For those of us who like to make our own stuff, here is one of my favorite BBQ sauce recipes. As the first part stands, it is fine, kind of plain BBQ sauce. The options modify it, by adding flair or flavor. You or your recipe may need a ‘plain’ BBQ sauce (with out smoke). That is, the recipe you are using this.a BBQ sauce for.
Be sure to use a generic & plain ketchup, as you don’t want any spices added to your sauce that shouldn’t be there. You can use the more premium or fancy ketchup, just know they will taste a little different. I have made this quite a few times & it’s great as is & with the options. The cayenne will make it spicy hot, so you may want to leave that out.
Mix everything with out the ketchup separately. If you warm it up first, the sugar will dissolve easier. The brown sugar is an extra, ‘if your ketchup or liquid smoke is ‘too’ vinegary’. Brown sugar will add an extra depth to the bbq sauce, so you can omit the white sugar (use cane if you can, not beet sugar). There is generally enough water in these (the rest) ingredients, to dissolve the sugar. Heating this on the stove (low), will help it along. Heating it will also “wake up” the ingredients. Not sure? Make a batch each way & see for yourself.
Once the sugar is dissolved, stir in the ketchup. One quart is 32 ounces, & most bottles of ketchup are either 28 or 40oz. You can adjust the ingredients accordingly, of course (cook’s discretion).
Have your heat high enough (almost medium) to entice the ketchup to open up & accept it’s new friends, but you don’t want it to boil or bubble.
You can use a fork, a whisk or your immersion blender to get this blended. I love using the immersion (out board motor) blender, but a fork works fine.
Do keep in mind this is on the burner, so don’t leave your blender in the pot (esp the nylon kind). While it’s on the burner, continue stirring. Bring it to the lowest setting, if you need to walk away from it. Use a splatter screen if you aren’t sure how low the simmer is.
If the liquid smoke that you use is with out vinegar (read the label), add it to the bbq sauce after it has cooled down a bit. Remember food safety all of the time. Up to temp, cool in a flat pan in the fridge.
1 Quart ketchup
1/2 Cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 Cup sugar
1/8 Cup garlic granulated or powdered (1 oz)
1 1/2 ounces lemon juice
30 drops Liquid Smoke Hickory (optional)
15 drops Liquid Smoke Mesquite (optional)
1 1/2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar (to cut any vinegar taste)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) does make it spicy hot
Heat all together in sauce pan. Don’t boil.