Perfect Sweet & Tangy Barbeque Sauce


Barbeque sauce, how America loves you, let me count the ways.

Put simply, barbecue sauce (or BBQ) is a flavoring used as a marinade, basting, or topping/dipping for meats and other grilled foods. While the ingredients vary as widely as the cooks creating it, most begin with a tomato and vinegar base. Other common additions include chilies, garlic, ginger, molasses or brown sugar, liquid smoke, coffee, and other spices.


For a nice history lesson and some ancient sauce recipes, check out TIME and/or Every cook has their favorite ‘secret’ recipe, perhaps passed down from grandmothers or grandfathers, or containing an unusual ingredient they will never disclose, even on pain of death.

I’ve written before about BBQ sauces, and this recipe expands upon my simpler one. Most ingredients are staples I always have around the kitchen, while things like sriracha and liquid smoke you may have to make a special purchase. You can even choose to omit those ingredients you do not have, and likely it will still be delicious. Experiment with recipes until you find one you love, then it can become your “signature” BBQ sauce.



  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 2 tbsp worchestershire sauce
  • Dash liquid smoke (1-2 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plain cola
  • 2-4 tbsp maple syrup, depending on how sweet you like it
  • Sprinkle paprika, salt & black pepper to taste

Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a giant bowl, and whisk away!


This makes a substantial amount of sauce, so be prepared to throw a huge backyard bash with tons of sauce on meats, or store what you don’t use in the refrigerator for about 2 months. The more salt or acid you add, the longer it can last in the fridge.



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