The BEST Scratch-Made Barbecue Sauce

This is the recipe I've procrastinated for over a year. For months I've gone back-and-forth over whether I should publish this recipe. I mean, this one is near to my heart, and I kind of wanted to keep it a cherished secret. A fun, foodie lock that only I would have the key to. 

Some of my favorite pastimes with John are cozying up to each other in a grungy barbecue joint over a plate of slow-smoked meat, baked beans, and mac and cheese

It took me many trial and errors to create a barbecue sauce that replicated our favorite sauces and rubs from our many trips to Memphis, Arkansas, and Birmingham, but I did it. 

And I'm here to share it! 


It's been long awaited, friends. Without further ado: 

The BEST Scratch-Made Barbecue Sauce

You'll need: 
  • 2 cups of ketchup (homemade is best, but you can also get your best quality organic brand)
  • 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of rehydrated minced onion
  • 1 Tablespoon of seasoned salt
  • 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of finely ground black pepper
  • 1 small bay leaf
You can also customize this recipe by adding honey, molasses, a few dashed of hot sauce, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or liquid smoke or browning sauce (those last two are NOT very healthy, but do add an extra layer of flavor). 

Directions: 
Simply combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce reaches your desired consistency. 

Here's where you have to make a choice: Do you want to eat this sauce fresh, within the next 2 weeks? If so, put 'er in a container and pop it in the fridge. 


If you want to preserve this saucy goodness, then prepare half-pint jars and your water bath canner.


Process your half-pints of barbecue sauce for at least 30 minutes. Any jars that don't seal should be consumed within 2 weeks or re-processed.


Are you ready to try this simple, DELICIOUS barbecue sauce? I hope you hold this recipe near to your heart, just like the memories and great times John and I have from our travels and eats in the barbecue belt of the South.


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10 comments:

  1. We finished all of your sauce quickly. Thanks for sharing the recipe so I can make more:) It really is the BEST!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jeni! I'm glad you like it. If you make your own batch, let me know how it turns out.

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  2. It's funny, I'm generally a completely sauce-free person.. most of my life I have not used sauces not on meat..not on salads or anything else. I don't even know why.. but this recipe somehow makes me want it:D I don't know if it's the secret-family-recipe-to-share-for-generations-to-come vibe it gives out or what:) Adding to my to-do list:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For our family, it's totally rocking that vibe :) Give this one a shot and see if you like it.

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  3. You FINALLY posted it!!! This is thee best sauce ever!

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    Replies
    1. Well, shucks - thanks Jenn! I'd love to hear how this recipe turns out for you if you try it.

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  4. Oh I'm going to have to give this recipe a try it sounds delicious.

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    Replies
    1. DO IT! And then let me know how you like it. Drop me a note on Facebook.

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  5. I'm thinking of trying this. Would you mind sharing how long you personally process it and your altitude (or range, if that's too personal). Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I process for about 20 minutes, then let sit until cool. We are located in Eastern Iowa, so not at high altitude.

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