Homemade BBQ Sauce 101

I have good news, my premonition was on the money and the simple act of opening the fridge unveiled a cornocopia of deliciousness! Not only were all the usual suspects there, but there were also some pieces that were going to comprise tomorrow night’s dinner, namely beef ribs. My father cooks often and one of his specialties are big beef ribs with his homemade BBQ sauce. The sauce is always a nice blend of sweet and spicy, but not the kind of hot that is uncomfortable, just enough that it’s saying hello and making sure you know it’s there.

Simply put, I used to wake up with a smile on my face with the scent of sweet onions knowing there was a serious meal being prepared for later in the day. That morning was no exception as the ribs had already been parboiled and the BBQ sauce was in the process of being reduced. I realized I had never asked about the sauce, I had just taken it for granted, so imagine my surprise when I asked for the recipe and I was told it’s whatever happens to be in the kitchen! Of course, there is a starting base to the sauce, but from there it’s all improvisation, which is really what makes it fun to cook!

Beef ribs done to perfection

Beef ribs done to perfection

It doesn’t have a name, but it does now…introducing Robert’s Whimsical and Manly BBQ Sauce

The Base

  • 1/2 of a sweet onion – finely diced
  • 4 gloves of garlic – minced

Cook down the onions and garlic, let the onions begin to caramelize, but not fully, you still want them to have a little crunch to them.

The Rest (there is no actual measurements here, this is where you play with measurements, blends, etc)

  • Ketchup (as it’s always in the fridge or at least should be)
  • Typically at least 2 types of BBQ sauce (as it’s always in the fridge or at least should be)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chinese chili sauce
  • Honey
  • Or whatever else you happen to come across

Mix them all together with the onions and garlic and let it reduce a bit on low until it seems like it has a good thick consistency. Let it chill out in the fridge to get even thicker so it can really stick to the ribs when you apply it.

Slow and low is always the mantra when doing ribs, usually around 250 degrees and they usually get coated 5-6 times with the sauce.

And for the record, they came out delicious as usual! Not only does it taste better with friends, it also definitely tastes better with family.


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Filed under BBQ Sauce, Beef Ribs, Friends, Garlic, Honey, ketchup, Sweet Onion

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