I love barbecue, but I have a problem with a lot of barbecue sauces, especially store-bought ones. My problem is that they are often quite a bit too sweet for me—I rarely like meat to be sweet, and if it is, there must be something really hot in the mix too. I like barbecue sauces to be a bit hot (or a lot hot) and a bit tangy. I came up with this a couple of years ago, when we bought a new grill and a couple of grilling books that included a number of sauces. I sorted through several, removed ingredients which didn’t work for me, and settled on this. Obviously it could be made hotter.
We’ve used it on pork, beef, and chicken—and even made barbecued hamburgers with it. It also isn’t bad as a steak sauce.
Once you’ve made it, store it covered in the refrigerator. It will last as long as you’d keep the ketchup you put in it.
- 1 cup Heinz ketchup see note below
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 4 teaspoons granulated onion
- 4 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 4 teaspoons medium-hot chili powder see note below
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before using.
Because the seasonings in ketchup vary by brand, using any other brand will change the flavor of the final product. (Jeffrey Steingarten describes his own extensive ketchup taste testing in "Playing Ketchup," first published in Vogue in 1992. No, we don't read Vogue--he reprinted it in The Man Who Ate Everything [Vintage, 1998].)
We use Penzey's medium chili powder. If you use a "regular" or mild chili powder, increase to 2 tablespoons.