This Memphis BBQ sauce recipe is a great tasting general purpose sauce.
Memphis BBQ sauce may not be the most famous of all the regional styles of barbeque, but it’s just as tasty.
Memphis style barbeque is typically rub based. That is, a meat rub is all that’s used. But don’t despair, you barbeque sauce lovers, most places give you the option of ordering “dry” or “wet”. Wet means slathered in Memphis BBQ sauce, while dry means just the rub and maybe some sauce on the side.
Memphis BBQ sauce is typically a medium-bodied sauce that is tomato and vinegar based. It’s a thinner style sauce that is slightly tangy and slightly sweet. It’s sort of a hybrid of all the other regional styles of barbeque sauce.
Since Memphis barbeque relies primarily on the flavor of the meat itself, a great flavored rub and perfected cooking methods, most Memphis pit masters would insist that their meat doesn’t need a sauce at all.
As you might imagine, a sauce created under the philosophy of Memphis style barbeque is not going to be heavy in any one flavor or characteristic. Instead, it’s just one member of the overall flavor profile. While this might sound as if I’m saying Memphis BBQ sauce is somewhat bland, I’m not.
Memphis BBQ sauce has its own distinctive taste, but does not go heavy on any single flavor characteristic. Its flavor is light, well balanced and flavorful.
I think my recipe represents Memphis barbeque well. When you don’t want to overpower your meat with sauce, or just need a tasty general purpose sauce, give this Memphis BBQ sauce recipe a try. Adjust the ingredients to your liking for your own signature sauce.
- 1-1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (more if you like spicy)
- In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients and whisk until well blended.
- Over medium heat, bring to a boil while stirring.
- Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and allow to slightly cool. Taste and adjust any ingredients to your preferred taste if necessary.
- Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. Sauce will keep for 2-3 months. For best results, reheat while stirring before using.