Barbecue Sauces – Can We Talk?

Finally, I can sit down with a well-earned cup of French Press Coffee and do what I love to do the most (besides taking care of my awesome family), and that is to write. To chat – to express myself here with you.

This morning I opened my recipe saver on Yumprint. I wanted to get a jump on planning our meals for the coming week. Oh my goodness, what a chore! There are 76 cookbooks – everything from Beef Recipes to Super Bowl Menus. The morning was spent trying desperately to reorganize the nearly 5,000 recipes I have managed to collect, create, and clip over the years. The re-organization involved creating new cookbooks and re-arranging how recipes are stored within those books. A great example would be my cookbook titled “Gravies and Sauces“. It was jam-packed; with more recipes for Sauces than Gravies. Obviously, it was time to create a book just to store the sauce recipes alone. In my new “Sauce” book there were 41 recipes – everything from Barbecue Recipes to Wine Reduction Sauces. Not only did I create a new cookbook, but created subcategories within that book for all the various sauce types.

Yumprint sorts everything within a cookbook by the first letter of the recipe title – so a recipe for Smoky Bourbon Barbecue Sauce (see Boozy Bacon Bourbon Barbecue Chicken Kabobs for details) would be toward the end of the book, sandwiched between a Red Wine Reduction Sauce and a White Wine-Butter Sauce. When I’m hunting for a BARBECUE sauce, I don’t want to sift through a bunch of recipes to find just one.  (I don’t know about you, but that’s how I get sidetracked – rather than find what I am looking for, I disappear into a haze of reading and getting inspired. That’s wonderful, if that’s what I went into my recipes to do, but when I need to slam out a plan with a quick shopping list, I can’t vanish in thought)

Now I realize I could simply type in a few key words and hit the search button – but with so many recipes to search through, this takes a minute. I don’t know about you, but if there is one thing that makes me crazy it is that eternity of waiting while that little hourglass circles around and around. Okay, so in reality it only takes a minute or two, but that minute or two takes FOREVER – and in that time, I somehow manage to get distracted. Re-organization and re-categorizing was definitely in order.

Now my Sauce and Stock recipes have titles such as  “Sauce – BBQ: …” to “Stock Beef: …“. This keeps everything grouped by type, then title. (Only if it were as easy as sitting down before a keyboard to organize the kitchen. That’s a BIG  a project for another day).

This brings me back to sitting down with a cup of coffee and chatting with you about Barbecue Sauces.

The whole idea of cooking fascinates me – think about it for a minute. Cooking our food is one of those things that separates humans from the other animals on the planet. Why do we do it? Okay, I get it – we cook our food because we can. What led to this discovery of cooking food? Did we find the caucus of a dead animal charred by a wildfire and think “Hum, this sure beats that cold animal I ate last week.” What possessed us to taste the barbecued meat in the first place? Did it smell good? And how did we get from charred meats to the wonderful combinations that grace our tables today? What made us think Ketchup was a good idea? Or that roasted, grounded coffee beans, when steeped with hot water would produce a morning beverage? You gotta wonder, right?

Barbecue – not just a sauce or a way of cooking, but a social event. “Are you going to the barbecue?” “We are having a barbecue on Saturday, would you like to come?” The images are clear – barbecue is an outdoor event, even if it’s just you and your significant other and maybe the offspring of that union. Heck, we’ve been known to have a barbecue for one.

What makes barbecue so special, aside from the smoked or seared hunks of meat? Quite often it’s the sauce – be it a marinade, a slop mopped onto our meats or just for sauce dipping. It’s all the flavors coming together that gets our mouths to water. Although Americans did not invent the concept of barbecue, we surely have claimed it as American as Apple Pie (remember, apples are not native to America, and we certainly were not the originators of pie).

I’ve already shared a couple of Barbecue Sauce Recipes here at Rosemarie’s Kitchen. My recipe for Smoky Bourbon Barbecue Sauce as mentioned above. Another is a favorite in our house is an old family recipe from Hubby’s side of the family. Golden Eagle Barbecue Sauce has appeared three times now. First to accompany my Country Ribs, again as a stand-alone sauce for whatever you might be grilling and finally to finish off my finger-licking Spice Rub Baby Back Ribs.

