How to Make the Perfect BBQ Sauce

Add the right sauce to your next barbecue by using the perfect blend of ingredients. 

Your brisket is barbecued to perfection and your ribs are falling off the bone. Deciding which meat may have been the easy choice. How you sauce it? Now, that’s another.

From tomato-based sauce to white sauce and from mustard to brown sugar, the sauce you prepare for your perfectly cooked meat can tell a lot about the region in which you live.

Mustard-based barbecue sauce dominates the South Carolina areas, but if you find yourself in the Northern Alabama area you might try white barbecue sauce.  If you venture through western North Carolina, you will find the sweetest sauce in the country.

If you are looking for a tomato-based sauce, your choices don’t end. Sweet, spicy or a little zesty? Homemade or bottled? Sure you can buy a bottle of sauce, but there is nothing like the taste of freshly made barbecue sauce. Achieving the perfect balance of flavors is not easy. Most tomato-based recipes start with ketchup as a base. But, from there, all bets are off.


Food Network
Food Network

Who else loves a little sweet with their meat? Emeril Lagasse’s recipe for sweet barbecue sauce is among one of the favorites. Packed with flavor, this sauce is one of Emeril’s simpler recipes. Most sauce recipes do have a sweet ingredient. But, if you like your meat on the sweeter side, be sure to use a combination of molasses and brown sugar. Here’s the recipe. BAM!


The Little GSp
The Little GSP

If spice is what you are looking for, this recipe was made just for you. With paprika and a dash of cayenne pepper, this one is sure to knock your socks off! The cook time is 30 minutes, but the reward is sweet – or spicy. And, hey, how can you go wrong when you add in a little beer? Here’s the recipe.


Adding liquid smoke or dry mustard to your recipe can result in a perfect blend of flavors. This recipe will add a little punch to your meat. Slather a little zesty homemade sauce on your chicken, pork or beef. The cook time is a mere 10 minutes, then its back to the grill for the main course. Here is the recipe.

Generations have debated what goes into the perfect sauce, but there is one thing that is for sure. You can choose the perfect cut of meat and stock up on the right wood (mesquite, oak, fruit trees, hickory, pecan), but until you dip, brush or drown your meat in the perfect sauce, it’s just not barbecue.

Next: 17 Texas Barbecue Joints You Need to Try Before You Die 

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How to Make the Perfect BBQ Sauce