Sweet and Sticky Barbecue Sauce

Adam Perry Lang uses an ingenious technique to prevent his barbecue sauce from burning on the grill: He mixes it with an equal amount of water. This lets him brush it on up to 45 minutes before the meat is finished cooking. The flavors of the sauce become wonderfully complex and the meat develops a beautiful, shiny glaze.

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  • Servings: makes about 6 1/2 cups


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce

How to make this recipe

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, onion, green pepper and a large pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the rum and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the chili powder, black pepper, allspice and cloves and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar, water, ketchup, molasses, mustard, vinegar and hot sauce and simmer over moderate heat, stirring often, until thickened, about 30 minutes.

  2. Transfer the barbecue sauce to a large food processor and puree. Season the sauce with salt.

Make Ahead

The barbecue sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Contributed By Published April 2005

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