Being inspired to create your own unique barbecue sauce is just half the battle. You actually have to do some research, get in the kitchen, pull out some ingredients and then cook. Your apron will become spotty, pots will get dirty, but the aromas will linger and the sauce can keep in your fridge for quite awhile. The first thing you need to know is that barbecue sauces come in basically two different varieties: tomato based and vinegar based.
Tomato based sauces
A basic tomato based barbecue sauce starts with just that, tomatoes. Set aside an hour, take your time and get this sauce bubbling. It starts with 2 cups of your favorite ketchup, ¼ cup cider vinegar, ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce and ¼ cup brown sugar. Mix these together in a large bowl. Add a couple tablespoons of molasses and a couple tablespoons of dry mustard. Finally, add a tablespoon each of your favorite barbecue dry rub, black pepper and for some heat a good quality hot sauce. Mix well and pour into in a heavy pot. Bring these to a boil and then reduce to medium and let the mixture gently simmer for about 15 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally to keep the bottom from burning the sugar.
Keep in mind that this is just the basic version. We are looking for inspiration. This inspiration could set your sauce apart from the million others on the market. Maybe a blackberry barbecue sauce, or a vodka infused concoction, or something with a bourbon flair. The cost to experiment a bit is very minimal but the result could be the next Open Pit® brand of sauce. It has to start somewhere, why not your kitchen?
Vinegar based sauces
Developed in the Carolina region of this country, vinegar based sauces are thinner and can double as a marinade. A basic vinegar barbecue sauce starts with, you guessed it, a good quality apple cider vinegar. Pour one cup of vinegar into a large mixing bowl. Add some heat with a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes and a dash of hot sauce. Mix and then, add one teaspoon salt, one tablespoon brown sugar and a dollop of molasses. Mix well and allow to sit for several hours prior to using this sauce. The difference here is that this sauce is not cooked. It is supposed to be thin. The flavors will mingle over the setting period and eventually become one.
Try a substitution of honey for the molasses or remove the hot spices altogether. These are done according to personal preferences and are not the only ingredients that can be altered. Furthermore, ketchup may even be added, but this will still be considered a vinegar based sauce. The twist is now you have to bring this sauce to a boil so the ketchup can break down and be incorporated correctly. Once again be inspired, try finely chopping some pickled peppers and adding to the mix or throw in some finely chopped garlic. The options are nearly endless.
White barbecue sauce
Now for a real twist. Alabama grill masters have come up with another type of barbecue sauce. A whiteone. It’s a mayonnaise based sauce and works as a dipping sauce too! Begin with one cup of your favorite brand of mayonnaise, one teaspoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice, ¼ cup of cider vinegar and a tablespoon each of sugar and white pepper. Mix ingredients in a large bowl and allow to chill. Pretty simple and unusually tasty. This concoction is best served basted over grilled chicken. The ingredients make this sauce a little too rich and a bit too thick to be used as a marinade. And you can be sure it will burn if added to the grilled items too soon. So, cook your chicken through and baste with this sauce at the very end of grilling. Thick and flavorful to start you can also try adding other ingredients such as Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce or even some dry rub ingredients to make it your own.
Now, if you hit the jackpot and create a wonderful sauce that can encompass everything from pork to seafood, that’s when bottling it becomes an option. These bottles or jars can then become gift ideas, craft show sales items or even a marketable sauce for store shelves. This is where you get into creative names and logos, marketing trends and target markets. All of this is still just based on the fact that you need to be inspired and create something special.
Check out these unique sauces and names:
- Hog’s Ass Barbecue Sauce
- Dancing Pigs Barbecue Sauce
- Road Kill Barbecue Sauce
- Funni Bonz Barbecue Sauce
Granted, these are just a few unique names of some tasty barbecue sauces. They have they’re own flavor, they’re own thickness and they’re own spin on the product. Your sauce is yours. Your taste, your thickness and your own spin. Obviously, naming your sauce is jumping ahead of the game a bit cause after all, you still have to get off the couch and into the kitchen to create your masterpiece.
So be inspired, fill the sauce void you have in your fridge, and create something unique. And if all else fails, you can always use Sean’s Finger Lickin’ & Lip Smackin’ Barbecue Sauce with my permission.
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em and don’t forget your bib.