Believe me when I tell you that homemade bbq sauce is worth the effort. I take that back, it is not so much effort as a list of ingredients you might have to buy. I remember buying them all the first time I made it– and it seeming absurd to spend so much more on ingredients than just buying a bottle of sauce.But it turned out so damn good- and they all super useful things to have around- and I have made this recipe again and again. Makes a nice summer time bbq gift. The sauce is an America’s Test Kitchen Recipe. It is both sweet and spicy. Pare down on cayenne if you don’t like heat.
1 cup ketchup
1 medium onion- w. 1/4 water juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons molasses [can use 5 tablespoons of molasses and no maple syrup- as per written in original recipe]
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 garlic- pressed through
1 1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional) [i used 3/4 tsp last time- this stuff is strong]
Process onion with the water in a food processor, until it looks like slush. Put in a fine mesh strainer and push down with a rubber spatula, reserving 1/2 cup of onion liquid. Discard solids.
Whisk onion juice, ketchup, molasses, syrup, mustard, hot sauce, black pepper and liquid smoke (if using) in a medium bowl.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil until shimmering but not smoking. Add garlic, chili powder and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in ketchup mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer gently, uncovered until flavors meld and sauce is thickened, about 25 mins. Cool bbq sauce to room temperature before using- (you will notice it thickens quite a bit more as it cools). Sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 week.