Here are a few New Recipes for your consideration:

American Kitchen Basic BBQ Sauce
2 Onions, chopped fine
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2 ½ Cups Ketchup
¾ Cup Molasses
6 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
¼ Cup Worcestershire Sauce
¼ Cup Dijon Mustard
2 Tablespoons Red Hot Sauce

Peel and chop onions. Set aside until ready to use.

Peel and mince garlic. Set aside until ready to use.

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and a pinch of salt. Cook until onions are softened, 5-7 minutes.

Stir in garlic, chili powder and cayenne pepper, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Whisk in ketchup, molasses, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and hot sauce.

Bring sauce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 4 cups, about 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Sauce can be stored in refrigerator for up to 4 days. Heat over low-heat to warm, then let sit at room temperature until ready to use.

(This is a recipe I found in a cookbook years ago – which I could remember which one!)

BBQ Sauce 2Ancho Chile BBQ Sauce
1 dried Ancho chili Pod
1 cup onions, minced
2 garlic cloves
Canola Oil, as needed
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1/2 Cup Red Wine – Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Place Ancho Chile in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over the top and let it reconstitute for about 25 minutes. Remove pod from water, retaining the water for later use. With a sharp knife, remove the stem from re-hydrated pod. For less heat, split and remove the membrane along with the seeds. For a more fiery sauce, remove membrane and some of the seeds. Chop pod into chunks and set aside.

While the chili pod is soaking, peel and mince the onions and garlic. Set aside until ready to use.

In a saucepan over medium heat, warm a couple of  tablespoons of canola oil. Add onions and sauté until soft and translucent (about 5 minutes). While onions sauté, keep stirring to prevent onions from caramelizing.

Add tomato paste to the onions and continue to cook it for about 2 minutes.

Add garlic to the pan and continue to cook/stir for another minute.

Pour red wine into the saucepan. Add the reconstituted Chile pepper. Continue to cook for another 3 minutes to reduce.

Add ketchup, chili powder, brown sugar, Worcestershire Sauce and Cumin. Cook for another 5 minute.

Carefully pour the sauce into a blender. Blend until well-combined and “saucy”. If mixture appears too thick for your liking, thin with the chili water. Add only a tablespoon or so of the water until the sauce has reached your desired consistency.

Transfer to a bowl for immediate use or let set on the counter at room temperature. If not using the sauce that day, refrigerate and rewarm when ready to use.

Inspired by:

Bourbon BBQ Sauce
2 cups ketchup
1 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or more if desired)

Measure and dump all ingredients to a saucepan, whisk to combine.

Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to simmer and allow to simmer for 45 minutes-1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Remove sauce from burner and allow to cool to room temperature.
If not using right away, store sauce in the refrigerator.

Original Source:

BBQ Sauce - OrangeCilantro-Orange BBQ Sauce
2 Small Oranges, zested
4 tablespoons Fresh Orange Juice
1/2 cup fresh, chopped cilantro
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
4 teaspoons dry, ground mustard
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Zest both small orange, set zest aside.

Split the oranges and extract 4 tablespoons of juice, set aside.

Chop cilantro and set aside.

In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, combine ketchup, apple cider vinegar, dry mustard, orange zest, orange juice and brown sugar. Stir to combine and bring to a low boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper and stir in fresh cilantro. Simmer 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and use to baste grilled pork chops or chicken.

Original source:

Before sharing this sauce, let me just say recipes from The Slow Roasted Italian have never let me down. Their recipes are clean, clear and oh so easy to prepare. If you haven’t discovered this awesome source for all things yummy, be sure to check them out at:

BBQ Sauce 5Jack Daniels Double Kick BBQ Sauce
2 ½ cups ketchup
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Jack Daniels Whiskey
¾ cup molasses
2-3 tablespoons chili pepper paste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ tablespoon New Mexico chili powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

In a large sauce pan over medium heat combine all ingredients.  Whisk to combine well.

Bring sauce to a boil.  Reduce to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Serve and enjoy!

Original Source:

Welp, that’s enough yummy sauces for one day. Any of these would be great with whatever is on the grill.

Another thought – in pretty little jars, any of these sauces would make thoughtful parting gifts at your next Barbecue Social. Just make up a little extra and there you go.

As always, comments are always welcome.

Happy Grilling All!

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