3 Homemade Barbecue Sauce Recipes

Family-barbecueBarbecue sauce, that tasty staple of summertime cookouts, is a must for memorable mealtime gatherings this season. A condiment that tempts the palate and makes the plainest grilled meats come alive, this versatile flavor-enhancer offers many savory variations on a theme.

Here are three classic homemade barbecue sauce recipes to help set the mood for summer:

 

Pulled-pork-sandwichTexas-Style BBQ Sauce

Texas-style barbecue sauce has evolved from the classic thin, brown, gravy-like “mop” sauce flavored with beef drippings to today’s slightly sweeter, spicier broth- and tomato-based sauce that’s great on spare ribs, beef brisket or pulled pork.

Ingredients

1 T butter or bacon fat

1/4 cup onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup ketchup or tomato sauce

2 T spicy brown mustard

1-1/2 cups beef stock or broth

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 T Worcestershire sauce

2 T honey

2 T dark brown sugar

2 t chili powder

1 t paprika

1/2 t cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Heat butter or bacon fat over low heat. Sauté onion and garlic until tender.

2. Add ketchup, mustard, beef stock, lemon juice, Worcestershire, sweeteners, and seasonings and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened (about 30 minutes).

Makes about 2 cups

Variations

  • For more spice, add hot sauce, chopped jalapeno peppers, or chopped canned chipotles
  • For milder zing, add a small can of chopped green chilies
  • For stronger tomato flavor, use 1 cup each, ketchup and beef stock

 

Barbecued-ribsKansas City-Style BBQ Sauce

This sweet-and-sour tomato-vinegar sauce is thinner and more tartly flavored than today’s typical tomato-based barbecue sauce and comes into its own on pork ribs, beef brisket and chicken.

Ingredients

1 T olive oil

1/4 cup onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup ketchup

2 T spicy brown mustard

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 t Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup dark molasses

2 T honey

1/2 – 3/4 cup water

2 T dark brown sugar

1 T chili powder

1/4 t cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Heat olive oil over low heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender.

2. Add ketchup, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire, sweeteners, seasonings, and water and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until well-blended and slightly thickened (about 15 minutes).

Makes about 2 cups

Variations

  • For a less-spicy sauce, replace cayenne with paprika
  • For more spice, increase cayenne and/or add hot sauce to taste
  • For richer flavor and natural sweetness, brown onions and garlic lightly

 

Barbecued-chickenMemphis-Style BBQ Sauce

This vinegar-based “mop” sauce is fat-free and tastes great with ribs, chicken and other meats. For best results, baste meat several times during grilling.

Ingredients

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 cup apple cider

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 – 1/2 cup light brown sugar

Fresh-ground black pepper to taste

1/2 t sea salt

Directions

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes, or until flavors blend and sauce thickens slightly.

Makes about 2 cups

Variations

  • For a more highly seasoned dish, coat meat with a commercial or homemade BBQ dry rub before putting them on the grill
  • For more heat, add 1/4 – 1/2 t red pepper flakes or hot sauce
  • For a more festive sauce, replace onion with 2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
 

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  1. We are very serious about our barbecue sauce in the Carolinas! There is actually a Blue Ridge BBQ festival going on close to my hometown this weekend, I will have to take notes and share my findings on sauce varieties here! ;)

  2. Mmm! All three of these sound really good! I think I will try making the Texas style first!