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Texas-Style Barbecue Sauce

A platter of ribs covered with Texas-style barbecue sauce, and a glass of extra sauce on the side.
We’ve spent years testing Texas Style barbecue sauces, and this tomato-based version is our favorite by far. We keep the spices mild, but the depth of flavor is no less intense.
Matthew McCarry and Stacy Toth

Prep 20 mins
Cook 40 mins
Total 1 hr 50 mins
Condiments
Southern
40 servings | 2 1/2 cups
8 kcal

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup lard
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onions
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup natural ketchup (use a sugar-free ketchup if you do the Paleo thing)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

Directions 

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the lard. Add the onions, garlic, and celery, and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add the ketchup, vinegar, water, Worcestershire, and black pepper and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Spoon a few tablespoons sauce into a small bowl. Add the chili powder and stir until smooth.
  • Stir the chili powder mixture into the rest of the sauce. Remove from the heat and let stand for 1 hour.
  • That's it. You're done. The slightly chunky sauce is nice as is, but for a smoother consistency, purée it in a blender or with an immersion blender. This sauce is best served warm or at room temperature but it stores really well in the fridge for up to 5 days.