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Why buy barbecue sauce when you can design your own?


America's Test Kitchen



Barbecue sauce is one of the most versatile sauces out there -- it can be served as a dipping sauce or a topping, brushed onto protein and vegetables during cooking, or stirred into beans and shredded meat after cooking. 


Further contributing to its versatility is the fact that there are so many styles found throughout the United States, from sweet and tomatoey to thin and vinegary, to thick and creamy. And while you can find plenty of bottled barbecue sauces, making your own is simple and provides a range of flavor and texture possibilities that taste worlds better than store-bought. Even with their basic ingredient lists, all of these sauces will give any food a boost of bold, tangy flavor. 


This sauce can be used on just about anything. For a thinner, smoother texture, strain the sauce after it has finished cooking. 






Start to finish: 30 minutes 


Servings: 4-6 (Makes 2 cups) 




1 tablespoon vegetable oil 


1 onion, chopped fine 


Salt and pepper 


1 garlic clove, minced 


1 teaspoon chili powder 


1 1/4 cups ketchup 


6 tablespoons molasses 


3 tablespoons cider vinegar 


2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 


2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 




  • Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and pinch salt and cook until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 


  • Whisk in ketchup, molasses, vinegar, Worcestershire, and mustard. Bring sauce to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 2 cups, about 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.) 


    Nutrition information per serving: 154 calories; 21 calories from fat; 2 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 905 mg sodium; 35 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 28 g sugar; 1 g protein.



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