How to Make Basic Barbecue Sauce – Thanksgiving 2019

Barbecue Sauce

Lots of people brag about their secret barbecue sauce recipe. If you don’t have your own, start with this one. It’s a simple mixture you can modify and experiment with until you’ve created your own secret sauce. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Barbecue Sauce

Tips To Make Barbecue Sauce:

  • Brush barbecue sauce on food when it’s almost completely cooked. If you apply it too early, it cooks the sauce too long and the sugar in it will burn instead of brown.
  • Many people associate a smoky flavor with barbecue sauce. Don’t hesitate to use a liquid smoke product to get it – commercial producers do.


  • Heat the vinegar and molasses together in a small non-reactive saucepan until the molasses is dissolved.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Experiment with this sauce. Try these variations:
  • Make a zestier sauce: Begin recipe by sauting 1 c. minced onions and a few garlic cloves until soft. Proceed with recipe.
  • Make a sweeter sauce: Add honey or brown sugar. Or soak raisins in rum and puree into the sauce.
  • Make an herbed sauce: Add dry or fresh herbs to taste – especially dry rubbed sage or fresh, minced rosemary.
  • Make a whiskey sauce (bourbon works best because of its high sugar content): Begin recipe by simmering 1/2 c. bourbon for 1 minute, and use half the vinegar called for in the master recipe.


  • 1 c. tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. mustard
  • 1 tsp. each garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and black pepper
  • 1/3 c. molasses
  • 1/4 c. cider or white wine vinegar
  • liquid smoke (optional)

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