8 Condiments You Should Buy on Repeat, According to Butchers
Condiments are like a hug from your grandmother — they can make anything better. While a good condiment is perfect at imparting a particular flavor, a great one can completely change, or even make, a dish. The best ones will almost outshine the meal it’s meant to accompany, turning whatever you’re eating into a vehicle for condiment consumption.
But with so many condiments on the shelves, how can you tell which ones are worth buying? To help you sort that out, we reached out to three local butchers to learn which ones they keep on hand to pair with summer’s finest fare. Whether you’re grilling, smoking, shucking, or just in need of a little razzle dazzle, they’ve got something for you.
1. Mister Mustard Original Mustard
“I have very strong mustard opinions. Mister Mustard is a horseradish-forward mustard somewhere between yellow, Dijon, and stone-ground. It has bite and depth, and it’s perfect. Mister Mustard is one of my favorite things to put on a burger. I swear by that mustard, which got me interested in more mustard styles.” — Jade Hennessee-Golden, The Meathook in Brooklyn
Buy: Mister Mustard Original Mustard, $18.49 for 7.5 ounces, pack of six at Amazon
2. Duke’s Mayo
Jade’s other burger fave? Duke’s! And it’s an essential for so much more: “Duke’s mayonnaise truly is the little black dress of condiments. Just as it says right on the bottle, it’s “Smooth & Creamy” and the flavor is a lot more egg-forward (it’s made with yolks and no whites). It’s also not as sweet as other brands because there’s no added sugar. You just need to have it in your fridge for any occasion that may pop up. Potato salad: Duke’s. BLT: Duke’s. Tartar sauce: Duke’s. French fries, yes I put mayo on my fries, and when I do it, I prefer it be Duke’s. It’s just perfect.” — Jade Hennessee-Golden, butcher at The Meathook in Brooklyn
Buy: Duke’s Real Mayonnaise $4.49 for 32 ounces at Target
3. Kewpie Mayonnaise
“Kewpie mayo has an entirely different flavor profile than American mayo. It’s a lot thicker and very much egg- and vinegar-forward; it kind of tastes like an egg salad just by itself. If you’ve been to a hibachi restaurant, there’s always this white sauce there. I love that sauce more than most things. I tried to recreate it at home so many times and never could get it right, and then I found Kewpie mayo. If I’m making a steak sandwich, I use Kewpie mayo.” — Jade Hennessee-Golden, butcher at The Meathook in Brooklyn
Buy: Kewpie Mayonnaise, $5.99 for 17.64 ounces at Instacart
4. Good Food For Good Ketchup
“I love Good Food For Good Ketchup. The company uses dates as the sweetener instead of sugar, which I love from a holistic health view but also because it adds a different type of sweetness. And it’s the only organic ketchup with zero added sugar I’ve found that actually tastes like the ketchup most of us grew up with.” — Kate Kavanaugh, co-owner of Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe in Colorado
Buy: Good Food For Good Ketchup, $6.99 for 9.5 ounces at Amazon
5. Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce
“I’m not the kind of person to just use ketchup on a burger, so I’ll also mix some Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce, yellow mustard, mayo, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a squeeze of honey, and spread that on a toasted brioche bun. If I can’t find Sweet Baby Ray’s, I’ll grab Trader Joe’s store-brand BBQ sauce.” — Dominic, butcher at Esposito’s Meats in Philadelphia
Buy: Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Barbecue Sauce, $1.97 for 18 ounces at Walmart
6. Mustard and Co. Classic Mustard
“Mustard and Co.’s Classic Mustard is a whole-ground mustard, so you get some mustard seeds that aren’t fully ground up. They use Jacobson salt, which is hand-harvested sea salt. It’s a good addition to marinades, adding some vinegary and umami flavor to a tougher cut of meat, and always great mixed with mayo to make a dipping sauce for just about anything. I’ve even been known to add a spoonful to sautéed veggies. It’s important that we find small-batch alternatives that match the classics that we love without sacrificing flavor. They keep your money in the hands of small entrepreneurs. You’ll also find a depth of flavor that will surprise and delight you.” — Kate Kavanaugh, co-owner of Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe in Denver
Buy: Mustard and Co. Classic Mustard $7.00 for 7 ounces at Mustard and Co.
7. Seed Ranch Flavor Co. Peach Cayenne Hot Sauce
“This peach cayenne hot sauce is fantastic. Want to talk about not sacrificing flavor? Sugar hides in hot sauce, but this has no sugar and it has peaches. It has enough tang to compete with and cut fatty, meaty BBQ food. You can also use it as a marinade if you thin it out with water or some apple cider vinegar.” — Kate Kavanaugh, co-owner of Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe in Denver
Buy: Seed Ranch Flavor Co. Peach Cayenne Hot Sauce, $10.99 for 5 ounces at Seed Ranch Flavor
8. Alvin’s Yellow Pepper Hot Sauce
“My favorite hot sauce is Alvin’s Hot Sauce. It’s from Trinidad, and it’s made from scotch bonnet peppers. It’s won all these national awards and is so floral and bright. It’s great on some oysters. It’s hot, but it has a mango pineapple sweetness to it. Even my chile-head friends swear by this hot sauce. The red label original is the one we use. That bottle will last you forever.” — Rusty Bowers, co-owner of Chop Shop and owner of Pine Street Market, both in Atlanta.
Buy: Alvin’s Yellow Pepper Hot Sauce, $20 for 2 (5-ounce) bottles at Alvin’s Hot Sauce
Do you have a favorite condiment food for summer? Tell us in the comments below!