You can go in any grocery store and pick up one of a vast array of bottled barbecue sauces for $1-$2 each. Some are better than others and they’re all pretty good, but few stand out from the crowd as really unique.
So a couple of years back, I spent a few weeks developing my own barbecue sauce (this is it). I made a different recipe each day for about a week until I came up with the base flavor I liked, then spent another week or so tweaking it to get the flavors just right – with a hint of sweet, the right cider vinegar tang, a slight under layer of heat and an overall flavor that was entirely different from anything I had found on the shelves. As I was working on it, I kept a list of recipes I was using and had them numbered, keeping the sauces in mason jars and writing the number of the recipe on top. In the end, number 5 came out the winner and still is with us to this day.
This sauce stands out and makes a meal special. I’ve never served it that I wasn’t asked where I got it after a guest took
the first bite. The only barbecue sauce I’ve ever had that was close to it was served in a restaurant called Angelo’s in Panama City Beach, Florida when I was a younger. We used to order smoked chicken and they’d bring a small cup of a sauce similar to this one. I haven’t been to Panama City Beach in over two decades. I think Angelo’s is still there but I don’t know if they still serve their barbecue chicken. Either way, I make my own now and save tons of money on gas and mileage on my car:).
I so wish I could give you a taste of this sauce but you’re gonna have to make it yourself. I shared this recipe in my first book , published by Harper Collins, Southern Plate: Classic Comfort Food That Makes Everyone Feel Like Family. The recipe in my book makes 3 cups but today I’m sharing my larger quantity recipe with ya, which makes about a gallon – just enough to last you through numerous summer barbecues.
Do me a favor? Make this soon!
You’ll need: Golden Eagle or Yellow Label Syrup*, Dark Brown Sugar, Salt, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder, Black Pepper, Cornstarch*, Ketchup, Water, Cider Vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce, and White Vinegar.
*To make this recipe safe for canning, make sure you use Clear Gel Brand Corn Starch specifically made for canning.
*If you can’t find Golden Eagle or Yellow Label syrup where you are, you can substitute 2 cups light corn syrup and 1 cup honey. Note: The bottle of Yellow Label doesn’t have a full three cups so you should pick up two bottles while you are shopping. You can save the rest to make a lovely baked ham by brushing it all over a picnic ham, covering it tightly with foil and cooking it on 325 for a few hours..I’ll post about that one of these days.
Now back to this barbecue sauce that I want you to make…
Place all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Stir those together until well blended.
Combine all of the wet ingredients in your cooking pot.
Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
Place on stovetop and cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a low boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Oh if only you could taste this now!
Now at this point, you can allow it to cool slightly and then ladle it into rubbermaid type refrigerator containers or jars and store it in your fridge for up to two months. It will last you all summer!
I’m going to can mine, though, so I can keep it in my pantry. Canning is really simple, much easier than you imagine. To see the method I’m using for my barbecue sauce, click here to visit my canning tutorial.
So I got to use my canning ladle (click here for information on how to get one) again for this post! (I talked about it in my Strawberry Freezer Jam Post). Still in love with this thing. The hook you see allows it to hang on the side of the pot so it won’t fall in, it scoops the exact amount you need to fill an 8 ounce jar, and it is even shaped so it can scrape the bottom of the pot clean.
Truly, you need one.
So far I’ve bought one for Mama, My friend Jyl, and two for myself!
Dips a perfect 8 ounces…
If you do decide to put it in canning jars (whether to can it or just to store in the fridge), make sure you use a canning funnel for ease. I am using mostly eight ounce jars so one scoop for each jar gives me enough to fill it.
This recipe makes almost one complete gallon – 15 cups.
See? My ladle gets the last little bit out of the pot.
This divinely distinct barbecue sauce is perfect on pretty much anything. Chicken, ribs, burgers, pulled pork, shredded beef, and sometimes, I just smear a little bit on some wheat bread 🙂
Flavor up your summer with Old Number 5!
- 2 Cups Dark Brown Sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 3 Tablespoons ground black pepper
- 8 Tablespoons cornstarch*
- 4 cups ketchup
- 4 cups water
- 3 cups Golden Eagle or Yellow Label Syrup (see note)
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 4 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
- In a small bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. It is very important that you mix all of the dry ingredients together at once before adding to the wet. If you don't add your cornstarch during this step, it will not dissolve later.
- In the pot you are going to cook in (I prefer a heavy dutch oven so it doesn't scorch), mix together all wet ingredients. Whisk in the dry mixture.
- Place over medium high heat and stir constantly until it comes to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Allow to cool slightly and place in containers to store in the refrigerator until ready to use, or can in mason jars using the method described here.
When faced with a situation (in the Army) that made me very angry but I couldn’t say anything, a dear friend said these wise words to me. “So compared to World War II, how important is this?” I try to keep this one in mind many times.
Submitted by Sara. Click here to share your wisdom.Yum