Barbecue Sauce Recipes

Barbecue Sauce Recipes

** To read the full Pairings article, pick up the July 2006 issue of Wine Enthusiast Magazine on newsstands now.

The following recipes and text are from Peace, Love and Barbecue (Rodale, 2005) by Mike Mills. They represent classic sauce recipes from three of the barbecue capitals of America.

North Carolina-Style Kitchen Dip

I ask Wayne Monk, of Lexington Barbecue in North Carolina, if he has a sauce recipe, or some semblance of a recipe, he could share.

“We tell the ingredients on some of our things, but we don’t give out the proportions. I don’t have but two or three recipes. That’s all I got. But here’s what I’ll give you: the barbecue sauce we use in the kitchen. You ready?”

I grab my pencil and paper. “Ready.”

“Pepper, a little vinegar, tomato ketchup, and water. About two-thirds water. The rest of it, you’re on your own,” he says with a grin.

He gave me a cup of the sauce to take home. I experimented and decided it tastes best with a little salt and sugar. Oh, and I think he lied to me about the amount of water. 

1/4 cup water
3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
Ground black pepper (to taste)
Finely ground kosher salt (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container or jar. Shake before using. Serve with pork shoulder.

Makes about 2 cups

Kansas City Barbecue Sauce

Now, I know I’ve preached to you about the evils of liquid smoke, but along comes Ollie Gates with a lip-smacking sauce that has liquid smoke as one of its ingredients. Ollie is a second-generation barbecue legend. Gates’s sauce recipe has been requested so often that he has it written down. “Is this the recipe you use in the restaurant?” I ask. I never did get a straight answer, but it doesn’t matter. This tasty sauce’s popularity reaches far beyond Kansas City.

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt, finely ground
2 tablespoons celery seed
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons cayenne
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 quarts ketchup
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Mix the sugar, salt, celery seed, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, and chili powder together in a small bowl. Combine the ketchup, vinegar, liquid smoke, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix until very well blended.

Sauce may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks or in the freezer up to 6 months.

Makes about 3 quarts

Similar to Maurice’s Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce

I didn’t even bother to ask Maurice for a sauce recipe because I knew what the answer was gonna be. If you’re craving an authentic South Carolina-style mustard sauce, you’ll find this sauce tastes just as good as Maurice’s. In fact, if Maurice had this recipe, I believe he’d change his.

1 1/2 cups prepared yellow mustard (you should use French’s)
7 tablespoons brown sugar
8 tablespoons tomato paste
5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

Whisk all the ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Don’t overcook. Remove from the heat and let cool. Pour into a sterilized glass jar. Refrigerate between uses.

Makes about 2 cups


Published on June 5, 2006

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