I'd like some BBQ sauce recipe inspiration please

I’m having a BBQ Saturday for about 20 people. Serving pulled pork, beef brisket and I’ll probably cook a couple chickens too.

I use dry rub only when cooking the meat. The sauce is for personal choice when serving. I picked up a 1/2 dozen of those little squeezy bottles for a few different varieties of sauce.

I typically modify a sauce recipe from the west side of North Carolina. NC in General makes a thin sauce with a lot of vinegar. The acidity of the vinegar cuts through the fat of the pulled pork nicely. I favor the west side recipe because east NC uses no tomato product whatsoever, whereas west uses some ketchup in their recipe. And I like a little tomato in my sauce. I use tomato sauce instead of ketchup because the recipe already has plenty of vinegar as mentioned, and sugar, and I like starting from scratch. Thinking about using tomato paste this time instead of sauce to end up with a little bit thicker sauce that’ll stick to the meat better.

I usually make 2 types which are just mild and spicy variations of that west NC style. But I’m looking to change things up a little (maybe a lot). What kinds of serving sauces do you guys like? I’m thinking I want to try a super spicy habanero sauce, and maybe something in a completely different direction. Lay some ideas on me!

How about a mustard sauce? I’ve got some pulled pork simmering in the sous-vide machine right now, and I’ve mixed up a batch of this stuff to go with it.

Maybe something Asian like a Korean ssamjang?

Most of your guests will probably want a Texas-style sauce for the brisket. Not that a real Texan would use a sauce, mind you. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve considered a mustard-based sauce. I’ve had have my doubts I. The past, but that recipe sounds good, and it’s certainly authentic-- I like the sauce region map for east vs west, NC vs. SC. Maybe I’ll do a trilogy of sauces based on the Carolinas. Thanks Smapti!

Little Nemo, that ssamjang sounds delicious, but I want to keep it at least somewhat traditional Southern-style BBQ. Although I’ve been considering using some Asian non-traditional secret ingredients in otherwise traditional sauces like adding fish sauce, spicy bean paste, maybe a little ginger…? So I may take some inspiration from ssanjang, thanks!

Great ideas so far, keep 'em coming!

Yeah Silenus, what’s a Texas-style sauce? I did think Texas-style was strictly dry-rub.

Mustard sauce is my favorite! I only eat mustard-based or plain pork.

I make a simple sauce for pork all the time: Apricot jam, garlic, and soy sauce.

I prefer a coke and siracha reduction. All the the best flavors plus an Asian twist and very easy to do.

I posted to suggest mustard sauce. The best I ever made was like this, but with just mustard, brown sugar and vinegar.

I won a contest the first time I used this recipe. Its a black pepper sauce from “The Shack”


And they had the best barbecue that I have ever eaten. I knew someone who worked there, and apparently some rats dragging a rack of ribs across the kitchen floor did not go unnoticed by the Arkansas Health Department, and they closed.

I was going to suggest mustard sauce, as well, but feared possible backlash against mustard sauce. :slight_smile: (Hey, these things are contentious.) When I do pork, I basically do the classic Carolina sauces and then something that starts off with a Lexington sauce, but with frozen apple juice concentrate, allspice, and some brown sugar. I don’t have a specific recipe–I just go with the flow and adjust and taste. For brisket, I go for more of a cumin flavor profile, and tend to do Kansas City style sauces, which usually are a bit sweeter. Something like this would be a good starting point.

Texas-style, like the sauce available at Black’s, is sort of a sweet/spicy sauce. Not as sweet as KC, and with a little kick to it. Hmmmm…try this:

2 tblsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tblsp onion powder
2 cups ketchup
1/2 lb. brown sugar
1/2 cup Worcestershire
1/3 cup lemon juice
3/4 tsp cayenne
1 chipotle chili in abobo, minced
1 jalapeno, minced

Combine ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Simmer until reduced, about 15 minutes or so. Season with salt/pepper to taste.

This sauce is for tourists. People who know Texas BBQ would never use it.

I haven’t tried it out yet, but I just saw a recipe for BBQ’d chicken where the sauce was basically pureed roasted red peppers and vinegar. I’m intrigued and will give it a shot on Friday.

Personal favourite is KC style. Sweet Tomato base. I’ve got a recipe I’ve been refining for a long time, which I start off with a Bourbon base.

I was at Kroger the other day, and some lady handing out free sample turned me onto Siverback Gorrill’n sauce. and now I’m freak’n hooked!
A very unique flavor. It’s a Texas based company. Looks like they are just starting out too. The owners refuse to call this sauce bbq sauce as the flavor is so unique. I can see why too.

I used it on a steak the other day (NOT something I would do with regular BBQ sauce) and it was delicious!

Thanks for the ideas! I’m thinking I’ll narrow it down to 3 of these 4: my usual east NC style sauce, a SC style mustard sauce, maybe a KC style, and something spicy and less traditional- either an Asian inspired sauce or maybe something based on a jerk marinade- pulykamell mentioing allspice got me thinking.

Clove is also nice as the fragrant spice in a barbecue sauce. There’s a couple places around here that have clove as an obvious component, and I happen to like it. Be careful–a little goes a long way. Allspice is my take on the same idea, although you can go more the jerk way if you add some thyme and habanero or Scotch bonnets. I do jerk rubbed ribs (either homemade jerk paste or Walkerswood which is almost as good and doesn’t require any work.)