Friday, September 6, 2013

Classic Barbecue Sauce

A sweet and spicy ketchup based sauce that tastes great on just about everything.

I love barbecue.  I think it is very important to know a basic, classic barbecue sauce which can be altered to suite individual tastes.  It is so easy to make home made barbecue sauce that I almost never buy it.  This way I know it tastes just how I like it, and I don't have to worry about too many weird ingredients.  All you need to make your own barbecue sauce is ketchup and some common spices.  This barbecue sauce is simple and a good starting point.  Just add or subtract ingredients to make it your own signature sauce.


2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp dried minced onions
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp mustard
hot sauce, hot pepper, chilli flakes, or cayenne pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat over low heat for 10-20 minutes until heated through.

All of these ingredients can be altered to your own preferences.  I like spicy and sweet so I usually add plenty of cayenne, sometimes habanero, and a little extra sugar.

  • You can use fresh minced garlic and onion, just saute them (in a little oil) before adding everything else.
  • Some places use more mustard.
  • In eastern North Carolina  barbecue sauce has little to no ketchup and is mostly vinegar.
  • You can add some bourbon.

  • Sometimes I add a dash of liquid smoke for a slight smokiness.
  • For a change try using different sweeteners like maple syrup or molasses they both add their own flavor.
  • Be creative and add fruit purees for new flavors, you probably don't need as much sugar depending on the sweetness of the fruit, maybe less or no ketchup.

I think the reason I love barbecue and barbecue sauce so much is that you can be as creative, or not, as you want.

I hope this inspires you to try making your own barbecue sauce.


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