Good barbecue sauce is the key ingredient for every successful BBQ. Purchasing barbecue sauce at the store may not be expensive if a cheap brand is selected, but these brands do not compare to the taste of homemade barbecue sauce. Finding brands that are equal to homemade sauce will prove to be very expensive. By making the sauce at home, it may be made in large or small quantities; it will also always be fresh and delicious.
The base ingredients for barbecue sauce are simple items that are inexpensive. A bottle of ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, vegetable oil, fresh or powdered garlic, brown sugar, minced onion, horseradish, chili powder, salt and vinegar will be required. These items will create a good simple barbecue sauce; in order to add extra flavor, liquid smoke, honey or molasses may also be added to the mixture. Rated highly among users, the following recipe will yield satisfactory results:
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cup of vinegar
2 cups of ketchup
1 tablespoon of horseradish
1/2 tsp salt, optional
3/4 cup of brown sugar
4 minced garlic cloves or 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
1 medium minced onion or 2 tablespoons of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of chili powder
1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce
Optional, choose one: 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke, 2 tablespoons of molasses or 4 tablespoons of honey
Mix the ketchup, oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and optional sauce together well in a medium sauce pan. Heat the mixture on the medium-low setting. Stir it occasionally, avoiding letting it stick to the bottom of the pan. For best results, use a Teflon-coated pan. After a short time, the mixture should begin bubbling. Let it bubble for about 10 minutes, stirring it every 2 minutes. Cooking the mixture together on the stove will allow the ingredients to thoroughly combine. Turn the heat off on the stove and take out a slow cooker, crock pot or dutch oven.
If using a crock pot or slow cooker, turn the heat setting to low or stew; for those who don’t have a slow cooker, dutch oven directions will be explained in the following paragraph. Add the rest of the ingredients in the recipe, except the chili powder. When the ingredients have been added to the sauce mixture, stir them together thoroughly with a wire whisk. Put the lid on the slow cooker and allow the mixture to cook for about 2-3 hours. After this time, add the chili powder and allow it to cook an additional 2 hours. Before using it for basting or serving, mix it well again with the whisk.
For those who do not own a slow cooker, a dutch oven or stock pot with a lid may be used instead on the stove. Turn the heat setting to the lowest possible setting above warming. Turning the heat up very high will result in the sauce burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan. Pour all of the additional ingredients in the dutch oven with the sauce mixture, omitting only the chili powder. Allow the sauce to stew on very low heat for about 2 hours, stirring once. After 2 hours have passed, add the chili powder, stir the mixture and allow it to cook for an additional hour. Once it has finished cooking, stir it well before using it for serving or cooking.
Some ingredients may be omitted or added. After making this sauce several times, some users may decide to add their own twists to the flavor, such as lime, cilantro or even apples. Cooking the sauce longer with salt helps preserve it and extend potential refrigeration life. The key to making the best barbecue sauce overall is slow cooking. Cooking the sauce quickly will make the flavor less rich, as the ingredients do not properly combine. This barbecue sauce should be refrigerated and will keep fresh for 3 to 4 weeks.