- (2 cups) Sugar - You can use any combination of sugars to your liking - brown sugar, rapadura, maple syrup, honey, etc. If you prefer a less sweet sauce, cut back on the sugar.
- (1 - 28oz can) Tomatoes - You can also use the same amount of fresh tomatoes.
- (7/8 cup) Vinegar - This adds a tangy flavor. You can use apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, or any vinegar you like.
- (3/4 cup) Water - Because we want it to be spreadable.
- (1 Tbsp) Worcestershire sauce - If you prefer more of a steak sauce tasting BBQ sauce, I recommend adding Worcestershire sauce. You can add more than 1 Tbsp if you like the flavor.
- (About 2-½ Tbsp) Spices
It can be challenging to find the right BBQ sauce. First, it has to align with your taste buds. Second, it has to align with your diet, And, third, it’s hard to find a store bought sauce without all the junk - fillers, emulsifiers, artificial flavors, etc.
Why not make your own? It’s pretty easy but does take some time to cook down.
Here’s a very loose recipe for creating a BBQ sauce that aligns with your taste and your preferred ingredients. Make your personal secret sauce. It should make about 4 cups of BBQ sauce.
Your spice choices will make a big impact on the flavor of your sauce. Choose things you love! Here are my recommendations for a traditional BBQ sauce:
- 2-½ Tbsp dry mustard
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2-1/2 tsp salt
- 1-3/4 tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp celery salt
- 1 whole clove
- Hot peppers - Not everyone likes spicy food. But, if you do, add hot peppers! There are so many options for hot peppers and each has a different spice level and flavor. This week, the farmer is offering locally grown organic chili peppers.
1 - Blend until smooth. Put all ingredients in a blender or use an immersion blender in a pot.
2 - Cook it slowly until reduced by half. Put the mixture into a slow cooker or pot on the stove and bring to a simmer. This is a whole day kind of thing that will make your home smell delicious. Start in the morning, and let it simmer all day.
I recommend tasting the sauce as it cooks down. If you feel it needs a little more of something, add it in! Not spicy enough? Add another pepper. Not tangy enough? Add more vinegar. Not sweet enough? Add more sugar.
3 - Once it’s done cooking, put it through a fine strainer. This will remove all the little bits and make it a creamy sauce. Transfer to a jar and store in the fridge. If you make A LOT, you can always freeze it for later.
One of my favorite ways to use BBQ sauce is with fall-off-the-bone, extremely-messy-to-eat ribs. Check out a recipe for BBQ ribs here.