How to Make Standard Barbeque Sauce and a few variations

Barbeque sauce varies depending on the region of the country you live in. However I think most of us think of barbeque sauce as being the stuff you can buy in bottles at your local grocery store. This sauce is usually a variation of Memphis or Kansas City Style Barbeque sauce and is tomato and molasses based. The style of Barbeque also refers to the method of cooking (usually smoked) and the type of meat being used, however I am far from being a barbeque expert. You can easily make your own barbeque sauce at home and modify it according to your tastes. This hub is going to explain how to make a basic barbeque sauce; the type you might be able to find on your grocery store shelves. I will also briefly describe some modifications and variations to the standard sauce that I enjoy.

Note: My recipe for barbeque sauce is particularly inexact so all the measurements given are approximations. Taste your barbeque sauce and adjust to your liking.

To make a standard grocery store shelf style barbeque sauce you will need approximately half a bottle of ketchup, two tablespoons of mustard, two tablespoons of molasses, and two tablespoons of brown sugar. I usually also add garlic powder and black pepper to my barbeque sauce as well. A dash of liquid smoke would be a good addition also.

Mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and taste your barbeque sauce. Add more of any ingredient you think you need and continue tasting until you have arrived at a barbeque sauce that satisfies you.

It is going to be very hard to match any one specific brand of barbeque sauce that you like with this recipe, as a huge number of different spices and seasonings are used in different barbeques. Some common additions to barbeque sauce include liquid smoke, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, celery salt, sauteed onions, sauteed celery, vinegar, and red pepper flakes.

I use my standard recipe as a starting point for my barbeque sauces. Mine vary depending on the type of meat I will be using the sauce for.

I tend to prefer tomato based sauces but with pulled pork I really like a Carolina style sauce closer to what is typically found in Virginia where I live, which is very acidic from vinegar and spicy from red pepper flakes. For this sauce I will whisk together about a cup of apple cider vinegar, with two tablespoons of brown sugar, a tablespoon of molasses, a tablespoon of mustard, and a teaspoon of red pepper flakes. I then adjust the recipe accordingly and often with the already cooked meat.

For baked chicken I like to add celery seed or celery and sauteed onions to my standard recipe. I begin by sauteing one yellow onion until it is translucent. I then add a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and the ingredients of my standard recipe and brink this mixture to a simmer. To this mixture I add a dash of hot sauce,garlic powder, and one stalk of celery pureed in the food processor and simmer it until the celery is cooked (which doesn't take long). Depending on whether I want a textured sauce or not I will also puree the yellow onion.

There are thousands of variations on barbeque sauce. What we generally think of as the standard barbeque sauce is tomato based but not all barbeque sauces are. Carolina style for example is more vinegar based, and in South Carolina they use mustard as a base. What you think of as a great barbeque sauce is probably highly influenced by the region of the country you live in. This hub described how to make a basic standard barbeque sauce which you can modify to fit your tastes. I also described how I make Carolina style barbeque sauce and how I modify my standard recipe to go well with baked chicken.

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feenix profile image

feenix 4 years ago

Hello, nateismguru,

First, I am very pleased to have made your acquaintance.

Second, thank you very much for responding to my question with this useful, awesome, interesting, terrific and very informative hub.

Although I was born and raised in Los Angeles, my roots are in New Orleans. And in that city, there are nearly as many recipes for barbecue sauce as there are adults and youngsters who know how to cook.

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