Tom's Barbecue Sauce for Ribs

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Thread: Tom's Barbecue Sauce for Ribs

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    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Tom's Barbecue Sauce for Ribs

    This is a table sauce for ribs and chicken. You can use it as a baste in the last few minutes of grilling, but not too long or the sugar will burn. The quality of ketchup will impact your sauce. Vary the type of mustard for interesting flavors. Spike it with a hotter hot sauce, if you prefer.

    1/4 cup chili powder
    1 cup turbinado sugar
    1 tablespoon black pepper
    1 tablespoon garlic salt
    1 teaspoon celery salt
    2 24-oz. bottles ketchup
    1/2 cup cider vinegar
    1/2 cup yellow mustard
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    2 teaspoons chipotle Tabasco

    Combine chili powder, sugar, pepper, garlic salt and celery salt in a small mixing bowl.

    Combine ketchup, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire and chipotle Tabasco in a 3-quart soup pot. Mix well. Add spice mixture. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Cool sauce and transfer to 2 24-ounce ketchup bottles. Store in the refrigerator.
    Last edited by Tom357; May 20th, 2005 at 09:23 AM. Reason: To remove water from the instructions, thanks Euc!
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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom357
    1 cup turbinado sugar
    I've never heard of this substance in my life. I'm just curious what makes it different from regular sugar?

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    Senior Member Array CombatEffective's Avatar
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    The local smoothy shop uses it. It's a really granular sugar.

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    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    That makes sense as this is for a sauce.

    Well I'm going to try it. I am attending a little "grill together" in about a week and bringing some designer BBQ sauce might be just the thing.

    If I don't screw it up and it actually tastes good everyone that knows me will faint.

    How much water do you add to the mix typically?

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    Turbinado sugar is refined sugar with the brown sugar left in it. It has, of course, a mild brown sugar taste. Good stuff. And Euc, I bet you have seen it in some restaurants in the little packets that look like a brown paper bag....
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    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Probably. I just don't pay attention to stuff like that.

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    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclidean
    ...How much water do you add to the mix typically?
    You can find turbinado sugar in most supermarkets as "Sugar in the Raw" brand. I get it in bulk in the health food section. You could also use half white sugar and half brown sugar. Brown sugar is white sugar with a molasses added back to it. Turbinado is just less refined sugar. I think it adds flavor to the sauce, as well as sweetness, without tasting too strongly of molasses.

    As for water, the rib sauce doesn't use any water. The shoulder sauce does, though. It is thinner and not as sweet, for pulled pork and barbecue sandwiches. The ingredients for the shoulder sauce:

    1/4 cup chili powder
    1/4 cup turbinado sugar
    1 tablespoon black pepper
    1 tablespoon garlic salt
    1 teaspoon celery salt
    1 24-oz. bottles ketchup
    2 cups water
    1/2 cup cider vinegar
    1/2 cup yellow mustard
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    2 teaspoons chipotle Tabasco

    Follow the instructions for the rib sauce, replacing the second bottle of ketchup with the water. Use the best, no-salt chili powder you can find. It really makes a difference. I like to buy dried ancho chili peppers at the Mexican grocery, and make my own.

    Edited to add: Instructions for the shoulder sauce read "Combine ketchup, water, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire and chipotle Tabasco in a 3-quart soup pot." I have corrected the rib sauce.
    Last edited by Tom357; May 20th, 2005 at 09:25 AM. Reason: To correct the instructions for the shoulder sauce.
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    Thanks again Tom, very nice of you to try and teach these guys from Texas how to make good sauce. When I lived in OK for awhile I did drive down to the Texas border for beans though, I do like beans rice and that sort of thing. Take care everyone.
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    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Well I whipped a batch up with a couple of changes. I added a little more Tabasco sauce, an extra dash of sugar, and I used Honey Dijon mustard with a maybe 1/4 cup of honey added to it because I can't stand yellow mustard or mustard in general.

    One little tip I can add is don't let the initial smell put you off; you have to mix it very thoroughly and really let it simmer.

    Also, for pouring the sauce back into the bottles, take a plastic 1 gallon jug, cut the bottom half off with a knife, and the top half makes a funnel that snugly fits around the mouth of a 24 oz ketchup bottle.

    I cooked a small piece of chicken and used the sauce leftover in the pan after pouring most of it into the bottles for a taste test.

    I quite like it. I think it would be better on ribs than the chicken I tested it on, and I think basting it on during the last few minutes of grilling would really help too. It's very tasty and completely unlike what I am used to.

    I used off the rack spices. Better spices would make a difference, but it's still good.

    It's got a lot of flavor and body. It's not a hot sauce but it tingles the tongue like one. Think of the heat sensation without the burning. That may just be because I used almost double the Tabasco sauce.

    I think next time I'd try a variant with just slightly less mustard. I wonder how it would taste if I got rid of the mustard altogether, but then it'd just be mutated ketchup...

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    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    You Texas types do like it sweet! Yes, it really does need to simmer. You can substitute honey 1:1 for the sugar and it makes a fine finishing sauce for baby backs. Replace some of the sugar with molasses, and you have a west-of-the-Mississippi sauce. No one in my family likes hot food, but me, so I keep them relatively mild, but I still like for it to tingle. I made a batch with habanero sauce, instead of Tabasco, for a friend of mine...mighty fine. As I said, varying the mustard has a significant impact. I also think it improves if it has a chance to sit for a day or so.
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    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    I think next time I try this I'll do as you suggest and use molasses and honey. I noticed just that little bit helped.

    Jalapenos might help too.

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