Friday, June 1, 2012

Homemade BBQ Sauce

2020 Update: With the stay-home policy set in place, I am cooking a lot from scratch. I made this today and it is still just as good as when I made it many years ago. I did double my batch and this required me to adjust some of the seasonings, so if you double the batch, you will also want to increase the seasonings to your flavor preferences. 

Memphis, Carolina, Hot, Sweet, Spicy, Mustardy….all words to describe one sauce:  BBQ.

I found this great link to learn more about some of the top flavors of preferred sauces.  LOOK HERE.

Making my own sauces from scratch is something I enjoy doing.  When it comes to salad dressings, marinades and dips, fresh sauces always taste better to me.  If they sit for a few days that flavor gets even better with time.

This bbq recipe I have been making for our favorite BBQ items for a long time now.  I use it on chicken and ribs.

Over the years it has been modified with a few tweaks here and there based on what I have had on hand.   This is the beauty of cooking from scratch, you never get bored because your imagination with flavors are always changing and improving based on what you have at your fingertips.

I play this silly game with myself, I imagine walking into someone's home and being asked to cook dinner with what they have…no grocery runs, borrowing from the neighbors or sneaking into my purse to retrieve something from my home.

Just me and their ingredients.  Oh the fun that I would have and the challenge it could be.

Back to the recipe…LOL  I get easily distracted.  Okay here you go.

This recipe today, I have made several times the exact same way, that last few months.  I really wanted to TEST this recipe so that it was perfect.  My family believes it is.

If I had to label the flavor, I would lean toward a Memphis style.  It has the twang of vinegar and a little bit of a sweet touch.

It works so well with the mild flavor of chicken and pork that I often have to put a small bowl on the table for my family and friends to add more to their plates.  They always want MORE.

With this sauce, more is better.  It cooks nicely to the meat and creates a rich reddish brown coating.   I also love the tips of my meat to get charred…I love that slight touch of a burnt BBQ flavor in some of my bites.

Yes, it's a weird thing but I also grew up with my Mom eating burnt toast….it must be in our DNA.  LOL

Recipe:  Homemade BBQ Sauce

Makes 3 cups of sauce, after simmering for an hour

1.5 cups of ketchup
1 cup of tomato sauce
1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1/4 cup of honey
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons mustard powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons hot sauce
1/8-1/4 teaspoon of liquid smoke (start with less and add more based on your taste)

Combine all of the above ingredients into a medium size pot.  Turn heat to medium high and bring sauce to almost a boil, bubbles around edges.  Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.

You will start to notice your sauce getting deeper in color, thicker and reducing.  This is what you want.

 With your meat prepared, add your sauce to coat.  I will use our chicken legs as an example.

Make sure your meat is well coated.

I set my grill at 350 degrees.  I add my coated chicken legs and let each side cook for about 7 minutes.  I add more sauce each time I turn my legs.  This gets the sauce nice and thick on each piece.

TADA…you're done!  Nicely BBQ'd chicken legs or ribs (picture below).


  1. Your top picture is FABULOUS! This looks and sounds oh so good... perfect summer food!

    1. Thank you was mine too. Sauces are hard to photograph, I think, because you can't really "show" the flavor. So I thought the sticky, thickness of the BBQ in use would tell the story better…LOL Thanks again for commenting! Have a fabulous day.

  2. I just drooled big time! OMG, this looks SUPER delicious. BBQ season is here and I must try your BBQ saue recipe... I love ribs...but kids will probably love the drumsticks. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Drooooooooooooooooling...thanks a lot for the recipe.

  4. wow, this has got my mouth watering! And your photos are gorgeous!

  5. Yummy!!! I want some!! I am going to add this to my Mouth Watering Mondays post this Monday. Come on over to see it at Cheers, Tara


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