Sweet, spicy and sticky, this Family Recipe Classic Barbecue Sauce is the best you will ever taste. Caramelized on chicken, steak or pork it will elevate your barbecue to amazing. And so finger-licking good that you will never again want bottled barbecue sauce.
Here in the Midwest, barbecue is all about the sauce. At our house, I use dry rubs too, but mostly it is about the sauce! Bottled sauce is okay, but nothing beats the fresh flavor of homemade. One of the main reasons that I make my own Family Recipe Classic Barbecue Sauce is that bottled sauce can change flavor once it is on the meat. I am not a barbecue sauce purist, but some of the bottled sauce I used started tasting off, like chemicals, once the sauce was heated on the grilling meat. I can’t speak for anyone else, but that was reason enough for me to make my own.
If you have never made your own, you will be surprised at home easy it is to make..and customize. This recipe is for a thick, sweet and spicy sauce that will caramelize beautifully on any meat. Just slather it on the cooking meat, close the grill lid and wait five minutes. Slather it on again and again, waiting about 5 minutes between each coat until you have the coating and char that you desire. How easy is that!
One of our favorite meals to make with this sauce is Best barbecue Cookout Chicken. It uses this sauce and is the darn best I have ever made! Not to toot my own horn or anything!
Reasons to love this Family Recipe Classic Barbecue Sauce:
- Economical – makes a large batch with easy pantry ingredients
- Family-friendly flavor – kid tested!
- Versatile – the tasty Barbecue Sauce recipe is great on pork, beef and seafood too!
- Customizable – increase heat or sweetness to all or part of the batch for different tastes
Making up a batch of this sauce could not be easier. Just throw everything into a large saucepan, bring to a boil to thicken and let cool a little before using. This recipe makes about 3 cups of sauce, but is easily doubled if you need more.
Tips for making the best Family Recipe Classic Barbecue Sauce:
- When it comes to using spices, keep the shelf fresh by storing spices in a cool, dark place, away from direct heat or sunlight. In tightly closed containers whole spices will stay fresh for about 4 years, ground spices for about 2 to 3 years and dried herbs for 1 to 3 years.
- For extra heat, increase the Hot Sauce from 1 tablespoon to 2 tablespoons or to your taste.
- If you like, also taste and adjust the brown sugar or honey in this recipe. I like my barbecue sauce on the sweeter side, but you can use less.
- For extra flavor add 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger!
- When a recipe calls for butter, make it the unsalted variety. Unsalted butter gives you, the cook, complete control of the overall flavor of your recipe.
Where did Barbecue come from?
True barbecue is distinctly American. No one knows for sure where the word barbecue originated, but most think it came from the Spanish. When landing in the Caribbean, they used the word barbacoa to refer to the natives’ method of slow-cooking meat over a wooden platform. Now, even though we call most meat that we grill at home and slather with barbecue sauce “barbecue” it’s really not. Real barbecue is cooked over indirect heat — usually a wood fire — for a very long time (sometimes for as many as 18 hours). The resulting flavor is a combination of smoke, meat juices, fat and whatever spices or rub have been added.
What is considered barbecue in America varies by region. There are four main styles named after their place of origin: Memphis, Tenn.; North Carolina; Kansas City; and Texas. Memphis is known for pulled pork-shoulder slathered in sweet tomato-based sauce (eaten on its own or as a sandwich). In North Carolina, whole hog’s are smoked in a vinegar-based sauce. Kansas City natives prefers ribs cooked in a dry rub, and Texans love beef.
In other countries barbecue has it’s own style. Korean barbecue is thin slices of beef or pork cooked and served with rice. Argentina has marinade-free meat cooked in a smokeless pit. And then there is Mongolian barbecue, which is neither barbecue nor of Mongolian origin but rather a type of stir-fry recently invented in Taiwan.
There you have it…so whio up a batch of homemade sauce, throw some meat on the grill and cook yourself a true American classic.
Hungry for more homemade barbecue sauce recipes? Check these out from my collection:
- Korean Barbecue Sauce – sticky and spicy with Gochujang
- Blueberry Barbecue Sauce – tangy with fresh blueberry flavor
Essential Tools and Ingredients:
- Large Eversharp Kitchen Knife – this is my favorite knife ever! It feels like an expensive knife in your hands. I have used mine everyday for years and it is still as sharp as brand new.
- Large Pot – You can use any thick-bottom large pot for boiling, but I prefer stainless steel and this brand for exceptional quality.
- All-Natural Ketchup – this is my favorite brand. Some grocery stores carry it, but this is the best price I have found.
Family Recipe Classic Barbecue Sauce
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute until tender.
- Stir in the next 10 ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Use immediately or store covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.
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