Homemade BBQ Sauce – easier than you think!

On to the sauce!

I’ve had “make BBQ sauce” on my todo list for years. Necessity breeds invention! There was only the stuff that sticks to the side of the bottle left in some store bought bbq sauce and the cooking of dinner that required it had already started. Grrrr…

I read the label and checked the pantry. All the ingredients were present, so I dived in. 1 hour later (thank you Wendy for your patience) we had fresh, smooth, and oh so tasty bbq sauce! It passed the dip test that night. It passed the glaze test a few days later on a roasted turkey wad from Walmart.

I’m making batch two now and am documenting it for all to enjoy.

  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt / pepper
  • 2 cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • zest of one orange
  • rosemary
  1. Medium dice red onion. Place in 1 qt. sauce pan with 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Sweat onion for 10 minutes.
  2. Cut off ends of garlic. Add to onions. Add 1 tsp balsamic vinegar. Add heavy pinch of salt and pepper. Continue sweat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and raisins. Cover and simmer over low heat for one hour.


So far what is happening is the development of natural sugars. The slow sweating of onions and garlic with balsamic emulates that oven roasted goodness without all the sharp crusty bits and bitter flavor. The long covered simmer breaks open all the cell walls releasing the inner goodness of everything involved. It also makes blending the final product a much easier task.

Off to adapt Reign of Kindo for soprano sax…


So here comes the art of the sauce…FLAVOR BOMB!

  • Zest one whole orange (navel since it’s in season).
  • Pull leaves of one rosemary stem.
  • Add zest and rosemary leaves to sauce pan. Reduce heat to LOW and cover. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Put contents of sauce pan into blender or large cylindrical container. Pulse blend or use stick blender to liquefy.

Here is where you can make your own magic. Molasses, garlic, vinegar, chocolate…are all excellent modifiers for the base sauce. Enjoy your imagination!

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