There were only about a million different brands and flavors, but I could only find one sauce, that was gluten-free and corn syrup free. Only one! And almost every sauce had corn syrup as the first ingredient, meaning there was more corn syrup in the sauce than tomatoes, vinegar, or any other flavoring.
And that ONE sauce that was gluten-free and not made out of corn syrup? I kid you not, it cost $7 for 1.5 cups of sauce. Even the mom and pop brands contained gluten, corn syrup, and a host of other preservatives. I bought that $7 sauce because it was the night before our father's day barbecue, and I didn't have any other options at that point, but I knew there had to be a better way.
And oh, there is a better way.
A much, much better way.
In retrospect, making your own barbecue sauce is a no-brainer. It's simple, it's delicious, it goes together with minimal effort, and it costs a fraction of price of those inferior, corn-syrupy sauces. And did I mention just how powerfully tasty it is? This sauce is so good, it had me licking the spoon... and the bowl.
This recipe is a fantastic starting point for different flavors - mix a little honey into it and BBQ over hickory chips, and you honey hickory sauce. Mince some chipotle peppers, and you have spicy smoky chipotle BBQ sauce. The possibilities are endless.
Classic Homemade Barbecue Sauce
This recipe makes about 6 cups of sauce - more than enough for one barbecue. You can can or freeze the leftovers, or mix in new flavorings and save it in your fridge for your next grilling session. That is, if you aren't caught standing in front of the fridge, slurping it out of the jar. Not that I've done that. Since yesterday. I promise.
4 cans (14 oz) fire roasted, diced tomatoes (you can use regular canned diced tomatoes, but I think the fire roasted kind just add a whole other dimension of flavor)
3 medium yellow onions (about 3 cups chopped)
6 garlic cloves
1/3 cup vegetable or safflower oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup unsulfered molasses
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcester sauce
4 teaspoons salt
Chop 3 yellow onions.
Mince 6 garlic cloves.
Heat 1/3 cup vegetable or safflower oil in a large cast iron pot, and add the onions and garlic. Saute until softened and beginning to brown.
Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt,
and 1 teaspoon chili powder,
and 1/4 teaspoon cumin, and another 1/4 teaspoon coriander.
Finally, add 1/3 cup molasses...
... and 1/3 cup dark brown sugar.
Mix them all up together, and boil for 3 minutes.
Open up your 4 cans of tomatoes...
...and get 3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer on medium low for 2-3 hours...
... until sauce has thickened and darkened.
Add 1/4 cup white vinegar...
... and 2 tablespoons Worcester sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper (about 1 tablespoon of each).
Place sauce in blender, add 2 cups of water (more if needed) and puree until smooth.
Store in a few jar... slather all over some BBQ... slurp it out of a jar... enjoy!