Homemade BBQ Sauce

Grilling season is right around the corner. I’m more than ready to be enjoying the warmer weather and grilling on the back porch. We had a beautiful weekend so I decided to smoke a rack of ribs. I’m so glad I had the chance to be outside because this coming weekend we are expecting some snow. Blech!

Normally, I cook my ribs low and slow in the oven and then finish it off on the grill. But this time I wanted to do the entire cooking process in the smoker. I wanted to make a BBQ Sauce that would compliment the long time it takes to smoke ribs. Normally, it takes hours to make a really good BBQ Sauce. I wanted to find something that would be a little easier for everyone who wants homemade but doesn’t have hours to spare. This is it! It’s tangy and sweet, exactly what I was looking for.

Quick and Easy BBQ Sauce:

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbs cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 5 tbs molasses (I forgot to get some used a sugar free syrup)
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  1. In a food processor or a blender, process the onion and the water until pureed and the mixture resembles slush, about 30 seconds. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a liquid measuring cup, pressing on the solids with a rubber spatula to obtain 1/2 cup juice. Discard the solids. 
  2. Whisk the onion juice, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire, mustard, molasses, hot pepper sauce, black pepper, and liquid smoke (if using) together in a medium bowl. 
  3. Heat the oil in a large nonreactive saucepan over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the ketchup mixture and bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, uncovered, until the flavors meld and the sauce is thickened, about 25 minutes. Cool the sauce to room temperature before using. 
Note – The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 1 week.
Source: slightly adapted from The New Best Recipe by Cooks Illustrated

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