Tweaking bbq sauce?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by superdave, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. superdave

    superdave Smoking Fanatic

    I bought a jug of big box store bbq sauce and like the flavor okay but would just like to turn the temp up a little.  What's your recommendations for heat?
  2. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    El Yucateco habanero hot sauce.
  3. little smokey

    little smokey Smoking Fanatic

    If all your looking for is heat and don't really want to change the flavor you can use cayenne or habanero powder.
  4. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I do this all the time. I just take a cup or two and put it in a saucepan and warm it up. Depending on the type of heat you like just add a little bit of , say , Tabasco or franks red hot or just cayenne or even chili powder. You can also add things like fresh garlic , orange zest , Worcestershire. Sauce....stuff like that. I like to change it up. That way you get lots of different uses from one big batch of a sauce you like.
  5. superdave

    superdave Smoking Fanatic

    I was noticing that "Jeff's bbq sauce" used black pepper and cayenne for the heat source.  And yes, I wasn't wanting to affect the flavor profile too much.  I was thinking of adding a little honey for sweet and then something for heat.
  6. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Adding El Yucateco does not change the flavor profile, it just adds heat and at less than 2 bucks it will be cheaper than a good quality high heat cayenne or habanero powder. You won't need much so the bottle will last a while. I get mine at Wal-Mart.
  7. IMHO BBQ sauce is so easy to make from scratch, I just don't mess with store bought.  The only store bought I will even have around, is Sweet Baby Ray's.

    To make BBQ sauce, I start with tomato paste and add Worcestershire, mustard, horse radish, fresh onion, soy sauce, Louisiana hot sauce, red wine vinegar, butter, minced garlic, granulated onion and garlic, pepper, and for sweet I use brown sugar.

    You can add citrus zest, (grapefruit is good) apricot, peach, raspberry, strawberry or grape jam or jelly too.  Sometimes I'll add just a bit of habenaro jelly for heat without changing the flavor.  I tried molasses once and didn't like it, but every taste is different, you might like it.

    The basics are still the same.

    There are no measurements, just taste as you go and add what it needs.  Don't be afraid to try different seasonings, you may just stumble on a winner.  It doesn't cost much so if you mess it up, you can always start over.

    I used to start with KC Masterpiece and add the stuff listed above, but when I ran out once and used tomato paste and seasoned it until it tasted right, I discovered how much money I can save and there was a huge difference quality of ingredients.  No high fructose corn syrup.

    I simmer it until the onions are done and if I remember to make it the day before, the flavors blend well!  I generally use it on ribs and only after they have been cooked and while they are on the propane grill for the last sear. 

    I think all the above suggestions are awesome and I may even try them, just thought I would give you a quick and easy way to get 'er done from scratch.

  8. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Hey Mel

    Great tutorial.  Gonna make some.  Thanks

  9. Glad you like it.  I cook without measurements for just about everything.  I know it is bad for consistency, but my stuff tastes better every time I do it.

    I have been reading this forum for a couple days now and you guys make it easy to post a tutorial!  You guys set a wonderful example.

    I have to say this smoking thing is not an easy hobby.  You do get to eat the mistakes.

    I did some cheese last night and I got it too hot, so I have cheese pieces!  I think I will run them through the cheese shredder and make a smoked mac a cheese featuring Munster, Mozzi, Jack, and cheddar.

    Should be good!

    Sorry, didn't intend to hijack this thread!  BBQ sauce and rubs are my favorite things to try.  I am going to purchase Jeff's recipes because they sound good and I am always looking for something to try!  That is how my sauce has evolved over the years.  Mine is not perfect and can always use tweaking so that it is right for you.

    I made some fresh peach jam from my peaches this year and think I am going to use some for a BBQ sauce base.  I am trying to get away from the tomato base and try something new.

    Anyway, thanks Gary and thanks to the OP for this thread!

  10. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I do a modified Sweet Baby Rays original that everybody loves!

    1 part Sweet Baby Rays original BBQ Sauce

    1/2 part apple juice (or beer)

    1/2 part cider vinegar

    1/4 part molasses

    (optional) - 1-2 Tbsp. of mustard - I like using a sweet hot mustard when I do use one.

    Bring to a low simmer and taste it. Adjust the molasses and vinegar to get the balance between twang and sweet that you like, then cook it down till it thickens up a bit. It is supposed to be a thinner sauce, but still thick enough to coat stuff with.
  11. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I agree with Guruatbol , make your own and flavor with Chipolte en Adobo . Nice heat and Smokey too.

    Have fun and as always . . .
  12. Oh, I forgot I use corn starch if it is too thin.  It glazes so nice, I just love it on fibs and bone in chicken.

    I am going to make a peach based one for pork and use some peaches I canned in September.  I will likely grill them instead of smoke them.

    Thanks for the Sweet Baby Rays tweak.  I have to try that!

  13. I like to use a restaurant ground black pepper. The grind is large enough where you get a flavor "explosion" when a piece hits the pallet, and it adds a nice peppery flavor to the sauce.
  14. little smokey

    little smokey Smoking Fanatic

    I go one step further I use coarse grind I believe from Durkee it is larger pieces I love in my rub.  It's just a bit larger than restaurant grind.
  15. superdave

    superdave Smoking Fanatic


    Can you give me an idea on how much I should be adding per quart of sauce?
  16. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    You guys are enjoying the flavor of the pepper but you are only really tasting the few chunks you bite into. Once the peppercorn is ground it loses flavor fairly quickly, even sealed in a jar. If you really want the Black Pepper to be all it can be...You have to grind it, and any spices for that matter, from Whole Peppercorns. A cheap Walmart Coffee Grinder used just for spices is the best investment you can make to take your Rubs and any food you season, over the top. Give it a try. The grinder pays for itself in the savings of buying larger quantities of whole spices the last a year or more over the smaller expense ground spices that become diminished if not tasteless in 3-6 months...JJ

    [​IMG]Proctor Silex Fresh Grind...$10.76
  17. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    That question really depends on how hot you like to have your sauce. I make about 1 1/2 quarts of sauce in a normal sized batch and put in a couple of drops(probably less than 1/2 teaspoon) of the El Yucateco after the sauce has simmered about 30 minutes. Start small, mix well and taste as you go until you find what suits you is the best advice I can give. Good Luck.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  18. superdave

    superdave Smoking Fanatic

    OKay, then something has gone wrong somewhere. I'm up to about a tablespoon and not feeling the heat.
  19. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Put that tablespoonful directly on your tongue and let us know what happens.

    P.S. let it sit there as long as possible before swallowing.

    Are you warming the sauce or mixing it in cold?
  20. superdave

    superdave Smoking Fanatic

    I think it just needed some time to perc.  My tongue now has that pins and needles feeling I was looking for.

Share This Page