Cooking up delicious barbecue sauce is easier than you think. If you’re daunted by the concept of creating your own sauces, here’s a secret: most sauces are simple to create. It’s all about ingredients and personal tastes. Soon enough, you’ll be boasting to your friends over dinner that you grilled these barbecued ribs or chicken using your own secret homemade barbecue sauce recipe.
The most important ingredient is the tomato base. You might use ketchup, which tends to come already a bit sweetened and spiced, depending upon the brand. If you prefer to start with tomato sauce instead, you’ll get a fuller bodied taste but it might not be similar to the barbecue flavors you’re used to tasting from a bottle. The beautiful thing about preparing the sauce yourself is that you can cater your homemade barbecue sauce recipe to the flavors you enjoy the most.
Garlic is an excellent way to spice up a homemade barbecue sauce recipe without burning everyone’s mouths away. Freshly minced garlic is best but in a pinch, you can use garlic powder instead. The amount depends on how much you enjoy the sharp taste of garlic. If it’s not your favorite, a small bit should still be included, as it will do wonders for taking your sauce from normal to that distinctive barbecue tang.
If you’re a fan of hot barbecue sauces, you can dive into the chili powders for a spicier effect. Even if your palate can’t take too much chili, the slightest dusting of chili powder will do wonders for developing the contrast of flavors in your sauce. Instead of chili powder, you could add a chopped up chili, dried or fresh. A little goes a long way, even for those who enjoy an intense barbecue experience. If you have sriracha sauce or chili garlic sauce from the Asian aisle of the grocery store, these are also wonderful at adding a zesty bite to your sauce. Use sparingly.
Brown sugar tempers the spiciness of other ingredients and adds a subtle caramelized effect after you heat the sauce. The amount depends, as always, upon your partiality to sweetness and what sort of balance you’d like to have in tempering the spicy/sweet qualities of the sauce. Salt is also important because it brings out the flavors of all other ingredients. You don’t need to add much to make a huge difference. Pepper and other random spices found in your cupboard also help to create a full-bodied flavor. However, you should take care in how many spices you add. Simplicity is always best in sauce. If you use too many, the sauce will become overly complicated. Use only the spices you enjoy the most.
Once you’ve combined all ingredients in a saucepan, heat it to boiling and then simmer on low for at least fifteen minutes. You could simmer for much longer if you like, but too much simmering will result in a thicker texture that might taste slightly off, due to the brown sugar caramelizing. Keep an eye on your sauce and make sure to keep stirring and tasting until it’s reached the flavor you enjoy the most.
All in all, a homemade barbecue sauce recipe is just a matter of combining your chosen ingredients in a saucepan and leaving it on simmer while stirring. It’s an easy, delicious way to raise your cooking to a new level.