Chipotle Barbecue Sauce on Wednesday, June 17, 2015.
may talk about your barbecue. You may even brag that your
barbecue is world-famous.
knowing how to cook meat at just the right temperature is
only a small part of the barbecue experience. Making a rub
is merely the first step.
are going to claim credit for world-beating barbecue, you
canít cover it with something that comes out of a jar.
Real masters of the barbecue make their own sauce.
sure, plenty of great, commercially available barbecue
sauces are out there. And buying one at the store is easier
than making it yourself. But when you get right down to it,
itís not that much easier.
barbecue sauces are a mixture of sweet tastes and tart, of
rich flavors and acid, of spiciness and salt. The key lies
in selecting the appropriate ingredients and using them to
create a breathless balance among the competing flavors.
an idea of where to start, I turned first to Steven Raichlen.
Of course, I turned to Steven Raichlen. Raichlen has written
more than 25 books, many of them about barbecue, including
the irreplaceable "The Barbecue! Bible." I took a
couple of his books down from the bookcase and eagerly paged
when I saw that most of his barbecue sauce recipes contain
liquid smoke. Iíll still swear by "The Barbecue!
Bible" as an unimpeachable source for recipes about
international methods for grilling meat, but I have always
held that using liquid smoke is cheating.
instead I pulled out a recipe I have been making for 15
years. Itís from Texas, and therefore meant to go with
barbecued beef brisket. But this is such an all-purpose
sauce that it would go just as well with pork ribs, chicken
and even lamb. It is the ultimate expression of a perfectly
balanced barbecue sauce.
begins with a base of ketchup and tomatoes. For sweetness,
it calls for equal measures of molasses and brown sugar.
Aromatic notes are provided by onions, garlic and
Worcestershire sauce. An unexpected depth comes from a
half-cup of coffee. And the required heat comes courtesy of
Dijon mustard and a couple of chipotle peppers ó which
also create the smokiness (but not the liquid smokiness)
that is so desirable in barbecue.
sauce such as this one should be used judiciously, and only
at the end of cooking. In fact, if you are making it for
brisket, it should only be served on the side of the already
cooked meat. For other uses, such as ribs or chicken, it
should only be added in the last few minutes over the fire.
Any longer than that and the sugar and the molasses will
Texas sauce, besides being a Texas sauce, also might be
considered a Midwestern sauce because it has some sweetness
to it and a tomato base. Itís what people in most parts of
the country consider a barbecue sauce.
not the good folks of North Carolina. In North Carolina, or
at least in eastern North Carolina, they donít want to
talk about tomatoes in their barbecue sauce. They donít
even want to hear about tomatoes. Barbecue sauce in eastern
North Carolina is made from vinegar, with peppers in it and
maybe a few other spices.
vinegar-based sauce cuts right through the richness of
pulled pork. But it also makes a spectacular barbecued
favorite bottled vinegar-based sauce is called Scottís
Barbecue Sauce. It is sold throughout the southeast but is
made in a tiny little restaurant in Goldsboro, N.C., a
midsize town that is not particularly near anywhere else.
the company is not about to release its secret recipe. So I
set about to try to re-create it. Mine might not taste
exactly like Scottís, but it is awfully good in its own
began with a mixture of two vinegars, white and apple cider.
Then I tossed in 1 1/2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper ó how
much you add depends on how hot you want it ó and equal
amounts of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and
paprika. Why equal amounts? I wanted to keep it simple.
version had a wonderful, surprisingly complex flavor, a
pleasant tang, plenty of heat and no sweetness whatsoever.
It is not what a lot of people think of as barbecue sauce;
it is thin in texture and tastes more like a vinegary hot
sauce. It can be used as a marinade or as a finishing sauce,
served on the side once the pulled pork is cooked or basted
over chicken while it is on the grill.
tried it with chicken and loved it. I canít wait to use it
still wasnít done with vinegar-based sauces, because I
wanted to make Frankís Famous Barbecue Sauce.
no idea who Frank is. I donít even know if his sauce is,
in fact famous. It lacks the garlic and onion powders and
paprika of my version, but it compensates with mustard. And
instead of cayenne, it uses Texas Pete hot sauce.
how you know it is truly a North Carolina sauce. Made in
Winston-Salem, N.C., Texas Pete is practically the national
dish of North Carolina. But here is the catch: It is not
available anywhere near here. I used a supermarket brand
is one more thing about Frankís. It calls for a full pound
of vegetable shortening to be melted into a quart of apple
cider vinegar. Maybe that was acceptable some 40 years ago,
when the recipe was written. But Iím just not going to
subject anyone to that much fat, so instead I used 1/4 cup
of the shortening.
that relatively little amount makes a difference. It gives
the sauce more depth, more richness. I tried mine over
pulled pork, and it proved to be the perfect counterpoint.
only problem is that you have to use it while it is warm.
Otherwise, the shortening begins to re-form back into its
gooey, gelatinous state.
CHIPOTLE BARBECUE SAUCE
tablespoons vegetable oil
cloves garlic, smashed
tablespoons Dijon mustard
tablespoons brown sugar
tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
chipotle peppers, see note
Chipotle peppers are sold in small cans in the Hispanic
section of most grocery stores
oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and add onions and
garlic. Cook until the onion becomes translucent, about 3
minutes, while occasionally stirring. Add tomatoes and
simmer 8 minutes. Add ketchup, coffee, molasses, brown
sugar, Worcestershire sauce and chipotle peppers, bring to a
boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
Puree in a food processor. Store in a refrigerator.
tablespoon) serving: 39 calories; 1 g fat; no saturated fat;
no cholesterol; no protein; 7 g carbohydrate; 7 g sugar; no
fiber; 177 mg sodium; 9 mg calcium.
by Jack McDavid, via Food Network
CAROLINA BARBECUE SAUCE
apple cider vinegar
1 to 1
1/2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, or to taste
teaspoon ground black pepper
teaspoon garlic powder
teaspoon onion powder
all ingredients and store in the refrigerator. Stir or shake
well before using. Serve with pulled pork or use to baste
chicken on a grill.
tablespoon) serving: 3 calories; no fat; no saturated fat;
no cholesterol; no protein; 1 g carbohydrate; no sugar; no
fiber; 146 mg sodium; 2 mg calcium.
by Daniel Neman
FAMOUS BARBECUE SAUCE
About 4 1/4 cups
quart (32 ounces) apple cider vinegar
cup vegetable shortening
2 to 3
ounces vinegar-based hot sauce, preferably Texas Pete
all ingredients in a medium saucepan and heat, occasionally
stirring, until the shortening has melted. Mix thoroughly
before serving. Store in a refrigerator, but always heat
until the shortening has melted before using. Serve with
tablespoon) serving: 14 calories; 1 g fat; no saturated fat;
no cholesterol; no protein; no carbohydrate; no sugar; no
fiber; 1,017 mg sodium; 3 mg calcium.
from a recipe from Pat Row