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Best Ever Garlicky Tangy BBQ Sauce

Homemade BBQ sauce

My husband made up the title for this sauce.  It’s his recipe and I just wrote it down.  Only a little bit of encouraging was needed.  It’s so good you’ll want a spoon.  A big spoon.  I spilled some on the counter and considered licking it off but stopped myself.  (Please don’t tell my kids I considered this because they’d be so busted if I caught them doing this.)  When this BBQ sauce gets cooking, our kitchen smells so good.  Now that we’ve got a batch, I’ll have to come up with something delicious to go along with the sauce.  The sauce is the best part of the meal.  You’ll love this, too, especially if you like garlicky, tangy BBQ sauces.

Here are his tips and why you should make this recipe…

  • It’s easy to make
  • Use it to baste whatever you’re grilling (chicken, beef, pork or shrimp)
  • Serve extra on the side, at the table
  • Best served warm but is still good cold

BBQ sauce

Best Ever Garlicky Tangy BBQ Sauce
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: American
Author: Sara Tetreault
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10-15
Make a double batch of this and freeze it for later. It’s so good and then you don’t have to buy bbq sauce again!
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 5 or 6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Smokey Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (any flavor you like, I go with mesquite or hickory)
  • 2 teaspoons Frank’s hot sauce ([url href=”” target=”_blank”]Our favorite spices and why[/url])
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
  • 2 teaspoons pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 1/2 cups ketchup (organic or other without high fructose corn syrup)
  • 1 Tablespoon molasses
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  1. On the stove top, over medium heat:
  2. Melt butter in medium saucepan and add oil.
  3. Add onions and saute until soft, several minutes.
  4. Add garlic and stir together.
  5. Add remaining ingredients.
  6. Saute for about 20 minutes.
  7. Let cool and enjoy. Sauce is best served a little warm.
Use ketchup that does not have high fructose corn syrup in it. This makes the recipe too sweet. Trader Joe’s makes a good one (organic) and I found Muir Glen organic ketchup at Costco recently. Yes, you have to buy several but it’s very good ketchup.

The truth is, I eat this with a spoon right out of the saucepan. It’s so good.

Garlicy Tangy BBQ Sauce

Tips for best ever garlicky, tangy BBQ sauce

  • Use ketchup that does not have high fructose corn syrup in it.  This makes the recipe too sweet.
  • When using the last of your ketchup, add 2-3 Tablespoons water (or beer!) to jar and shake well to empty container completely.  Add this to your saucepan.
  • If you like thicker sauce, sauté for 20 minutes with the lid off of the saucepan.  If you prefer thinner sauce, leave the lid on the saucepan.
  • Cool and serve at room temperature or warm.
  • Store in covered container in refrigerator.
  • May be made ahead and frozen.

Variations include adding 1 teaspoon chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce for a smokier, spicier, Mexican influenced version.  Or, you could add 2 teaspoons of Old Bay if you’re using this sauce on shrimp.

Best ever garlicky tangy BBQ sauce
His most awesome grill-master: My husband!

Don’t forget your big spoon with this recipe.  You can eat the sauce on its own but you really shouldn’t.  Thanks for sharing, honey!

What’s your favorite sauce for grilling?  Do you have a super-secret recipe?

Go Gingham Related Links:

Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce
Spicing it up in the kitchen
Serve with this side: corn and black bean salad
Grilled Thanksgiving turkey

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