Barbecue Sauce

Alright people, this sauce was a revelation for me for two reasons.  One – I formerly believed that I hated barbeque sauce. Occasionally I eat BBQ chicken at my dad’s house because he makes it a lot, but if it were up to me I would probably never choose to eat it.  Turns out, it’s delicious!  Two – I never knew that making your own barbeque sauce was so darn simple!  The only reason that I even attempted this recipe was as a gift for my dad.  I wasn’t planning to keep any of it, but I did feel obligated to try it if I was going to blog about it or give it as a gift.  Well, let’s just say none of this batch ever made it to Dad’s (though our babysitter did receive one jar).

The method is very simple – sauté some onions and garlic, mix in the spices, sugar, molasses and tomatoes and let simmer to reduce and thicken for a couple of hours at least.  A bit of water is added to the final product and it is blended to achieve a smooth consistency.  This could not be easier!  Another great thing about this is how easy it is to adjust the recipe to suit your own tastes.  I added a few tablespoons of honey to mine and thought it was an excellent addition.  Like things spicier?  Add some cayenne pepper and paprika.  Make it your own!

I only made a half batch (about two and a half jars) since I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this, but I have written the full recipe below because I will definitely make full batches from now on.  I did not use proper canning procedures this time around, so I consider it good in the fridge for about two weeks.  There are, however, lots of good online resources for properly canning foods and sauces, and I may try that next time around so that I can keep lots of this stuff on hand.  I may also just try freezing it since I now realize just how convenient it can be to have some tasty barbeque sauce around the house.  I got home from work one night later than expected, but grilling up a few chicken breasts dressed with the sauce and garden veggies on the side made dinner a breeze.  We even used extra sauce on the side for dipping because we enjoyed it so much.

Classic Barbecue Sauce
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1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
3 cups yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. ground coriander
¼ tsp. ground cumin
2-3 tbsp. honey
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 (28 oz.) cans diced tomatoes (fire-roasted, if available)
¾ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup white vinegar
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2-3 tsp. black pepper
½-2 cups water

In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and garlic and sauté until tender, about 5-6 minutes.  Mix in 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt, the chili powder, coriander and cumin.  Stir in the honey, molasses and dark brown sugar.  Mix well and boil for about 3 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes and cider vinegar.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer on medium-low heat for 2-3 hours until the sauce has thickened and darkened.

Stir in the white vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.  Season with salt and pepper to taste (up to about 1 tablespoon of each).  Add the mixture to a blender or food processor.  Add in about ½ cup water to start and process the mixture until smooth.  Blend in more water if desired until the sauce has reached your desired thickness/consistency.

Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Source: adapted from Delish

17 Responses

  1. Wow i’ll definitely try this one..good job

  2. How interesting! The only “homemade” barbecue sauce I’ve made before has used ketchup as a base, which is definitely cheating. I’m looking forward to trying this version!

  3. Hooray for revelations involving scrumptious BBQ sauce!! Holy yum 😀

  4. Your chicken breast made me laugh. It looks like a mitt! 🙂 I’m from the South so BBQ is kinda in my blood. My uncle makes his own sauce and it is delicious. Believe it or not it has a smidge of mayo in it. There’s something you might try sometime too as another addition to flavor it differently! But you can’t go wrong by adding honey to BBQ sauce!

  5. My hubby puts BBQ sauce on just about everything, so I really should try making this for him!

    I made your Reese’s cup peanut butter chocolate cake last week and it was a huge hit! The problem was that I kept sampling the frosting while I was decorating it… 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Homemade BBQ sauce is the best. I love my dads….yummy:)

  7. mmm I love homemade bbq sauce – my favorite is South Carolina style – mustard and vinegar based with a smidge of honey! Yours looks delicious too – a must try!

  8. I’ve been looking for a good recipe for BBQ sauce. I think with the addition of some liquid smoke (no grilling allowed where I’m at) this could become the one.


  9. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 I love your blog! I am totally adding you to my reader 🙂

  10. Ok just reading that and looking at the pictures has made me hungry! It looks so yummy i think i may have to try it.

    I just need to figure out how to seal it properly and figure out how long it will last for.

  11. Okay, I have been testing out BBQ recipes for a while. I LOVE BBQ and this one seems like it might be closer to what I am looking for. I want a cross between the tomato, vinegar and sweet types for sauce. Can’t wait to try! Thanks!

  12. Well for goodness sake! I had no idea this was so simple! Yum!

  13. I’ve got to try this and what a fun idea for a gift!

  14. Can I link this recipe to my FB?

  15. I will DEFINITELY be trying this! My husband is crazy about bbq sauce and I can’t stand the sugary stuff from the store. This sounds perfect!

  16. Just made it tonight!! It taste wonderful! I omitted the water so its a nice, thick BBQ sauce. Thanks again for another great recipe!

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