Published July 1, 2000.
How can you make a quick, all-purpose barbecue sauce from pantry ingredients without sacrificing either complex flavor or that smooth, thick texture?
Supermarket barbecue sauce is distractingly sweet and full of starchy additives that give a gummy texture and harsh chemical flavor. Homemade barbecue sauce is the natural answer to the bottled stuff, but many take all day to prepare or have ingredient lists as long as your arm. Quick and easy versions are rarely better than the bottled stuff, tasting more like a mixture of ketchup and a few spices than a true barbecue sauce.
We wanted to develop a recipe for a sweet and sour, spicy and smoky barbecue sauce. And we wanted to do it by using only "pantry" ingredients, items most home cooks are likely to have on hand.
Use ketchup as a base, adding molasses for sweetness, color, and spice. For onion flavor without chunks, puree the onion, strain the solids, and add the juice to the sauce. Add cider vinegar for fruitiness, mustard for sharpness, Worcestershire for tartness, and hot pepper sauce for spiciness and acidity. Season with chili powder, black pepper, and cayenne, with a touch of liquid smoke.list of recipes