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Why Make Homemade BBQ Sauces, Easy or Otherwise?

it’s simple–homemade sauces taste better and they’re not hard to make.  So instead of asking, “Why?”, ask yourself why not?  Are you really going to pour bottled BBQ sauce over that meat you’ve slaved over perfecting for hours?

I didn’t think so!

Now while you’re at it, the best way to learn is to do a taste-off between multiple sauces.  I love to do sauce taste offs.  It’s fun for my dinner guests, I always learn a lot, and you quickly find out different sauces go better with different things.

For example, I recently did a taste off with Pulled Pork Sliders, and this recipe from my good friend Chef Michael Clark was the winner.  Another time I did the taste off with ribs and my honey chipotle BBQ sauce tied with Aaron Franklin’s BBQ sauce.  That was a banner day for my cooking ego given that Al Roker completely obsessed over Franklin’s recipe.

BTW, for the pulled pork, my Honey Chipotle sauce was #2 and Aaron Franklin’s sauce was dead last.  Yes, you really do want different sauces for different foods.

The thing is, if you’re not tasting two things back to back, most of us are lousy at making the comparison, so give taste testing a try!

Michael will tell you that what makes this sauce so good is the butter.  I also love that it looks interesting–you can see the semi-transparent onions and that invariably attracts attention.


1 Onion, diced

3 Garlic Cloves, diced

6 Tbsp Butter

2 Cups Ketchup

1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp White Vinegar

1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

3 Tbsp Liquid Smoke

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

2 Tsp Salt + 2 Tsp Pepper


Melt the butter in a sauce pan over Medium and add the diced onions and garlic.  Leave them sweat until starting to be transparent.

Add the ketchup and the remaining ingredients.  Stir to combine.  Let simmer until satisfied.  Add Salt and Pepper to taste.