Whether you’re planning on cooking some delicious steaks or firing up the grill for some hamburgers and hot dogs, few things complete a meaty meal like barbecue sauce. But why should you settle for store bought barbecue sauce varieties? With a little ingenuity, you can create your own delicious homemade barbecue sauce that will make your backyard get togethers the talk of the neighborhood.
While achieving the perfect mix for your homemade barbecue sauce isn’t always easy (and will probably require a bit of trial and error), starting out with a few essential ingredients will set you on the right path. Without further ado, here are some of the top ingredients you should consider using for your homemade barbecue sauce.
Ketchup is the base for almost every variety of barbecue sauce you find in the store, so why not let it be part of your own recipe? While you might be afraid that ketchup’s flavor would prove to be too tomatoey for your personal preferences, the other ingredients that are usually added to a homemade barbecue sauce tend to cancel it out. However, using ketchup as a base ensures that your sauce is thick and has the perfect consistency for your meal.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
In some regions, vinegar serves as the as the primary sauce ingredient, creating a liquidy, tangy flavoring that is perfect for pulled pork sandwiches. You may not have any need for that type of sauce for your own backyard cooking, but even traditional barbecue sauce recipes rely on the addition of at least some apple cider vinegar to provide a little extra kick.
3. Garlic Powder
Spices are a must have if you wish to create a memorable, flavorful homemade barbecue sauce. Of all spices and herbs, there are perhaps few that are more frequently used than garlic powder. Don’t worry — as with ketchup, the inclusion of other ingredients ensures that the garlic flavor doesn’t get too overpowering. Some recipes may also mince cloves of garlic to achieve an even stronger flavor.
Do you have a sweet tooth? You’re not alone. Sweet varieties of barbecue sauce have become increasingly popular, with honey being the most popular sweetener. Thick and flavorful, honey also has the advantage of being somewhat healthier than other sugars, making it a great addition to any sweet barbecue sauce recipe. Other popular options for creating a sweet homemade barbecue sauce include molasses and brown sugar.
Not everyone wants something sweet. For individuals who prefer a stronger, spicier flavor for their barbecue sauce, the inclusion of peppers is an absolute must. You can incorporate several varieties of pepper into your recipe to achieve the right level of spiciness. From crushed red pepper flakes to sauteed jalapeno pepper, there are plenty of options available to help you create a sauce that more adventurous dinner guests will appreciate.
6. Worcestershire Sauce
The saying “A little goes a long way” is quite applicable to adding worcestershire sauce to your recipe, but there’s no denying that the distinctive flavor of this sauce can lend a great boost of flavor. While you should be careful not to overdo it, this unique flavoring can help take your homemade barbecue sauce to the next level.
From spicy to sweet, these ingredients serve as a great jumping off point as you begin formulating your own homemade barbecue sauce recipe. The most exciting part about barbecue is that even when recipes use similar ingredients, each homemade sauce can still be truly unique with the right bit of creative cooking. With the inclusion of these great tasting ingredients, your future barbecue sauce endeavors are going to be a hit!