It doesn’t matter if you eat meat, prefer tofu or any of the vast variety of plant-based “meat” products on the market; barbecue evokes outdoor gatherings, laughter and celebration. I am by no means a lifelong aficionado, but I have developed some tasty tips and tricks over the years. There are countless regional sauce concoctions that are actually so easy to recreate at home from pantry items we all tend to have on hand. Here are two of my favorite sauces, along with a few tips for serving.
Carolina BBQ sauce1½ cups apple cider vinegar¼ cup tomato ketchup5 tablespoons dark brown sugar½ teaspoon garlic powder½ teaspoon onion powder⅓ teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)Ground salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a small pot and whisk together ingredients. Simmer over low heat until powders dissolve and the liquid reduces just slightly, about 5-8 minutes. This is meant to be a thin sauce. It’s simple, tangy, and doesn’t have as much sugar content as some of the other sauces out there.
Kansas City BBQ sauce1½ cups ketchup½ cup white vinegar1-3 teaspoons liquid smoke (to taste)3 tablespoons honey2 tablespoons molasses½ teaspoon cayenne pepper½ teaspoon paprika½ teaspoon garlic powder½ teaspoon onion powder½ teaspoon chili powder¼ teaspoon cinnamonGround salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a small pot and whisk together ingredients. Simmer over low heat until powders dissolve, about 5-8 minutes. This is meant to be a thicker, sweeter sauce.
Because of the high sugar content of sauces like this one, here’s what the pros recommend: add dry rub or marinate your meats in garlic, olive oil, herbs and spices, cook thoroughly and then brush generously with your favorite sauce to finish. Char slightly before removing from heat. Serve a liberal amount of dipping sauces on the side.