Memphis Barbecue Sauce

Memphis Barbecue Sauce
Memphis Barbecue, Memphis, Tennessee. Anthony-Masterson/Photodisc/Getty Images
    30 min

This is a flavorful Memphis-style sauce. It's made with some brown sugar and molasses, along with ketchup and chili sauce. Add the lower amounts of sugar and molasses if you like your sauce a little less sweet. You can always add more while you're simmering the sauce.

Hickory smoke flavor gives it that great smoky flavor, and a number of seasonings and spices round it out beautifully. Feel free to play with ingredient additions. Mesquite seasoning would be an excellent addition as well.

What You'll Need

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 3 t o 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon liquid hickory smoke flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • dash cayenne pepper, or to taste

How to Make It

  1. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, saute the chopped onion in butter until soft and just beginning to turn yellow.
  2. To the saucepan, add the ketchup, chili sauce, brown sugar, molasses, mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  3. Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings.

This barbecue sauce is an excellent choice for pulled pork or chicken, or use it on burgers, brisket, or grilled steaks.

Expert Tips

  • Simmering barbecue sauce can splatter and make a mess on the surrounding stovetop. Use a splatter guard or screen to reduce the mess.

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