The Meatwave

Bone Suckin' Sauce

Bone Suckin' Sauce

Sauce stats

Bone Suckin' Sauce

Bone Suckin' Sauce

$6.79 on

Tomato Paste, Apple Cider Vinegar, Honey, Molasses, Mustard, Horseradish, Lemon Juice, Onions, Garlic, Peppers, Natural Hickory Smoke Flavor, Natural Spices, Salt & Xanthan Gum

Bone Suckin' Sauce


Bone Suckin' Sauce was born out of the western North Carolina tradition when real estate appraiser Phil Ford attempted to copy his mother's recipe in 1987. The resulting all-natural sauce was so loved that his sister-in-law, Sandi Ford, along with her husband, convinced him to go into partnership with them to start distribution of it. It was then the sauce was coined "Bone Suckin' Sauce," because it made Sandi suck on the bones to get ever last bit of flavor from them. In only took a couple years for the sauce to really take off, after winning the North Carolina Battle of the Sauces in 1994.


This sauce had a pleasant sweet smell, similar to ketchup, but fresher. Notes of vinegar kept it from becoming overly sweet and there was just the faintest hint of smoke—enough to make it smell like barbecue, but not enough to overpower the more natural aromas.

Thickness & Texture

This sauce runs thin—not watery, but not thick by any means. Through the smoky red, semi-transparent base, you can clearly make out chunks of fresh onion and garlic, and the spices give a nice speckling.

Out of the Jar

Spooned straight from jar, this is a really top notch sauce. The taste is so fresh and the balance so perfect, it's hard to believe it was ever bottled. Nothing takes top billing, instead the sweet base holds all the other ingredients—vinegar, mustard, honey, molasses, lemon juicy—in a state where they can be detected individually, but work together seamlessly as a whole. I especially liked the chunks of onion and garlic, something I always wondered why bottled sauces don't have, because it's so common when homemade.

Bone Suckin' Sauce

Slathered & Cooked

The original freshness held up after grilling as well. The thinner sauce resulted in a light coating—even after extra basting—that let the natural flavor of the meat come through and worked to compliment it. I was a little afraid the sweetness might burn too quickly on the grill, but the sauce performed well here too, producing a nice char, but no burn. The sauce lost its only point here though, because it did require additional coatings, and it stayed pretty light colored and transparent, not producing the most beautiful piece of barbecue chicken in the world.

Put to Use

I really can't imagine anything that wouldn't work with this sauce. It tasted fresh and great out of the jar, and the same after cooked, so it's probably safe to go wild and use this every which way. Since the sauce is lighter and not opaque, just remember the meat will show through. Lighter meats, like chicken and pork, that aren't nicely browned may end up looking a little pale in the end, but they should still taste delicious.

You Might Also Like


  1. Bob Nice review and one I must agree with. The Bone Suckin' Sauce works with most meats, love it on ribs!.

    My preference is for their Hot version, nice touch of heat that can be enjoyed even by those who fear the burn .....

  2. Chris I've had a jar of this sitting on our shelves for two months because I just hadn't gotten around to trying it. I've been on a Pork Barrel BBQ and Blueshog kick this year. I'll have to open it up and try it now because it sounds great in your review. Thanks for posting.

  3. Amy We cannot do without a jar of this in our home at all times......not to mention the sweet, hot mustard as well!!! Try these products, you will LOVE them!!!!

  4. Dave This is a good sauce to use with older folks and children who go for the sweet taste. A little too sweet for most men but no complaints.

    I usually have some of this along with some Johnny Harris Original for folks who like more tang than sweet.

  5. Jason My wife likes hers served in a shot's that good.

  6. Diane Lets all jump to 2017!!!!

    They have umpteen ingredients now, and it tastes terrible!
    Since when do companies think everything has to burn your mouth!
    Companies will never learn, when you have something good,
    stick to it!
    Now it's the color of molasses, and you taste very little tomato taste !
    It is no longer great, not even fair!

  7. Charlotte Lammers Used to really like hot bone suck'in sauce. Lately, do not like at all. Please go back to old recipe or I will have to stop buying.


  9. Mike Galmukoff I first encountered this sauce on a trip to Biloxi, Mississippi. This was back in 05'. It was the very best off the shelf sauce I'd ever had. About ten years ago or so they changed it. It's now darker, thicker and is now terrible. Not sure what they did, they need to back track to the original, and go back to what caught so many of us!

  10. Neal I could not disagree more on the taste test. It was more like molasses, with some salt and pepper thinned out with liquid smoke.