Favorite BBQ Sauce

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A simple recipe for a make ahead BBQ sauce can turn your Wednesday night dinners into a flavorful meal for the family. BBQ sauces can be made well in advance and kept refrigerated or even frozen in serving sized portions for you to use throughout the month. The best sauce is one that fits your personal tastes and that can be prepared in batches that supply your pantry for at least a few weeks.

Choosing a Sauce

There are several types of BBQ recipes that range from dry rubs that utilize spicy peppers and sweet brown sugar to vinegar based liquid sauces that are both tangy and sweet. A basic recipe that can be altered to fit your personal tastes is the best option for making larger batches of barbeque sauce at home. For basic BBQ sauces you will need the following:

  • One cup tomato sauce, or one-half cup tomato sauce and one-half cup prepared ketchup
  • Three tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • One-half to one teaspoon each of dry spices, including garlic powder, onion powder, and dried mustard. Add these spices to taste.
  • Three tablespoons of brown sugar
  • Three tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Other additions can include bell pepper, onion, prepared mustard, molasses and liquid smoke. These additions should be added to taste. In general, one-half a teaspoon of liquid smoke is ample for a batch of barbeque sauce because the flavor is very strong. Bell pepper, onion and fresh garlic should be finely chopped and cooked in three tablespoons of olive oil until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent.

Creating a Flavor Profile

The basic ingredients listed above are the foundation of a good make ahead sauce that can be used on a wide range of dishes. You can experiment with the spices and other additions to find a flavor profile that is right for your family. The tomato sauce, prepared mustard and brown sugar are the basic ingredients that create the building blocks for an excellent sauce. Most spices are dried in homemade BBQ, but you can feel free to replace dried spices with fresh herbs from the grocer. Make sure to alter your measurements if you are using fresh herbs.

Add additional spices and flavorings gradually to ensure you don't overpower the other ingredients in the sauce. Your homemade sauce will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks, or for several months in the freezer.

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