Bobby Flay’s barbecue sauce recipe is simply the best—an artful balance of sweet, spicy, and smoky. Perfect slathered on ribs, pork, burgers, or chicken.
I once went to a rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and this burger is one thing I took away from the experience—it just seems like the perfect rodeo fare. So, what’s inside? Crisp bacon, crunchy shoestring onion rings, layers of smoked cheddar cheese and, of course, my signature barbecue sauce.–Bobby Flay
Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Sauce
- 2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
- 1 smallish onion coarsely chopped (preferably a Spanish or other sweet onion)
- 3 small cloves garlic coarsely chopped
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or substitute sherry vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 canned chipotle in adobo chopped (note that this is 1 chipotle pepper from a can of peppers, not 1 can of chipotle peppers)
- 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
- 1 tablespoon sweet Spanish paprika (pimentón)
- 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat until warm and shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the ketchup and water and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, chipotle chile, ancho chile powder, paprika, brown sugar, honey, and molasses to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Scrape the barbecue sauce into a food processor or blender and purée until either smooth or the desired consistency. The sauce will be quite, quite thick. Let cool to room temperature. Taste and season with salt and pepper accordingly. You can start dousing and dolloping right away, although if you wait overnight you'll be rewarded with a more complex taste with even more depth. (You can cover and refrigerate the sauce for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before using.)
Recipe Testers' Reviews
Finally! A barbecue sauce recipe that doesn’t make an obscene amount and takes under an hour to make. I feel like I’ve found condiment nirvana. I was really worried that the chipotle pepper was going to overpower this sauce, but it lends heat and smoke balanced with sweetness.
This is a good barbecue sauce. I guess we shouldn’t expect anything less from Bobby Flay. While it’s fabulously delicious to use right away, a day’s stay in the fridge makes it even better.
This recipe for Bobby Flay's barbecue sauce is simple, straightforward, and made my barbecue-loving husband dance with joy. It hits every taste bud—sparking sweet, salty, spicy, tangy and smoky responses that linger long after sampled. And it’s thick…this isn’t a drip-off-your-burger sauce, it’s a stand-up-and-shout sauce.
I used a yellow onion as I can’t find Spanish onions where I live. I also didn't have sweet Spanish paprika (again, due to location handicap) so I used regular, run-of-the-mill paprika. If I make it again, I’ll make sure to order some better paprika. Otherwise, I followed the directions precisely.
Originally published June 13, 2012