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Basic BBQ sauce needs help for inaugural smoke this weekend!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Last night I took my first crack at homemade BBQ sauce for my upcoming smoke of a 9lb pork shoulder this weekend which will be my first attempt at smoking anything. I'm using a $20 yardsale acquired Brinkmann electric with hickory chips and apple cider in the water pan. Anyway, here's my sauce recipe which only varies slightly from the basic recipe found on this site:

Basic ingredients
2 cups strained tomatoes (in place of ketchup)
2 diced onions
1/2 cup brown sugar (1/4 cup more than basic recipe)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp chili powder

Additional ingredients
1 tbsp Jack Daniel's Whiskey
2 tbsp pure honey
1 tbsp adobo sauce
1 clove garlic (diced)
Pinch of cumin
A few pinches of salt and ground black pepper

I sauteed the onions and garlic and mixed the other ingredients separately. When the onions and garlic were ready I added the other ingredients and cooked on low heat for 15 minutes. The sauce smelled great and has just the right amount of heat (it gives a kind of "delayed tingle" when you put some on your tongue), but needs more sweetness. I thought I'd let it sit in the refrigerator overnight to see how it tasted this morning, but the taste was the same. Any ideas on how to get a richer sweeter taste? More honey? More brown sugar? Maybe some molasses? Whatever I end up doing I'm guessing I'll have to heat the sauce again (its still in the pan sitting in the fridge), so should I just add the ingredients and cook on low for another 15 minutes?
post #2 of 4
If you used tomatoes in place of ketchup(which has sugar in it) then you probably need more sugar. Or honey or molasses, it's really a matter of personal preference.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Gotcha-so in other words when you're using ketchup you get sort of a "baseline" sweetness before you even add any brown sugar, etc... I only used the strained tomatoes because my wife buys them in bulk and uses them for lots of different things, plus I wanted to really be able to say that this sauce was truly "from scratch." It looks like I just made more work for myself though, so maybe I'll just go with ketchup next time. I think I'll pick up some molasses on my way home, get the mixture back on the stove, and add it to taste.
post #4 of 4
+1 on the mollasas. It gives such a nice flavor to BBQ sauces. Also another "addition" I like to use is celary salt - start small with it, a little goes a long way.
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