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From Motown to KC, from Cajun Country to California, 21 great American BBQ Sauce recipes

Updated on August 14, 2012

Why look to overseas for new and different tastes when our own country ranges so far and wide in our delicious sauces, marinades, and bastes. Using one of these will bring smiles to those who gather around to enjoy the meal.

And if you like what you see I invite you to browse around and check out all my other recipes. I'm sure you'll find something to enjoy.

Avery Island Tabasco Country Marinade


1/2 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

2 tbl red or green tabasco or other hot pepper


1 tbl vegetable oil

1 tbl honey

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 cup chopped green onion

2 x cloves garlic peeled, ends removed, minced


In a small bowl, whisk together the wine, vinegar, Tabasco sauce, oil, honey, thyme and cumin. Stir in the green onions and garlic.

Place meat or poultry in a shallow glass dish and add the marinade, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate, turning occasionally, 2 to 4 hours for beef or pork and 1 to 2 hours for poultry. Or place meat and marinade in a heavy-duty, sealable plastic bag, squeeze out air, close tightly and refrigerate as above.

About 1 1/4 cups, enough to marinate 1 1/2 pounds of steak or pork tenderloin, 2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks, or 1 1/2 pounds turkey steaks


1 T Oil preferably canola

1 Medium onion

1/2 Medium green bell pepper


2 Celery ribs, chopped

3 Cloves garlic, minced

1 c Canned crushed tomatoes

1 c Chicken or beef stock

2/3 c Cider vinegar

1/2 c Pecan pieces

6 T Creole mustard

3 T Brown sugar

2 T Chili sauce

1/2 t Tabasco sauce

1/2 t Fresh ground Pepper

1/2 t White pepper

1/2 t Cayenne

Salt to taste

In a saucepan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, bell

pepper, celery, and garlic and sauté until everything is softened,

about 5 minutes. Mix in the remaining ingredients, reduce the heat to

low, and cook until the mixture thickens, approximately 30 minutes.

Stir frequently. Let the sauce cool briefly. Spoon the sauce into a

blender and puree it until smooth. If the consistency is thicker than

you prefer, add a little water. Use the sauce warm or chilled. It

keeps refrigerated, for at least a week.

California Fish Sauce Recipe

1/4 c Butter

1/4 c All-purpose flour


1/4 c Light brown sugar

-firmly packed

1/2 c Water

Juice of 2 large lemons

1/3 c Seedless raisins

Lemon slice

In a heavy-based saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour. Stir for about

3 minutes on low heat, without letting the flour brown. Add salt and

brown sugar.

Warm water and lemon juice in a separate saucepan; stir into flour and

butter. Whisk to blend well; cook over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes

or until thick.

Add raisins; continue cooking over low heat until raisins are warmed

through. Pour into a warmed serving bowl; garnish with a lemon slice

and serve with broiled white fish.

California Orange Marinade

California has many great new ideas. They push the limits and aren't afraid to try something new. AND, every once in a while, come up with something that the rest of the country can handle. Try for instance the California Burger with Guacamole. Well here's another one for the chicken and fish lovers among us!

Just for fun, try using some different types of honey. For those in the know, honey has some very distinctive flavors that can accent this wonderful recipe. Combine the following ingredients:

1/4 cup orange juice concentrate

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup buckwheat, clover or tupelo honey

1/4 cup yellow mustard

3 tbs soy sauce

2 tbs fresh ground pepper

1 tbs Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes until flavors begin to combine thoroughly. Let cool and marinate fish or chicken for several hours before cooking.

Florida Barbecue Sauce

24 oz bottle ketchup

1 lb dark brown sugar

1/2 tb prepared mustard

1 tb black pepper

1/2 c onion juice

3/4 c orange juice

3/4 c pineapple juice

3/4 c mango juice

4 tb cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in a 1 gallon non-metal container. Mix

well. Pour into a Dutch oven or Kettle. Cook over low heat until

mixture begins to thicken. If to thin add more cornstarch. When

cool pour into squeeze bottles with large hole in tip. Makes 1 1/2


Note: This is enough sauce for 10 lbs of ribs or chicken. Baste

ribs over grill and turn frequently, using squeeze bottle to keep


Georgia Peach BBQ Sauce

2 cups ketchup

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup white vinegar

1 tablespoon onion salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons finely ground black pepper

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground mace

1 cup peach preserves (pureed)

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon peach liqueur

4 tablespoons butter, cubed and chilled

Combine all the sauce ingredients except the butter (or oil). Bring to a boil, stirring often. Use a spatter screen as it spatters easily.

Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter or oil until blended. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Hawaiian Fruit Barbecue Sauce

This is particularly recommended for barbecuing spare ribs.

