with a teaspoon. If the rest of the diet is in check.

But that’s not a lot now, is it?

Again, if we purchased a low-carb BBQ sauce option, we could have a little more, but we will still need to limit the amount we eat.

We would have to be very particular.

Besides, you’ll likely be consuming carbs from other food sources too.

So here’s the thing.

One way you can consume BBQ sauce more liberally, and without fear of exiting ketosis, is by purchasing a Keto-Friendly brand.

One that uses a different recipe and has a dramatically lower carb/sugar count.

We will now look at the best options on the market, below.

What Brands of BBQ Sauce Are Keto?

There are several brands that create Keto-friendly BBQ sauce, with Primal Kitchen being perhaps the most popular.

In fact, the Primal Kitchen BBQ sauce provides as little as 3 grams of carbohydrate per serving (2 Tablespoons, or 31g of sauce).

That’s great because you can consume 2-4 tablespoons without risk.

That’s why this product is keto-certified.

And better yet.

It’s organic.

And it tastes delicious.

The ingredient list is impressive too:

Water, Organic Tomato Paste, Organic Balsamic Vinegar (Organic Wine Vinegar, Organic Concentrated Grape Must), Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Dijon Mustard (Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Water, Organic Mustard Seed, Salt, Organic Spices), Sea Salt, Organic Tapioca Starch, Organic Coriander, Organic Cumin, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Onion Powder, Organic Chipotle Powder, Natural Smoke Flavor, Organic Garlic, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Garlic Powder

Definitely, the one to buy.

Now I personally wouldn’t look any further than the Primal Kitchen BBQ sauce.

And if you buy it through the official store through my link and use my discount count ‘wewantthesauce’, you’ll get an additional 10% off too!

And so far, I’ve just mentioned the classic variety.

Well, Primal Kitchen actually offers different BBQ sauces in their range, including:

All organic. All unsweetened. And all worth trying.

Otherwise, if you want to look at other brands, you need to check the ingredient lists carefully.

Check the carbohydrate content and run the math!

How To Make Keto-Friendly BBQ Sauce

Your other option for ensuring you consume keto-friendly BBQ sauce is to make your own, from scratch. This way you can control the ingredient list and minimize the carbohydrate content.

The following recipe is one of the best to make.

Do consider you will need over ten ingredients, and around 30 minutes of time to make!


  • 6-oz of Tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 tbsp Liquid hickory smoke
  • 1/2 cup of Monk Fruit Sweetener (the brand I recommend is this one from Amazon)
  • 2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp Chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper (more if you prefer a hotter sauce)
  • 1 cup Water


Step One: Add all of your ingredients, minus the water, to a saucepan. Gently whisk in the water until you reach a consistency you like. If you prefer a thinner BBQ sauce, you may need to add more than 1 cup of water.

Step Two: Bring to a boil on medium-high heat for a few minutes, then reduce to alow heat to simmer for 10-15 minutes. The sauce should thicken.

Step Three: Let the sauce cool and taste. Add more Monk Fruit sweetener or cayenne pepper depending if you prefer it sweeter/spicier. If it’s still too thick you can add a small amount of water and whisk it to thin.

Serve and enjoy.

Or, transfer to an airtight container and store in the frdige to enjoy for up to a week!


BBQ sauce can be keto.

But most of the time, it isnt.

In reality, it’s all about the brand you choose.

For most brands and recipes on the market – it’s best avoided.

It will soon and quite easily knock you out of ketosis.

But if you opt for a keto-certified brand, or even make your own from a keto-inspired recipe, then you can enjoy this sauce!

Just be mindful of serving sizes, and the other foods you consume, still.

Is Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce Keto-friendly?

Sweet Baby Rays Original BBQ sauce is not keto-friendly. However, the no added sugar variety can be consumed on keto, in limited serving sizes and in moderation (under 2-3 tablespoons).

Wondering what other sauces you can have while on keto? Check out my following guides to find out!

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