Big Butz Cranberry BBQ Sauce Review (5/5)

They say it takes a real man to wear pink, but the pink color on the label of this sauce simply made me nervous.  I was skeptical, thinking it was going to overload my tastebuds with cranberry.  Growing up in Massachusetts and spending summers down at Cape Cod driving past cranberry bogs and the Ocean Spray factory, I am no stranger to the taste of cranberry.  The flavor is strong & sweet with a slightly sour/bitter twist – and in my opinion (before trying this sauce) is that cranberry’s don’t belong in BBQ sauce in its unfiltered form – just like adding fruit to most beers will likely cause that beer to end up in the sink.

The first whiff of this Wisconsin-made BBQ elixir gave off an intoxicating blend of smoke and spice and lemon and onion and molasses – a truly multi-textured scent that gave my nose and brain something new to process.  But where’s the cranberry?

Uncooked the flavor is remarkably well-balanced: sweet but not too sweet, smoky but not overpowering, thick but not sludge-like.   In its raw form I used it as a dipping sauce for this amazing German Mac and Cheese with Kielbasa my wife made…  I put it on veggie burgers – yes, I will occasionally eat a veggie burger (especially if I’m in a rush to heat up something quick).  And I dipped roast beef sandwiches into it.  Everything ended up better with this dark, rich, thick & sweet sauce.   But WHERE’S THE CRANBERRY?

After grilling, the Big Butz sauce was just as tasty.  It was easy to slather on chicken and using my new GrillGrates, I had one of my better BBQ chicken experiences – the flavor of the sauce and the moisture-retaining qualities of the grates made for a really tasty meal.  After the cooking, the sauce caramelizes a bit but retains its essential elements.

If you hadn’t noticed, what surprised me most about Big Butz Cranberry BBQ Sauce is the subtlety of the cranberry flavoring.  I had a really hard time actually tasting it at first, but when I tried the original and the cranberry side by side, you can really tell the slightly fruit-hinted finish was done just right.  And to me, that’s how fruit should be added to BBQ sauce – enough to slightly change its flavor profile, but not enough to cause it to get poured down the sink.

So go get some… if you are man enough.  🙂





Site Editor, BBQ Sauce Lover, Family Guy, Hi Tech Marketer by Day. He recently wrote the Ebook “How to Market Your BBQ Sauce” which can be purchased on this site.



  1. “just like adding fruit to most beers will likely cause that beer to end up in the sink.”

    Brian, I’m afraid you’ve never tasted a good Belgian Kriek or Pecheresse (beer with peach) 🙂

  2. Nick you are right! I assume Belgian beers are done with significant care and subtlety. We have some beers like Budweiser with lime or even Sam Adams Strawberry Lambic that just came out bad when the fruit was added.

  3. I’ve been a fan of BigButz sauces for quite awhile now. Nice review!

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