Well, we can’t really call ourselves BBQ Sauce Works, if we don’t know how to make BBQ Sauce. But here’s the thing, BBQ Sauce tastes different from all over the country. Now, you can break it down into categories, and that can make it easier to understand, but the key is taste. What kind of BBQ Sauce do you like? What’s your taste?
Try going to Texas and telling them that the best BBQ is made in Memphis. This will not be an easy conversation, and convincing a Texan that better BBQ can come from other parts of the country is like convincing a dog that he’s a cat. It’s been known to happen, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.
BBQ Sauce, right? How do we make BBQ Sauce? Well, three tastes can be the basis for each attempt at the perfect BBQ Sauce.
But first let me say, you see, I’m not a big ‘here’s how you do it’ fan. If I wanted to make a run of the mill BBQ Sauce, I’d log onto the Food Network and get a recipe from Bobby Flay, yuck. I’m an Alton Brown fan. Not ‘cuz the guy can make BBQ worth a damn, but because he’s a food scientist. He wants people to think about preparation in a scientific manor. Now, I’m not gonna go that far, but I do want people to experiment, and decide for themselves what works.
BBQ Sauce, right? The three tastes for your BBQ Sauce are:
Sweet, Tangy, or Spicy- that’s where you start.
Sweet sauce is made with lots of sugar, and almost any BBQ Sauce will have a sweetness to it. So make a base sauce, and build off of it. Try mixing just a tomato base (ketchup, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce) with something sweet (honey, corn syrup, brown sugar, white sugar, pure cane) and see what you get. Now, you know you want it sweet, but that’s not all you want. Everyone’s pallet is more complicated than that. So, let’s add a little tang. Try (apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, rice vinegar, lemon juice, etc.) Give her a taste. What do you got? Now, start adding a couple spicy elements (black pepper, mustard, garlic, cayenne, chili powder, etc.) Don’t go over board, we’re dealing in teaspoons here. Now, what do you got?
Okay, so you’ve got a sauce, now chances are you added too much of this and too little of that, or some hair-brained idea will pop in your head like pickle juice (Could be good, I don’t know, I put it in my chili) but any way you slice it, you’ve done something that you can build from. So, bring it to a slow boil, reduce it to a simmer, stirring frequently to keep it from gobbing up the bottom of the pan. Reduce it for about 25 to 30 minutes over very low heat, and see what you got.
I’ll tell you what you’ve got. You’ve got (Insert Name Here)’s Homemade BBQ Sauce. Sure to delight the entire neighborhood, after a few failed experiments that is.
But remember, Rome, Georgia wasn’t built over night.