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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Recipe File: Slow Simmered Spicy Barbeque Sauce

There are many recipes for making barbeque sauces. Some are quick and simple - combining the primary flavors into a simple sauce or dipping and basting. Other recipes take a lot of time and produce a complex layering of flavors. Although the flavors may be complex, it's not necessary for the procedure to be complex. For example, this slow simmered recipe of mine is easy to throw together, requiring only the two or three hours to reduce the sauce to the desired thickness.

Start with 1/8 cup light brown sugar, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 Tbs. mild molasses, 3/8 cup distilled white vinegar, 1/2 medium onion, chopped, 1/2 Tbs. chili powder, 1/2 Tbs. paprika, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. ground black pepper, 14 oz. can whole tomatoes, and 2 large garlic cloves, minced.

Heat two tablespoons of oil and add chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook until tender.

Putting the canned tomatoes aside, whisk the ingredients together and pour into the saucepan. Add the tomatoes with the juice in the can. Optionally, you can add 1/8 cup orange juice (or my favorite, pineapple juice) at this point. Stir over high heat until ingredients are integrated and begins to boil.

Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer uncovered. Simmer for two or more hours (stirring occassionally) until the sauce thickens to the desired level.

Although, the onions and tomatoes have probably disintegrated into the sauce, let the sauce cool a bit and pour into a bar blender for a quick puree.

This final barbecue sauce is rich and flavorful. I find that it start out with a sharp tangy flavor from the tomatoes followed by sweet molasses and punctuated with chili pepper spices at the end. Adding liquid smoke and other flavorings (or removing the spices) will tailor the sauce to your tastes.

Slow Simmered Spicy BBQ Sauce (makes about 16 oz.; recipe can be doubled)
2 Tbs. oilcook until tendercombine and bring to boilsimmer until reducedpuree
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup ketchupwhisk
3/8 cup distilled white vinegar
1/8 cup light brown sugar
1 Tbs. mild molasses
1/2 Tbs. chili powder
1/2 Tbs. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
14 oz. can whole tomatoes
Copyright Michael Chu 2004

posted by Michael Chu @ 8/25/2004 10:42:46 AM   16 comments
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At 2:34 AM, Anonymous said...

I love the site, but dont like the units. Well only the weight is a problem. How many oz on a kilo? (or grams on a oz).

At 2:43 AM, Anonymous said...

Never leave home without it.

At 3:27 AM, Michael Chu said...

14 oz. is about 400 grams. A great conversion tool is Google search engine. Just type in "1/8 cup in milliliters" or "14 oz. in grams" and it spits out the conversion.

At 7:30 AM, Anonymous said...

If you substitute tomato paste for the ketchup, you will be leaving out all the MSG that ketchup makers hide in the ingredient called "natural flavors". Recommended.

At 7:54 AM, Steve Troxel said...

I always spike my BBQ Sauce with a little bit of Ancho Peppers. Adds an earthy smokey mystic flavour.

At 10:51 AM, eadmund said...

Re. Units

units is a GNU program which can perform about a hillion jillion different unit conversions (sadly, though, it doesn't do temperatures).

One should note, though, that standard units are better than French for cooking: scaling recipes is normally much simpler, and the units lend themselves to experimentation much more easily.

At 1:35 PM, Anonymous said...

units does temperatures if you use tempF and tempC, eg:

You have: tempC(20)
You want: tempF

easy, isn't it :)

At 5:30 PM, Adam said...

I just made this. I actually used Mrs. Butterworth's syrup instead the molasses (because... honestly... who has molasses?).

I used stewed 'Cajun Style' tomatoes (go w/ whats in the pantry... I hate going to the store) instead of whole tomatoes, and I think it added some nice flavor.

Anyways... this bbq sauce on the 'Faux BBQ Ribs'... whats ridiculously good.

Absolutely amazing. Simple and delicious... I honestly don't think I'll ever buy BBQ sauce again.

At 2:15 AM, Jose Rizal said...

Man, I love cooking too. Thanks for this barbecue sauce recipe. Is it ok for me to share some of my different recipes? These are mostly Filipino food.

At 2:36 AM, Michael Chu said...

Jose, I just started a community forum for this website at where you can post your recipes (along with cooking tips, general comments, and site requests).

At 5:20 AM, uncle said...

i tend to put honey in (any you have but Greek is the best)

also the old standard worchester sauce.. works miracles .

At 8:56 PM, Anonymous said...

Ok its over the top but has to be ultimate web tool for that sort of thing.


At 7:17 PM, osueng02 said...

For an additional smokey kick to this sauce you can also try smoked paprika. It adds another layer to typically sweet and spicy sauces and rubs.

At 10:51 PM, Anonymous said...

I was on a kick tonight... made dinner... cooked a batch of your limeade.. and finally had the stuff to make this. It was on. I'm a sucker for homemade anything... an in particular condiments... this stuff is good. I just cooked up a batch. It's a nice quantity. Enough to put in a squeeze bottle in the fridge and another bit to freeze for later use. It's a good sauce. I'd also like to try to make a sweeter sauce without the spice... something bold but a little more subtle... maybe a honey barbecue.... mmm... Not quite to a point where I can make this stuff up yet... but making stuff always helps. I used organic ketchup... heinz makes organic now and it works quite well and helps you miss the corn syrup and aforementioned "natural flavors". Anywho... good recipe as usual.

Question: How long do you all fathom this would keep for in a lided container in the fridge?

At 10:50 AM, Michael Chu said...

re: refrigerator shelf life

I'd guess that the sauce will hold up in the refrigerator for about two weeks (unless you poured it in canning jars or vacuum sealed it)

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous said...

anonymous wrote:
MSG that ketchup makers hide in the ingredient called "natural flavors"

This puzzled me as I believe there are people who are allergic to MSG so hiding it like this would be unsafe (and possibly illegal). So I did a search and came up with the following from the Heinz site:

Is there any hidden MSG in Heinz Products?
Any of our products that contain Monosodium Glutamate, or MSG, would clearly state this ingredient on the label. There is no hidden MSG in Heinz products.

And the following from the Hunts site:

Q: Is there any MSG in Hunt's Tomato Products?
A: Hunt's products do not contain any added monosodium glutamate. [The answer goes on to mention a particular spaghetti sauce they make which is an exception]

So I'd say the whole "ketchup contains MSG" thing is an urban myth.


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