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Make Room for BBQ Sauce

Make Room for BBQ Sauce

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Lazy summer afternoons in the backyard. There’s a smell of fresh-cut grass in the air and a tinge of smoke mixed with something else. Something sweet. Something tasty. No summer backyard cookout is complete unless it has…BBQ sauce.

Sure, you could go to the store and pick up one of those bottles off the shelves. That thick, brown and tangy sauce would work. But don’t you want to kick your cookout up a notch? There is so much more you can do with BBQ sauce than the store-brand stuff. Take your next cookout to a new level by making your own sauce!

One great recipe is all you need. Then you can add a few a different ingredients to that base and you’ll be able to personalize that BBQ sauce to suit whatever taste you’re craving. Oh, and it’s a cinch to make in a 2 or 4-Cup Pyrex® measuring cup.

This homemade barbecue recipe sauce adapted from Simply Scratch, is a favorite for its consistency and versatile flavor. It can go on basically anything—including burgers, pizza and French fries—and is easily customized. Not to mention this is a no-cook recipe for those days when turning on the stove is oh-so much work.

WHAT YOU NEED

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 to 1 teaspoon ground mustard
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

WHAT TO DO

Place all ingredients in a 2-cup or 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup; mix until the sugar and spices are thoroughly distributed. Makes about 2 cups. Serve immediately or cover and store in the fridge for up to five days or freeze extra.

NOW, MAKE IT YOUR OWN

Once you have the base of a really good BBQ sauce, make it your own by adding some not-so-secret ingredients. Here are a couple of suggestions.
· Consistency: If you want a really thick BBQ sauce, simply omit water from the original recipe.
· Lime BBQ Sauce: Add a twist and a zing to your BBQ sauce with a bit of lime. Substitute 1/4 cup lime juice for the vinegar.
· Honey BBQ Sauce: For an extra-sweet BBQ sauce, add 2 tablespoons of honey. This will also make it thicker.
· Bourbon-Orange BBQ Sauce: Add 2 tablespoons of bourbon and 2 tablespoons of orange juice for a sauce that will get raves from the adult crowd.
· Spicy BBQ Sauce: For those who like to mix BBQ and adventure, stir in your favorite hot sauce or finely chopped chile peppers. Sriracha is trendy hot, hot, hot in more ways than one. Jalapeños are a fave, and habañeros will take you out to the ridiculous edge of spicy sauce. (WARNING: Always use rubber gloves when preparing and cooking with these very hot peppers, and add a little at a time to taste.)

YOUR TURN: How do you like your BBQ sauce? Sweet, zesty, tangy or hot?