Serious Eats: Recipes

Grilling: Basic Barbecue Sauce

On Fridays, Joshua Bousel drops by with a recipe for you to grill over the weekend. Fire it up, Joshua!

Although I love barbecue sauces of all types, the standard around my house is still the tomato-based variety that's ingrained in our collective American consciousness. While choices of sauce abound at any local megamart, I've yet to find one that rivals making my own from scratch.

This basic sauce base takes about 15 minutes to make from start to finish and consists of ingredients that are almost always on hand in my kitchen. Knowing the ease of making homemade and the quality of the end product, I cannot comprehend why bottled sauces are so popular, especially since this standard base is merely a launching point for infinite varieties.

I'll make a huge batch at the beginning of the season and continue to modify it in smaller batches with new flavors. Adding some sautéed onions adds a nice robustness, throw in some jalapeños to give it a kick, pineapple juice for a tropical sweetness, and so on. With so much opportunity for experimentation, all of which probably yield better results than those supermarket bottles, I hope you'll make the switch to homemade barbecue sauce, if you haven't already.

Basic Barbecue Sauce

Adapted from How to Grill by Steven Raichlen.

Printed from

© Serious Eats