1 (1 pound 1 ounce) can drained apricot halves

1 (1 pound 14 ounce) can sliced peaches

1 medium can crushed pineapple

1 cup vinegar

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon Tabasco® sauce

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper

1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/4 pound butter

1 teaspoon Accent

1/4 teaspoon Angostura Bitters

Purée fruit in a blender. Put puréed fruit in a saucepan, then add remaining ingredients. Simmer very slowly until thick.

This sauce freezes nicely, so you may want to make enough to put in the freezer for future occasions.

Hoosier Hog Sauce

1 cup A&W root beer

6 oz Hunt's ketchup

2 oz Bloody Mary mix

1 5.5 oz can tomato juice

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup peanut oil (DO NOT SUBSTITUTE)

2 Tbs golden delicious applesauce

2 Tbs yellow mustard (diluted)

1 Tb mild molasses

1 Tb quince paste (heaping) - (can be found in your local Mexican Grocery store)

1 tsp liquid hickory smoke

3 Tbs packed dark brown sugar

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp lemon pepper

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp celery salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp ground marjoram

Bring to a boil and reduce immediately to simmer. THEN ... add:

2 Tbs Louisiana Hot sauce

2 Tbs Burgundy wine

This step is important to the end result. Blending earlier changes the interaction with the sauce formula. Blend with the sauce and continue simmering to reach desired consistency. This is a thin slather sauce. SERVE HOT!!

If you prefer a spicier version - add cayenne pepper to suit your taste.

Louisiana Bacon-Pecan Barbecue Sauce


8 oz Sliced bacon

1 lrg Orange

1 lrg Lemon

1 1/2 cup Sliced onion

4 x Cloves garlic, sliced

1 can Beef broth, 13 3/4 oz

1 bot chili sauce, 12 ozs

1 cup Honey

3/4 cup Coarsely chopped toasted pecans

1 tsp Black pepper

1 tsp White pepper

1/2 tsp Ground hot red pepper

2 tbl Unsalted butter

Hot red pepper sauce, to taste


Cook bacon in large skillet til crisp; remove bacon with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Squeeze juice from orange and lemon into small bowl; reserve half and orange and half a lemon rind. Pour off all but 3 tbsp fat from the skillet. Add onion and garlic; cook til onion is very tender, about 8 mins. Stir in broth, chili sauce, honey, pecans, black,white and red peppers, reserved crumbled bacon, and reserved orange and lemon juice and rinds. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat to low; simmer about 15 mins to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. Discard rinds.

Pour into food processor. Whirl til bacon and pecans are finely chopped.

Return to skillet. Stir in butter. Heat thru just til butter melts. Season to taste with pepper sauce. Refrigerate up to several days, or freeze for longer storage.

Magic Motown Barbeque Sauce


33 1/3 oz tomato sauce

2 2/3 tbl white vinegar

3 1/3 oz steak sauce

1 2/3 oz worcstershire sauce

2 tbl soy sauce

5 1/3 tbl ketchup

1/3 tsp bitters

3 1/3 tbl lemon juice

1 x bay leaves

1 tsp red pepper, ground

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp white pepper

1 tsp paprika

1 x small pinch dill seed

1 x small pinch sweet basil

63/1000 tsp cinnamon

2 2/3 tbl light corn syrup

2 2/3 tbl honey

5 1/3 tbl brown sugar


In a large sauce pot place tomato sauce, worchestershire sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, bitters, lemon juice, bay leaves, red pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, white pepper, paprika, dill seed, sweet basil and cinnamon. Simmer uncovered for 2 to 3 hours over low heat. Sauce should be thick. Add corn syrup, honey and brown sugar. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.


Missouri Barbeque Sauce

2 tb Oil

3/4 c Cider vinegar

1 t Garlic -- finely minced

1/2 ts Sugar

1 tb Chili powder

1 t Dry mustard

1 t Paprika

1/2 ts Ground cumin

Combine all ingredients, heat to boiling and allow to

cool. Let set for at least one hour for flavors to


N/C Piedmont style Carolina Red

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar

1/2 cup catsup

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

mix and bring to boil and simmer till thick

Oklahoma Times Barbeque Sauce

This recipe appeared in the Oklahoma Times newspaper in the late 1950's. It's been one that I have used over the years and is quite good.

1/3 cup ketchup

1 1/2 tablespoons liquid smoke

1 1/2 tablespoon worchester sauce

1 1/2 tablespoon vinegar

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Mix together, put in a closed container and refrigerate until needed. For barbequed beef, cup up cooked beef (can use a food processor). Cook in a sauce pan with sauce and any meat juice that your beef has. The quantity of barbeque sauce depends on your taste, ie whatever taste good to you.

