How to Build the Perfect BBQ Sauce


At our house we BBQ all year round in all kinds of weather. Below we’re going to let you in on some secrets to making an easy and delicious homemade sauce that is uniquely your own.
Every BBQ sauce is different, and that’s how it should be. Every good barbeque sauce is made up of four key elements: sweet, sour, spicy and salty. But the real key to creating your sauce is putting a unique twist on the typical BBQ flavor. Most homemade BBQ sauces are either vinegar, tomato, or mustard based, but below you’ll get a whole bunch of ideas to take your sauce from ordinary to extraordinary.

Anatomy of a BBQ Sauce


You can make a delicious sauce with ingredients that you already have in your kitchen. First you need your sweet component. Some sweet ingredients you might want to try are granulated sugar, corn syrup, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, molasses, jellies, jams, or soda. Next you need some sour to balance your sweet ingredients. Some of these ingredients include vinegar, mustard, lemon or lime juice, or juice from a pickle or relish jar.

Now that you have your sweet and sour it’s time to give your BBQ sauce a little kick, or a big one depending on your taste preferences. This is where you can start getting creative. Incorporate your favorite hot sauce, chilis, horseradish, pepper, or red cayenne pepper flakes. Anything spicy will work, but don’t forget that now we need to balance your flavors with something salty. Salt is obviously an option in this category, but you probably have some other choices in your kitchen, too. Some other options are soy sauce, fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce, olives, or capers.

The Secret Ingredient

Not everyone is a fan of every ingredient we listed above but remember that your ingredients should be an equal to its opposite and not overpower the taste of the sauce. Once you choose your ingredients it is time for the final step before you start to combine them. This is where you get to choose an ingredient to make your BBQ sauce as unique as you are, and we like to say it gives the BBQ sauce its “x factor”. An “x factor” ingredient can range from any spice of your choosing to pork fat or butter. Some other ideas are fruit preserves, liquid smoke, liquor, wine, buttermilk, apple cider, or coffee. 

If you want to create a homemade BBQ sauce that is unique you will need to experiment with some of your favorite items from the lists above. We recommend combining small amounts of ingredients until you find your desired taste and texture and then making a larger batch. 



Applewood Chipotle Blend

What’s unique about our Applewood Chipotle Blend is that we use Granulated Honey instead of brown sugar.  Combined with Smoked Applewood Salt and Chipotle Peppers the flavor profile is outstanding on anything you put it on.

Josephines Pantry Applewood Chipotle.jpg
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