Barbecue Sauce

I love barbecue sauce on grilled pork chops and chicken and also if I’m cooking them in the oven or on the stove. Actually, I love barbecue sauce on all sorts of different things . . . ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, chicken wings, hamburgers . . . you name it!

The one problem when we were cruising in Mexico was that it was almost impossible to buy bottled BBQ sauce.  The few recipes in my Joy of Cooking were nothing like what I wanted.  So I started experimenting . . . and collecting . . .

And that is what led us to have a bunch of regional BBQ sauces in The Boat Galley Cookbook. We know that Texas barbecue sauce is different from Memphis, which is different from the Carolinas — and native Floridians like something different yet!  We chose 8 that were quite different from one another to go in the book, so that hopefully you’d find one similar to what you wanted.

But alas, we had collected about 15! There’s just not room for them all, with everything else we wanted to include.  This one for Kansas City-style BBQ sauce ended up in the cut pile, so I’m posting it here as an “extra.”

Liquid Smoke is hard to find outside the US, but luckily a bottle is easy to tuck into your luggage on trips back to the US (read more about it here).  And while it adds a nice hickory touch to the sauce, you can make it without and it’ll still taste great.

Barbecue Sauce

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 40 mins

Total time: 45 mins

Serves: 8


  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup corn syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste or 1 cup tomato sauce and reduce water by 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (cider vinegar is traditional but white vinegar may be substituted)
  • 3 tablespoons molasses or honey
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (can be omitted if unavailable)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Simmer all ingredients, stirring until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until thick, 30 – 40 minutes.
  2. Store in refrigerator when cool.

Want more boat-friendly recipes? Check out The Boat Galley Cookbook with over 800 recipes or get a free PDF sample of it with 30 recipes:


  • Candy Ann Williams on Facebook
    Posted at 30 January 2012 Reply

    It is funny how different regions have such different BBQ sauce. But we love it and my husband has a CASE of our favorite stashed on The Bootlegger-even though his homemade is great-he is addicted to his ‘Hot Head BBQ’ sauce. LOL!!

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