This recipe for BBQ sauce combines items you probably have on hand into a pretty darn good sauce. You can use it on hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken or other meats. It’s a handy recipe for times you have run out of your favorite bottled sauce and don’t want to run to the store. The sauce is Kansas City style meaning it is tomato based and sweet.
Every time I’ve made BBQ chicken I think back to a vacation years ago with my parents. My grandfather had planned to cook BBQ chicken one Sunday for dinner. He really liked to grill things and had all the latest tools. But luck was not with him. It began raining right after he sat the chicken on the grill. It not only rained, it poured buckets along with booms of thunder and long flashes of lightening. My Dad stood out there holding an umbrella over the grill while Grandpa tended to the chicken. They finally listened to my Grandma and brought the chicken into the cabin. Mom finished cooking it in the oven. It wasn’t BBQ any more, the rain had washed off the sauce. The moral? Don’t grill in a thunderstorm.
The recipe makes around 2 cups of sauce. It can be doubled.
Easy BBQ Sauce
- 1 cup of your favorite ketchup
- 1 cup of your favorite beer (see notes)
- ½ of an onion, grated
- ¼ cup Cider vinegar
- 6 tablespoons of dark brown sugar or 2 tablespoons of molasses plus 4 of sugar (you can use less)
- 1 teaspoon of Paparika
- 1 teaspoon of dry mustard
- 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon of celery seed
- Hot pepper sauce to taste
- Pinch each of salt and black pepper
Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan. Simmer and stir over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until thickened.
The sauce can be Used on beef, chicken or pork. Make plenty and sit a small bowl of it on the table for dipping. Put leftovers in a jar and keep in the refrigerator. You should use the leftovers within 3 or 4 days.
Ingredients are open to change. As long as you keep the liquid amount about the same as the recipe almost any other variation is possible.
If you have green onions slice them thin and use in place of the grated onion. If you like liquid smoke, add it. Finely minced green pepper can be added.
The type of liquid can be greatly varied. Beer, wine, ale, or bourbon are wonderful in BBQ sauce. Use a cup or half a cup plus half a cup of water. Orange juice, pineapple juice or any other fruit juice can be used. Even root beer or cola would work. Don’t use as much sugar or molasses in the recipe if you use a cola.
The seasonings are pretty open too. Use what you like and have on hand. Make it as spicy or as mild as you want. It is better to add a bit less of a hot seasoning and taste the sauce after cooking and then adjust the seasonings.
If you want a sweet savory sauce add some ground cloves and ginger. Use the spices that you like.
Instead of ketchup you can use tomato sauce, tomato soup or canned tomatoes. Thin the soup and cook longer if you use canned tomatoes. Add extra seasonings, such as cloves, ginger, cinnamon and maybe some minced garlic.