Basic Ingredients for Any Barbecue Sauce
Most all barbecue sauce contains these basic ingredients:
* Tomato (in some form)
It's the other additional ingredients that makes it special, distinctive and "one of a kind".
Let's start with a basic recipe
* 1 cup ketchup
* 1/2 cup water
* 2 tablespoons vinegar
* 1 clove garlic, chopped fine or 1-2 tablespoon garlic powder
* salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan, bring to a boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Now for the fun part.
In order to create you own secret sauce, you must accept in the beginning that you are experimenting. At some point, you are probably going to add an ingredient or too much of an ingredient that makes a sauce you do not like. Which means you may need to throw away a few batches of sauce and start over, until you hit that magic formula.
Obviously, it is important to taste as you go. Always begin with a small amount of any ingredient. Then taste the sauce. If you like it, maybe you want to add more of that last ingredient. Be sure to have paper and pen handy
and write down the ingredients and amounts as you go. Above all, have fun and when you hit the right formula, take pride in knowing you have your own, personal, secret Barbecue Sauce
Here are some ingredients to experiment with. These ingredients work well with most BBQ sauces. Add any or all, in any amounts you want to the basic recipe above for your experiments.
* Cocoa (powder, unsweetened). Start with 1 teaspoon
* Liquid smoke. Start with 1/2 teaspoon.
* Brown sugar or molasses. Start with 2 tablespoons
* Cola/Pepsi. Start with 1/2 cup.
* Beer. Start with 1/2 cup.
* Orange juice. Start with 1/4 cup
* Different types of vinegar (malt, balsamic, garlic flavored, etc) Start with 2 tablespoons.
* Tomato sauce, tomato paste, whole tomatoes in place of, or in addition to ketchup
* Honey. Start with 1 teaspoon
* Hot sauce (tabasco, etc.) Start with 1 teaspoon
* Anything else you want to try
* Thickening your sauce:
If you want thicker sauce, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch in 4 tablespoons COLD water. Stir until cornstarch is dissolved. At the end of simmering the sauce, add 1/2 of the cornstarch mixture. Bring sauce back to a simmer while stirring. Watch for 30 seconds (continuing to stir). If you want thicker, add remainder of cornstarch mixture and continue simmering and stirring. If still not thick enough, make another batch of cornstarch mix and just add more of the mix and continue stirring and simmering. Be aware that the sauce will thicken more as it cools.
Most people prefer a smoky flavor with a slightly tomato, slightly sweet, slightly spicy taste. The color should be deep maroon. Most like a thickness that is not watery, yet not too thick. Similar to pancake syrup.
* If sauce is bland (tasteless- no kick): add more salt first. If still bland, add more garlic, pepper, ketchup, hot sauce, in that order, tasting after each addition. Even if you do not like spicy sauce, just a touch of hot sauce will liven up the sauce without making it spicy.
To adjust color: additional ketchup or tomato sauce will make a lighter red color. Cocoa or liquid smoke will make a darker color.
So, give it a try and have fun.