INSPIRATION – Barbecue Sauce

Half the battle of creating your own wonderful barbecue sauce is just getting your ass off the couch. If you actually do some research and get in the kitchen, you will find all the inspiration you need is within you. Your apron may become spotty, your pots will definitely get dirty, but the aroma will linger and the sauce will keep nicely in your fridge. Dave Anderson, owner of the Famous Dave’s restaurant chain said, “My story really just proves that anything is possible – if you’re willing to work hard and if you devote yourself to making other people happy”. That’s what barbecue sauce does, it makes people happy!

To create a unique and personalized barbecue sauce, first you need to know that barbecue sauces basically come in two different varieties: tomato based and vinegar based.

Tomato based sauces

A basic tomato based barbecue sauce starts with just that, tomatoes. This concoction starts with 2 cups of your favorite ketchup, ¼ cup cider vinegar, ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce and ¼ cup brown sugar. Mix these together in a large bowl and add a couple tablespoons of molasses and dry mustard. Finally, add a tablespoon each of your favorite barbecue dry rub, black pepper and for some heat a good quality hot sauce. Mix well and pour into in a heavy pot. Bring these to a boil and then reduce to medium and let the mixture gently simmer for about 15 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally to keep the bottom from burning the sugar.

Be Inspired

Keep in mind that this is just the basic version and we are looking for inspiration. Maybe turn this into a blackberry barbecue sauce, or a vodka infused creation, or something with a bourbon flair. The cost to experiment is very minimal, but the results could be the next big thing in barbecue sauces. It has to start somewhere, why not your kitchen?

Vinegar based sauces

Developed in the Carolina region of this country, vinegar based sauces are thinner and can double as a marinade. Start with one cup of a good quality apple cider vinegar in a large mixing bowl. Add some heat with a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes and a dash of hot sauce. Mix and then add one teaspoon salt, one tablespoon brown sugar and a dollop of molasses. Mix well and allow to sit for several hours prior to using this sauce. The difference here is that this sauce is not cooked. It is supposed to be thin. The flavors will mingle over the setting period and eventually become one.

Be Inspired

Try a substitution of honey for the molasses or remove the hot spices altogether. These are done according to personal preferences and are not the only ingredients that can be altered. Furthermore, you can add some ketchup and still consider a vinegar based sauce. However, now you have to bring this sauce to a boil so the ketchup can break down and be incorporated correctly. Once again be inspired, try finely chopping some pickled peppers and adding to the mix or throw in some finely chopped garlic. The options are nearly endless.

White barbecue sauce

Now for a real twist. Alabama grill masters have been using another type of barbecue sauce. It’s a mayonnaise based white sauce and works as a dipping sauce too! Begin with one cup of your favorite brand of mayonnaise, one teaspoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice, ¼ cup of cider vinegar and a tablespoon each of sugar and white pepper. Mix ingredients in a large bowl and allow to chill. Pretty simple and unusually tasty. This concoction is best served basted over grilled chicken. Unfortunately, this sauce is a little too rich and a bit too thick to be used as a marinade and will burn if added to the grilled items too soon. So, cook your chicken through and baste with this sauce at the very end of grilling.

Be Inspired

Although this sauce is already thick and flavorful to start, you can try adding other ingredients to jack it up a bit. Try adding some Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce or even some dry rub ingredients to make it your own. Break all the rules and dice up some pickled banana peppers or hell, maybe some diced olives. Become inspired, combine ingredients you like that will go nicely with that cut of meat you are barbecuing.

Naming conventions

Now, if you hit the jackpot and create a wonderful sauce that can encompass everything from pork to seafood, that’s when bottling becomes an option. These bottles or jars can then become gift ideas, craft show sales items or even a marketable sauce for store shelves. This is where you get into creative names and logos, marketing trends and target markets. All of this is still just based on the fact that you need to be inspired and create something special

Check out these unique sauces and names:



Granted, these are just a few unique names of some tasty barbecue sauces. They have they’re own flavor, they’re own thickness and they’re own spin on the product. Your sauce is yours using your own taste buds, your own thickness and your own spin on a great way to finish off grilled meats. Obviously, naming your sauce is jumping ahead of the game a bit cause and after all, you still have to become inspired, get off the couch and into the kitchen to create your masterpiece.


Be inspired and if you can’t find a name for your award winning sauce feel free to use Sean’s Finger Lickin’ & Lip Smackin’ Barbecue Sauce with my permission.


Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em and don’t forget your bib.


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