Cook Naked: Easy BBQ Sauce Recipe

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BBQ Image Summer has arrived. Time to clean the grill and get your sauce on. Nothing sings of summer more than the laughter of children playing outside and the smell of a barbecue.

I grew up eating BBQ and must admit one of my favorite comfort foods is BBQ pork ribs. I don’t eat them much these days, (let’s face it, all that charcoal tastes good but it’s carcinogenic) but on the special occasions where I do indulge, the adult who cares about what he puts in his body steps into focus.

Sugar is the main ingredient in BBQ sauce and provides the caramelized, crispy goodness to that on which you spread it. Store-bought sauces and dressings are some of the least naked foods you can purchase due to the poor ingredients, additives and preservatives. I love me some BBQ, but not at the expense of my health.

Here’s a tasty BBQ sauce recipe that limits the amount of sugar while upping the flavor content. The liquid smoke is available at most grocery and health food stores. If you can’t find it, you can always add a dried chipotle pepper, which will also infuse a smoky flavor to the sauce. The more you reduce the sauce the more flavor you’ll get. Adjust the reducing time accordingly.

NAKED Barbeque Sauce

Yield: 6 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp ghee or butter
  • 1 onion, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28-oz-can diced tomatoes
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar, rapadura or maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp hickory seasoning-liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional, for spicier sauce)
  • 1/8 tsp (pinch) cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt to taste

Procedure:

Sauté onions with a little salt until they turn translucent in a pot over medium heat.  Add garlic. Cook about 1 min. Add the tomatoes with juice, paste, syrup, molasses, vinegar, and liquid smoke (or chipotle pepper) into the pot, cover and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, remove cover, adjust temperature to a rolling boil and allow sauce to reduce. The longer amount of time, the more flavorful the sauce. Mix occasionally to ensure bottom does not stick or burn

Once reduced (about 1 1/2 – 2 hours), remove chipotle pepper if using (unless you want the sauce to be VERY spicy), then add mix to a blender and thoroughly mix until smooth. Add salt to taste.

For spicier sauce, add a pinch of cayenne and 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes. Blend briefly (10 seconds) and you’re done. Fully cool sauce before sealing it in a jar/container.

Will store about two weeks in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Enjoy!

photo credit



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5 Comments

  1. Kellie Hill

    June 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Looks great. But, I’ve always been hesitant about the hickory seasoned liquid smoke. I see it’s only a tsp, but is it the only option? Is it Naked enough?

    • Chef James

      June 7, 2012 at 4:53 pm

      Hi Kellie, Great concern and question. Liquid smoke is controlled, captured smoke (similar to a distillery) that is then condensed and dissolved in water. It’s a minimal processing that is similar to most flavor extracts. The effects of liquid smoke on the body are unknown. If you have any concerns, I recommend just substituting a dried chipotle (see introduction to recipe). The chipotle is a more natural, naked choice for sure!

  2. Easy BBQ Recipes

    June 9, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Chef James, I agree with you. I make my own BBQ sauce for my friends/family when I make ribs, but I personally prefer my ribs without it. Before I started BBQing, I liked that super sweet store-bought stuff. Now (a bit older/wiser), if I do use a sauce, I prefer it homemade and on the semi-sweet, vinegary and spicy side. Sincerely, Ken

  3. wilburgsmith

    October 11, 2012 at 11:26 am

    what would be its flavour.

    • Chef James

      November 13, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      Of the BBQ sauce? Sort of tangy and sweet. A little smokey. Similar to most BBQ sauces but not as sweet.

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