How do you make your own barbecue sauce?

How do you make your own barbecue sauce?

Even though barbecue sauce recipes are held precious, the basic formula for creating sauces gives you everything you need to know to start working on your own recipe.

Any bbq sauce starts with a base that provides the underlying flavor and holds everything together.  That base maybe ketchup, vinegar, mustard, tomato paste, chili sauce, or anything along those lines.  From there, add some sweetness with sugar or molasses, some sour and then throw in the spices you like…

How do you make your own barbecue sauce?

  1. Choosing a Base:  The base you use makes up the largest part of your sauce.  BBQ sauce bases set the tone and hold your other ingredients together nicely. Three bases serve as starting block for most of the bbq sauces in the US.
    • Mustard: Sauces that start with mustard run the gamut, showing up in sweet or spicy versions and most often served alongside pork.  Mustard and pork bring out the best in each other.
    • Tomato: Tomato-based sauce is the one that fills grocery store shelves and most regularly coats ribs, pulled pork, etc. Tomatoes are a tangy canvas for sweet sauces and equally at home with sharp, spicy ingredients.
    • Vinegar: Thin, vinegar-based sauces contain little that’s neutral enough to diffuse the strong flavors within them.
  2. Choosing your Sweeetness: Sugar works for adding sweetness but so do a lot of other ingredients, many of which add more interesting combinations flavors along with the sweet. They include:
    • Brown Sugar
    • Honey
    • Molasses
    • Fruit Juices
  3. Choosing your Sour: If you’re going to have sweet in your sauce, you need some sour to ensure your sauce is suitable for meats. Here are some sour options:
    • Prepared Mustard
    • Vinegar
    • Worcestershire sauce
  4. Seasonings: Dried herbs and spices add depth to your sauce.  Here are some seasonings that usually make it into barbecue sauce:
    • Onion Powder
    • Garlic Powder
    • Ginger
    • Cinnamon
  5. Adding some Heat: Sweet sauces do well with a little something spicy. Here are some suggestions for adding some heat:
    • Cayenne Pepper
    • Black Pepper
    • Chili Powder
    • Paprika

On a side note, instead of how do you make your own barbecue sauce from scratch you could start out with a bottled sauce, like ours, and doctor it to your taste.  Playing around with a sauce you know and enjoy is an easy way to start experimenting without investing too much time in building from scratch.

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