Santa Fe Marinade

This is an excellent marinade which takes its name from Santa Fe, New Mexico is great on chicken, pork and beef. I use variations of this marinade when cooking Southwestern stews and grilled items.

2 cups water

6 chipotle peppers

1/2 cup tequila

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons fresh minced garlic

3 tablespoons minced fresh shallots

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

If you are using dry chipotle peppers you will need to boil them in the 2 cups of water for 10 minutes to soften. After you have boiled the chipotle peppers and they have softened remove from flame and let cool.

If your using canned chipotle peppers you can skip the step above. Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree for 1 minute. Remove marinade from blender and reserve.

Makes 3 1/2 cups marinade

Sauce New Orleans (Creole Style)


2 tablespoons butter

2 small cloves fresh garlic, peeled and diced fine

1 medium red onion, diced fine

1 stalk celery

1/2 each red and green bell pepper, seeds removed and diced

1 bay leaf, whole

1 pinch of paprika and cayenne each

2-1/2 cups fresh diced tomatoes

1/2 cup chili sauce


Cook the veggies in the butter until tender but not brown. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for about 15-18 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and serve over fresh fish or a bowl (1-1/2 pounds cooked) of steamed shrimp or crawfish tails.

Shadows Tennesse Style Barbecue Sauce

1/4 c Butter

1/4 c Peanut oil

1/2 c Onion -- minced

4 Cloves garlic -- minced

1 c Chicken stock

1 1/2 c Catsup

1 tb Tabasco sauce

1/4 c Molasses

1/4 c Red wine vinegar

3/4 c Water

1 tb Liquid Barbecue SmokeAE

2 tb Worcestershire sauce

2 tb Brown sugar

2 Bay leaves broken in half

1 ts Paprika

2 ts Dry mustard

1/8 ts Thyme

1 ts Cayenne

1 ts Crushed red pepper

1 ts Salt

1/2 ts Ground pepper

In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter with the oil over medium

heat. Add the onion, and saute until slightly caramlized, about 5

min. Add the garlic and saute another 2 min. Add all the remaining

ingredients, raise the heat, and cook at a full boil for 10 min.,

stirring frequently. Reduce heat, partially cover,and simmer for 30

min., stirring occasionally. Sauce may be refrigerated and reheated

when needed. makes 3-4 cups.

NOTES : This is not a basting sauce as it will char over a flame. Cook meat slowly on a charcoal BBQ and pour on this soppin sauce before serving.

Tennessee Bbq Sauce

1 c Catsup

1/2 c Vinegar

1/4 c Worcestershire sauce

2 c Water

1 Onions, chopped

1/2 c Brown sugar

1 t Celery seed

1/2 ts Salt

Combine ingredients in small saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer until

reduced to thick sauce, stirring occasionally.

Texas Pit Barbecue Sauce

1 onion, chopped

1 tb light brown sugar

1 clove garlic, minced

1 ts prepared mustard

2 tb butter/margarine

1/2 ts hot pepper sauce, (opt)

1/2 c ketchup

1 lemon or orange, sliced (opt)

1/4 c water

2 tb vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the onion and garlic in butter in a medium saucepan until

tender. Add ketchup, water, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, salt,

pepper and hot pepper sauce. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat

and let stand for the flavors to mingle. At this point, a sliced

lemon or orange can be added, or a bit of the juice of either. With

this recipe, true Texans usually add their own secret ingredients

which can include beer, wine, bourbon, bay leaves, chili powder,

tomatoes, vegetable oil or fat.

Topeka BBQ Sauce

2 cups water

3/4 cup light corn syrup

1 small can tomato paste

1/2 cup cider vinegar

3 tablespoons molasses

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Combine all, except butter and Worcestershire sauce, whisking until smooth. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes.

Add butter and Worcestershire.

Sauce must be refrigerated and used within one week. DO NOT leave out at room temp.

True Texas Barbecue Sauce

2 cups ketchup

1/2 medium onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon unsulphered molasses

1 tablespoon malt vinegar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons mustard, preferably Creole

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon Tabasco

1/2 teaspoon thyme

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium nonreactive saucepan and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Remove from the heat and let cool.


The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Makes about 3 cups

West Virginia Barbecue

3 lb. lean beef & pork

2 c. stock

1/2 c. vinegar

1/2 c. sugar

2 tbsp. prepared mustard

1/2 c. chili sauce

1 clove garlic

1 c. minced onion

2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Cover meat with water; bring to boil and simmer until tender. Trim and shred meat if desired. Prepare sauce by combining ingredients beginning with stock; simmer until onion is tender. Pour sauce over meat. Serve on hot buns with slaw dressed with Miracle Whip thinned with milk. Authentic West Virginia-style serving calls for placing slaw on top of meat and then covering with top of bun.


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