Homemade Barbecue Sauce

The other day I made a generous supply of crock-pot pork ribs (note to self, 6 lbs is entirely too much for 2 people). By the time the 3rd night of pork leftovers rolled around, I decided it was time to transform this delectable dish into bbq pork sandwiches.  This stems from a family tradition of sorts, as my mom frequently made roast, rice & gravy and then used the leftover roast for bbq sandwiches a few days later.

But as I was preparing to go to the store for bbq sauce, I thought…why not make my own?? After researching recipes, I found an easy conglomeration on EatingWell.com, which I then doctored.  This is something you can taste as it cooks and modify accordingly. I prefer a sweeter sauce, so I increased the amount of molasses and even added a bit of brown sugar while it simmered.  If you prefer a more vinegary flavor, reduce the sugar/molasses.

Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups.


Ease of Preparation: Easy


  • 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup molasses to begin; add more to taste (I added appx 1Tbs)
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs freshed squeezed orange juice (see note below)
  • 2 Tbs cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 jalapeño or serrano chiles, pierced all over with a fork (use more depending on your preference)
  • 1 Tbs bourbon (optional)
  • Hot sauce to taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium heavy saucepan; bring to a simmer over very low heat, stirring constantly. Continue to cook over very low heat, stirring frequently, until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool and discard the chiles.

Notes from Paige: You can use orange juice in place of fresh squeezed juice; just reduce or eliminate the amount of brown sugar used depending on preference.

Interested in using those leftovers?

If you have a large amount of beef, pork or chicken and would like to make bbq, here is a simple how-to. This recipe is based off of appx. 2 lbs of leftover meat. Increase the amount of water and sauce accordingly if you have more meat.

Cut meat in small pieces (discard any fat). Place in large skillet (preferably cast iron if possible). Add appx 1/2 cup water. Cover and bring to simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary (you don’t want the meat to dry out).  Add enough bbq sauce to lightly coat meat, as the water will help distribute sauce (appx 1/2 to 3/4 cup). Continue to simmer, uncovered, for another 20 to 30 minutes until some of the liquid evaporates and meat is very tender. Serve on your favorite type of bun!