The secret to this spicy bourbon barbecue sauce is smoked bottled ketchup. Bourbon and molasses are added for a kickin’ barbecue sauce that’s perfect on ribs, pulled pork, burgers, chicken.
No liquid smoke in this barbecue sauce recipe. Instead, this recipe makes smoked ketchup in order to impart a subtle smokiness to the resulting sauce. Yes, smoked ketchup. Believe it. Better yet, taste it. Whether by the spoonful or slathered all over ribs that are cooked low and slow. [Editor’s Note: Yes, we know, smoking ketchup may seem sorta fussy. But why not just toss it in the smoker along with your ribs or pork shoulder (or whatever you happen to be making and that you intend to slather this sauce all over) for the first couple hours? And if you do that, you may want to slip a drip pan under the meat and swap out the bacon fat in the recipe below for a tablespoon of the drippings.] Originally published June 25, 2012.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Spicy Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 2 H, 40 M
- Makes 1 1/2 quarts
Special Equipment: 2 to 3 handfuls hickory chips, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
Recipe Testers Reviews
This recipe makes a ridiculous amount of barbecue sauce, so if you’re just cooking up a couple racks of ribs, I would recommend not just halving but quartering the recipe. Either that or plan to freeze the leftovers. That said, it’s a delicious, very robust sauce, and definitely worth doing if you’ve got the smoker going anyway. Smoking the ketchup is an interesting touch. The ketchup can smoke right alongside your meat, and once that’s done, the sauce comes together quite easily. The resulting sauce is not overwhelmingly smoky, but simply tastes more like barbecue. Using liquid smoke instead of actually smoking the ketchup would not give the same result, so don’t even think about it. This is a very intense sauce, so use it sparingly. You want the meat to be the star.