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BBQ Sauce Recipes

Balsamic-Lime BBQ Sauce
This sauce is versatile. Every ingredient except for the balsamic vinegar and the lime juice is optional, but please try to make it once before you experiment too much. Every optional ingredient will move the sauce in a sweet or sour direction. This is a great glaze on pork, shrimp or my favorite, short ribs. Just brush it on at the end and save some for dipping.


1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2-3/4 cup ketchup/tomato paste (I favor less ketchup/tomato)
1/3 cup brown sugar1 garlic clove, smashed into a paste
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4-1/2 cup of lime juice

Optional: About 1 tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce; 1 tbsp. of mustard, preferably Dijon; a couple of ounces of honey.


Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15-20 minutes to reduce. The more you reduce the sauce, the more concentrated the flavors will be. I recommend you taste this sauce as you cook it so that you can adjust the amount of balsamic vinegar and lime to your taste.

Big Bob Gibson’s Alabama White BBQ Sauce, courtesy of Chris Lilly
This sauce is great on smoked chicken. The recipe below is enough for one chicken. I would recommend doubling it so that you can divide the sauce and dunk the chicken right off the smoker. This will coat the chicken and get you on the right path.


3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tbsp. powdered garlic
1 tbsp. prepared horseradish from a jar (either in vinegar or creamy)
1 tbsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp. mustard powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. finely ground cayenne pepper


Put all the ingredients in a big bowl and whisk until they are combined. At this point I like to put the sauce in a blender to get it very smooth. The most important part is to refrigerate the sauce for at least two hours so the flavors really blend well.

Western Carolina BBQ Sauce
This is a thin, vinegary sauce. Western Carolina BBQ sauce is basically Eastern Carolina BBQ sauce with some tomato added. This is the recipe I make, and it’s a little more complex than most traditional versions. You’ll get about nine cups of sauce. Best on pulled pork or pulled chicken. Try to refrain from drinking this straight!


2 tbsp. cottonseed oil (or some light vegetable oil; traditionally, butter is used)
40 oz. shredded or chopped onions
6 1/2 oz. minced garlic
5 cups apple cider vinegar (use distilled white vinegar for sharper, less sweet sauce)
5 tsp. ground cinnamon
10 each whole cloves
5 tbsp. ground dry mustard (Coleman’s is best)
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 1/3 cups ketchup or tomato paste (for a twist, use your favorite BBQ sauce here)
5 cups water
5 tbsp. Crushed Red Chili Flakes


Sauté the onions and garlic in cottonseed oil over medium heat until soft. Add all the other ingredients EXCEPT THE WATER and CHILI FLAKES. Blend well. Add the water and bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for about 15-30 minutes. You want the sauce to reduce a little bit, so the longer you cook it, the less watery it will be.

When done cooking, strain the sauce through a colander to remove all the solids (onions, garlic, cloves). (You can leave the solid ingredients in the sauce, but it will be different if you do.) Then add the crushed red chili flakes. You’re all set.

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