Recipe: Quick and Easy BBQ Sauce

I know that folks out there are serious about their ‘cue. There are regional wars fought over the “right” BBQ. The lengths people go to for that perfect flavor is mind-boggling: brining, top-secret spice blends, mopping, wood chips, smoking, marinating. And of course, the star ingredient—the sauce.

Will this sauce win you any awards and get you featured on the Food Network? No. Is it quick and easy and delicious for your weekday grilling adventures? Abso-freakin’-lutely. (If you’re looking for something a little different and a bit fancier, check out my Blackberry BBQ Sauce.)

I used this on boneless pork spareribs that went on the grill, just slathered it right on and basted it with every turn. If you plan on using this on meat after it’s been cooked, my advice would be to simmer it on low for about 20 minutes to cook the tomato paste and get the flavors to melt together. It would also be great on chicken, beef, lamb, shrimp, and game meats.

I like to keep a jar of this in my fridge through the summer grilling season—a batch should last a month or so.

BBQ SauceQuick and Easy BBQ Sauce

1 8 oz. jar/can/tube tomato paste

1 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses

1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1/2 Tbsp. fish sauce

1/2 Tbsp. onion powder

1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

—Combine all ingredients in a bowl together. Either slather on meat as it grills or simmer in a saucepan over medium-low heat for 20 minutes to use on meat after it cooks.

Makes a little more than a cup of sauce.

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11 Responses to “Recipe: Quick and Easy BBQ Sauce”

  1. What do you think about using date molasses as opposed to blackstrap?

    • I’ve never tried it, but it sounds like it might work. The blackstrap adds a darker, deeper component to the sauce, and of course a hit of sweetness to balance the tang. If you try it, let me know!

  2. Is there an alternative to fish sauce? I really don’t like it :-(

    • Really?! Oh no! On its own, I’ll admit, it’s kinda bizarre and nasty, but the flavor it adds to foods once it’s all blended in is unparalleled. If you like Thai food at all, then you like fish sauce without knowing it.

      If you were okay with some anchovy, you could blend a few of those in with a food processor. Otherwise, you’d have to do something like Worcestershire sauce, wheat-free soy sauce, or coconut aminos, and even then the flavor wouldn’t be the same. But give it a go!

  3. Great recipe! I used a modified version of this for shredded pork and chicken and it turned out great. I omitted the fish sauce (people in my life don’t appreciate fish sauce like I do), added a little cinnamon, a little bit of liquid aminos and upped the smoked paprika. Delicious! Thank you!

  4. I followed the recipe entirely and correctly and what I got was really thick tomato paste that didn’t really taste like barbecue sauce, did I forget a step here or is that kinda how it’s supposed to be?? I’m thinking that maybe tomato sauce would have been better rather than paste

    • Hmm…dunno. It could’ve been the tomato paste you used or the recipe just didn’t jive with you. I find that when using tomato paste, quite a bit of salt is required to bring out flavors.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 16 Homemade Paleo BBQ Sauces - Paleo Grubs - 12/22/2013

    […] 16. Quick and Easy BBQ Sauce When you’re in a hurry and just want to have a sauce for dipping your chicken in, this is the sauce to crank out. It has just 8 ingredients, and the directions are pretty much mix them all together and eat. You might not feel like you worked hard enough to produce anything, but it actually does work to make a barbecue sauce that saves you from the junk they sell in the stores. This way you know you’re getting a quality sauce, but you don’t have to spend all afternoon making it. […]

  2. 16 Homemade Paleo BBQ Sauces | Get Fit Bookmark - 12/23/2013

    […] 16. Quick and Easy BBQ Sauce When you’re in a hurry and just want to have a sauce for dipping your chicken in, this is the sauce to crank out. It has just 8 ingredients, and the directions are pretty much mix them all together and eat. You might not feel like you worked hard enough to produce anything, but it actually does work to make a barbecue sauce that saves you from the junk they sell in the stores. This way you know you’re getting a quality sauce, but you don’t have to spend all afternoon making it. […]

  3. 5 BBQ Sauce Recipes Collection | Paleo Diet Recipes - 06/03/2014

    […] 1. Quick and Easy BBQ Sauce Recipe: […]

  4. That one time I made half a gallon of barbecue sauce… | Just Another Hungry Runner - 08/19/2014

    […] Main – Shredded BBQ pork and shredded BBQ chicken (Easiest way to shred chicken ever) Homemade BBQ sauce (I used a modified version of this recipe) […]

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