Saturday, March 21, 2009

Deep South Dish Signature Barbecue Sauce

Like all regions of The South, we also have our own style of barbecue sauce, and here in the Deep South it's spicy sweet! Homemade is just so easy y'all, really it is! Give it a try and make this your signature sauce too.

Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Sauce

This is my personal homemade signature recipe for a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. When I created it, I was trying to duplicate the flavor of a very popular barbecue joint here on the coast. There are a lot of commercial barbecue sauces on the market today - some good, some fantastic - and I can tell you how to dress up the less expensive stuff, but... if you really want to bump up your barbecue, you really can't beat a good homemade sauce.

My recipe uses some chili sauce, and just in case you don't know, chili sauce has nothing to do with "chili" as in chili with or without beans! It's actually a ketchup based sauce that looks like this - sort of a seasoned ketchup if you will. If you don't have any on hand, I made up a homemade version once when I ran out. You'll find that here.

Heinz Chili Sauce is a tomato based product, containing tomato puree, onion, garlic and other seasonings

This one has the favored combination of spicy sweet that we love down here on The Coast, and you can see this sauce in action on some yummy ribs here and here, and if you like a dry rub rib but still want to offer sauce at the table for folks like me, this would be a great addition to the Memphis style Southern dry rub ribs.

Just don't have the time to do a homemade barbecue sauce? Be sure to have a peek at that cool way to dress up store-bought sauce, a trick I use a lot when you can find those inexpensive sauces on sale.

Recipe: Deep South Dish Signature Barbecue Sauce

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min | Yield: About 1-1/2 cups

  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle of chili sauce (Heinz preferred), or equivalent homemade
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup of ketchup
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 10 turns of the pepper grinder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Creole or Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon of onion salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Kitchen Bouquet
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Liquid Smoke
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of pure cane syrup (like Steen's)

Whisk together all of the ingredients.

Cook's Notes: This makes about 1-1/2 cups of sauce, so increase ingredients as needed. Add two tablespoons to 1/4 cup of Maker's Mark or Jack Daniels, for variety. May also substitute pure maple syrup, sorghum syrup, or molasses, loosened with a bit of corn syrup in place of the cane syrup. A small can of tomato sauce, additional ketchup or a combination of the two may be substituted for the chili sauce.


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Posted by on March 21, 2009

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  1. I absolutely love this site. You have saved my life. I can make all of the meals I have always wanted and they taste great! This has got to be the best cooking site ever! Thank you!

  2. I use a tsp of ham base as well as the liquid smoke in mine. I like your recipes!

  3. 1/3 c ketchup,
    1 T yellow mustard
    1 t ham base
    1/3 c honey
    1/4 t cayenne pepper
    1 t chili powder
    1/4 t turmeric
    1/4 t garlic powder
    1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 t liquid smoke
    1/4 t dry mustard
    Whisk together and use on the grill or in the oven.

    I like chili powder in lots of things, being in the southwest, and I started adding a little ham base because it adds a little more smoky flavor without being too overwhelming.

  4. What is ham base?
    PS Thank you for introducing me to Slap Ya Mama. My Mama & I use it on about everything!

    1. That's pretty much how we use it too - pretty much like an all purpose seasoning really. Ham base is like the chicken or beef base you may have heard me talking about. It's a concentrated base like bouillon but in a paste form that you can use to make broth with. Better than Bouillon is one brand - it's the same brand I use when I mention chicken and beef base in the recipes here - but there are other brands. You can see what it looks like here. It's found on the same shelf as the bouillons and flavor bases they sell now.

  5. Where have you been all my life??! I grew up eating this way and I'm from Kansas!!
    Thank you !!!!!

  6. home long can I store the sauce

    1. This isn't a big batch recipe - only makes about 1-1/2 cups - or enough for a couple racks of ribs or chicken so I only make it as I need it and haven't stored it. It's only a guess, but so long as you don't contaminate it with the raw meat (by dipping back and forth between the meat and the sauce) it should be stored covered in the fridge and probably used up in a couple of days.

  7. What is chili sauce, what brand do you use, and is this readily found at grocery stores or is it sold at specialty markets?

    1. Chili sauce is a tomato based condiment, containing tomato puree, onion, garlic and other seasonings - it's just more flavorful than basic ketchup. I prefer Heinz brand, although there are other brands out there too. It's widely available - I find it at all my local grocery stores and Walmart located near the ketchup. Hope that helps!


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