The Condiment Series: A Nod To BBQ Sauce

My latest Pinterest boards tell all. I am ready to picnic in the park, host a swim party and cheer for my favorite football team. And wouldn’t you know it, I just made up a batch of something that ties them all together. Homemade BBQ sauce. I like it sweet; especially with ribs. But aside from the sweetness, this sauce has a deep, full flavor due to the balsamic vinegar. Me like. This is also great on shrimp or all by itself as a dipping sauce. Bring on summertime!

Sweet Honey-Garlic BBQ Sauce

(print recipe card)

1 cup ketchup
1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon honey
dash basic spice rub (optional, adds spiciness)
water as needed

Makes about 1 pint.

sauce is taking shape

Mix all ingredients together but the water. Taste it at this point and add more of whatever you desire. (options below)

Next, add it to a small saucepan over low heat. Stir continuously as the sauce heats up and thickens. This is when you should add water as needed. I don’t usually need much of it but you may like it thinner so keep a small amount nearby just in case. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the brown sugar is completely dissolved and the sauce is smooth in texture.

do we eat now?

If you are using the sauce for din din tonight, then stick it into the fridge for a bit – about an hour or so – and let the flavors come together. If you want to can the sauce, use the water bath method and process for 15-25 minutes, depending on how thick it is. (See the main canning page for more details.)

The Cheaters Way To BBQ

thighs and legs - a girl's best weapon

I like to throw some onto chicken or ribs, roast or braise it and forget about it. The hubby uses it for grilling, and takes it to a whole new level.

For the above meal, I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper, tossed in a bit of the BBQ sauce, and let it slowly simmer away. Turn the chicken often and cook until it wants to fall off the bone; about 45 minutes.

sticky sweet

To roast, lay the pieces in a roasting pan so they don’t touch each other, then drizzle more BBQ sauce over each piece so everything is well covered. Don’t turn the chicken at all so the sauce stays put. Bake as you usually do – uncovered. I bake at around 350 for about an hour, but it really depends on your oven and well done you like it.

“I’m hot, sticky sweeeet! From my head to my feet!” (Some things just make me burst into song.)


Even sweeter sauce: Increase honey (1 tablespoon at a time) to your liking
Smokey sauce: Add 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
Especially good with pork sauce: Omit the honey and replace it with pineapple juice, or use pineapple juice to thin sauce as needed