How to Create Your Own Barbecue Sauce

Making your own signature sauce isn't as hard as it sounds. Here's how.
Donna Florio


Barbecue pit masters are often as well known for their sauces as they are for the slow-cooked meat on which they slather them. If you want to stir up your own claim to fame, you don't have to start from scratch-―just add a little of your own personality to a bottled sauce.

Whether you prefer vinegar-based, tomato-based, or mustard-based, find a brand you like, then stir in some jazzy ingredients to taste. Brown sugar, mustard, and lemon juice are must-haves, while garlic powder, minced onion, black pepper, crushed red pepper, soy sauce, and even ginger might suit your fancy. If you like a touch of smoke, a few scant drops of liquid smoke will help provide the charcoal flavor missing from foods cooked over gas. Just be sure to use a light hand here to avoid an artificial taste.

We've included a few of our favorite recipes for you to try, too. Get creative and experiment with your own variations.