Developing a fusion bbq sauce

Discussion in 'Sauces, Rubs & Marinades Sticky' started by denniston, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. Being originally from Michigan, and residing the past 20 years in northern Indiana, I have pretty much grown up on KC style bbq.  Sweet, a little spicy, and red.

    Last week I was in the local bbq joint, and decided to try the "Carolina" style sauce. It changed my life.  But to be honest, I really liked that mixed with the their regular (more of a KC style sauce).  So the past couple days, I've been researching and began trying to knock off the restaurant's Carolina style sauce.

    The sauce is not thin as water, but quite a bit thinner than the sauces I'm used to.  It's got a great tangy vinegar flavor a nice sweetness with a pleasant heat on the back end.  There are also a few red pepper flakes in the mix.  It's so good, I could about drink it :)  I could probably purchase the sauce, but when it comes to smoking meats, I really want to develop my own recipes. As a basis for the recipe, I found the following recipe here: (


    • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon ketchup
    • 1 tablespoon Texas Pete's
    • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    It's way too vinegar-ie, the hot sauce doesn't have the right flavor, it's not sweet enough, and missing the back heat.

    I added 2/3 cup ketchup, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper. Overall it was a lot better, but still too much vinegar.

    Eventually, I'd like to also create a KC style sauce, and mix the two into a type of a fusion sauce :)
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I do what you describe with the following two recipes. You might need to add more heat to you liking but these work for me...JJ

    This I mix into my Pulled Pork...

    Tangy Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

    This is more of an Eastern North Carolina style Finishing Sauce...

    2 C Apple Cider Vinegar

    2T Worcestershire Sauce or more to taste

    1/4C Brown Sugar

    1T Smoked Paprika

    2 tsp Granulated Garlic

    2 tsp Granulated Onion

    2 tsp Fine Grind Black Pepper

    1 tsp Celery Salt

    1 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper Flake. Add more if you like Heat.

    1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice

    Combine all and whisk well. This is a thin sauce, bring just to a simmer and remove from heat. Adjust sweetness by adding Brn Sugar or additional Vinegar as desired...Makes about 2 Cups.

    For a Lexington Style Dip  add, 1/2C Ketchup and 1-3tsp Red Pepper Flakes...

    This one everybody adds to the plate or sandwich at the table...

    KC Bubba Q Juice

    2C Ketchup

    1/2C Brown Mustard (Gulden's)

    1/4C Apple Cider Vinegar

    1/2C Molasses

    2C Dark Brn Sugar

    1T Tomato Paste

    1T Your Rub

    1-2tsp Liquid Smoke

    1tsp Worcestershire Sauce

    Combine all and warm over low heat just until it starts to bubble. Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring very frequently, to combine flavors and to thicken slightly.

    Use or pour into a sterile jar and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.

    Makes 3 1/2 Cups.
    denniston likes this.
  3. Denniston,

    What you're describing reminds me of Maull's barbecue sauce.  It's a St. Louis favorite, IMHO, for over 100 years.  That stuff used to flow through my veins every summer while a kid 50+ years ago.

    It's a bit of a thin tomato based mop style sauce with some heat, vinegar, and just a bit of sweetness but not much.

    Geez!  Up here in Iowa I miss that stuff.

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