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Memphis Barbecue Sauce

Memphis BBQ Sauce
Yield:   About 4 cups
Cook Time:   2 hours
Tips:   May be made in advance and stored for days in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Suggestion:   Delicious with any grilled meat, such as Memphis BBQ Ribs.
Like so many others, I have often found myself searching for the best barbecue sauce - at least the bottled kind we find in our grocery stores. Granted, it can be very tempting and seem very easy to grab a bottle of BBQ sauce from the store. However, once you take just a few minutes to put together a homemade barbecue sauce recipe, likely with ingredients you already have in your kitchen, you'll be instantly
impressed with the vividly rich flavor homemade barbecue sauces can produce and how much they produce at such a low cost!

Barbecue sauce recipes come in all sorts of flavors, thicknesses and spice levels. The beauty of making your own homemade BBQ sauce is that you can adjust it to your own personal taste, simply by increasing or decreasing any of the ingredients. Memphis barbecue recipes traditionally feature dishes made with pork - especially pork ribs and pork shoulder (also called pork butt). This Memphis Barbecue Sauce has a wonderful balance of sweet and tangy, and tastes fabulous on most any type of grilled meat (See Memphis BBQ Ribs. This BBQ sauce simmers on your stove for a couple hours, giving the ingredients time to mingle as the sauce thickens. It can be made while you're slow-cooking your grilled meat, or can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for days until you're ready to slather it on your ribs, chicken or whatever grilled meat you throw on the grill.



  • 4 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • coarse or Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder


Whisk together all ingredients in a large saucepan until blended and smooth. Bring sauce to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently until sauce begins to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. (Sauce will reduce by about 1/4 to 1/3.) Remove from heat and allow to cool. (Sauce may be made in advance and stored in refrigerator overnight or up to 1 week.)

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