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Classic Barbecue Sauce

Classic Barbecue Sauce

I found a Cook’s Illustrated recipe for this classic barbecue sauce and it sounded so tasty that I decided to use it over the baked ribs I was making for dinner recently. This sauce has the regular ingredients like tomatoes, tomato sauce, vinegar, sugar, and seasonings but the key is allowing it to simmer for 2 1/2 hours which allows the tomatoes to break down and the sauce becomes reduced and thickened and super flavorful. This classic barbecue sauce turned out tangy, smoky, sweet, and spicy and it tasted fantastic served on pork ribs.

Classic Barbecue Sauce

How to Make Classic Barbecue Sauce

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until hot and shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-9 minutes, or until golden brown.

Add the whole tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, orange juice, molasses, sweet paprika, chili powder, salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and liquid smoke. 

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until thickened, 2 1/2 hours.

Remove from the heat and cool for a bit. Blend with an immersion blender or blender until blended smooth. Transfer to a jar and use immediately or store sealed in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Classic Barbecue Sauce

Classic Barbecue Sauce

Classic Barbecue Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Course: Miscellaneous
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 1/2 cups
Author: Pam / Original by Cook's Illustrated

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 1 (14 oz) can of whole tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1/2 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp liquid smoke, optional, to taste

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until hot and shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-9 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Add the whole tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, orange juice, molasses, sweet paprika, chili powder, salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and liquid smoke. =
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until thickened, 2 1/2 hours.
  • Remove from the heat and cool for a bit. Blend with an immersion blender or blender until blended smooth.
  • Transfer to a jar and use immediately or store sealed in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
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5 Comments

  1. I love making homemade bbq sauce! So much better than the sugary grocery store alternatives.

  2. Years ago, I experimented with making my own bbq sauce. I never hit upon something that I really liked. But I’ve also not ever found a bottled sauce that I really like, either! Orange juice sounds like a great idea, though. And I also like that you used molasses – I’ll bet that’s interesting.