The Sauce Code: Breaking the Boundaries of Ordinary BBQ

Hey, what do you know? It’s BBQ season again and it’s time to get out there and put that grill to work. Some things just shouldn’t change like enjoying a cold beverage and a juicy hamburger with friends and family during a backyard cookout. But, some things should absolutely change in order to enhance and improve the entire BBQ dining experience like what sauce or marinade you use. The secret is the sauce. Whether it’s hamburgers, steaks, or chicken filets, whatever you barbeque should have an accompanying sauce that, along with smoke and charcoal, transform plain old meat into something extraordinary. Most of us just plop a few bucks down at the local grocery store and get whatever simple name brand sauce is on sale. And that’s just fine. However, you haven’t truly lived until you have made your OWN barbeque sauce from scratch. Let’s take a look at a few mind blowing sauce recipes that you can start using for your very next BBQ. And trust us, your guests will be asking you for the recipe, so make sure to bookmark this page. 

Traditional Texas Style

You know the sauce. It’s the most popular style of BBQ sauce this side of the Mississippi and it has it all: tanginess, sweetness, smokiness, and a hint of spice on the back of the palet. This is most commonly referred to as “Texas Style” sauce because it is thicker, sweeter, and more smokey flavored than the other most popular style of BBQ from Louisiana and other parts back east.

For this sauce you will need the following (from Creme de la Crumb):

1 1/2 cups ketchup

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon seasoning salt

3 tablespoons molasses

2 teaspoons mustard

Simply add the above ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk together for about 2 minutes by hand. Then taste and adjust for personal preferences. Bonus: for a more savory and daring take on this sauce, remove the salt and use 4 fillets of diced anchovies instead! Your guests will be licking the bottom of the bowl before the night’s over. 

For another take on the traditional bbq sauce, here is a great guide from our friends at Traeger:

bbq sauce from scratch infographic


Spicy Asian Inspired

Nothing beats a fusion of two great cultures. For some reason, traditional Asian spices lend themselves so darn well to traditional American BBQ eats like hamburgers, steaks, and grilled chicken. For a real treat, try this spicy Asian fusion BBQ sauce for your next cookout.

Ingredients (from The Spruce Eats):

2 cups ketchup

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoon ginger (fresh and grated)

1/2 cup green onions (minced)

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

For this recipe, you’ll want to add the ingredients to a sauce pan and simmer on medium heat while stirring vigorously with a fork or whisk. Add sesame seeds to taste for a great bonus crunch and flavor burst. This sauce makes some of the world’s BEST steak marinade or try it over grilled chicken breasts.

South Of The Border Fire

When it comes to BBQ, sometimes you have to let your taste buds travel a little bit to keep things interesting. Let’s travel south of the border where bold flavors and hot spices reign supreme where the sauce will have you sweating even inside an air conditioned living room.

For the sauce you’ll need (From The Pampered Chef):

2 - 4   jalapeño peppers, finely chopped

2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil

4   garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tbsp (15 mL) chili powder

2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin

1 - 2.5 tsp (5 mL) cayenne pepper

2 tsp (10 mL) ground coriander

2 cups (500 mL) ketchup

1/4 cup (50 mL) fresh lime juice

1/4 cup (50 mL) brown sugar

For an added bonus, we recommend experimenting with adding more spicy peppers like Habanero, Ghost Peppers, or even the dreaded Carolina Reaper (make sure to practice safe handling practices for these insanely hot peppers). Try at your own risk, but sometimes great food comes from being a little daring! 


Bonus Entry: Pomegranate Orange BBQ Sauce Recipe

We love this out of the box and creative scratch made bbq sauce from which you can find here. Give that a try at your next cookout or dinner party. You won't be disappointed!


Have a great summer and best of luck with all of your backyard BBQ adventures.