Homemade BBQ Sauce


When I moved out of my parents’ home and into my own apartment about 10 minutes away–it was more of a statement than anything else–I bought my first cookbook LaBelle Cuisine and attempted the buffalo wings.  I forgot to tell my then lactose intolerant boyfriend Pru that it was coated in butter and Tabasco sauce and so he spent many hours realizing that fact in the bathroom.  I was remorseful.  My second attempt was the homemade BBQ sauce because of my love for all things sweet and fatty at the time, many years and 50 pounds ago.  My love for cooking was born and I never looked back.  My still lactose intolerant husband Pru happily participates as guinea pig who gives feedback and comments freely on improvements needed.

Today, I collect cookbooks more for the beautiful, colorful pictorials and the sweet smell of a newly cracked book and tactile sensation of flipping actual pages–all things missing from Googling recipes.


This awesome BBQ sauce is adapted from Miss Labelle’s version and my introduction to the wonder that is liquid smoke.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon hot red pepper sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

For the sauce: Heat the oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, hot pepper sauce, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Bring to a simmer, stirring. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer, stirring often to avoid scorching, for 15 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the liquid smoke. Use immediately or cool completely, cover and refrigerate.

*Note: I’ve been known to use and keep a bottle in my fridge for months, though the recipe originally indicates to keep for 5 days.  No one has been the wiser.








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