A good barbeque sauce needs to be smoky, it needs to be hot and spicy, it needs to be thick, and have a deep, rich red colour. My homemade barbeque sauce is all of that and more; it’s also sugar free!
Do you enjoy barbeque sauce as much as I do? Or are you the type to eat barbeque sauce only when grilling? In our home, we eat a lot of it. Correction: McKenna and I eat a lot of it; I don’t think I’ve ever been witness to John.e pouring barbeque sauce on anything, come to think of it! That’s weird, right?
I’m going to go ahead and assume that since you’re here, you love barbeque sauce just as much as I do, otherwise, you would not have clicked on a link that leads to a barbeque sauce recipe. So, now that we’ve established that – oh, and also, you’re my new best friend – we can talk about our love of barbeque sauce without ridicule from non-sauce lovers.
A few weeks ago, we spent a week at the cottage, and before we loaded in the car and made that 3 hour drive north of the city, I knew my plan for the week was the grill and to eat as much grilled food as I possibly could. And, when I grill, I refuse to do so without barbeque sauce. Hence, Sugar Free Hot and Smoky Barbeque Sauce was on the menu!
The day before we left, I made a jar of this sauce to take with us. I could have made it fresh at the cottage, but this sauce is basically a collection of pantry ingredients, and it keeps very well in the refrigerator. Besides, I didn’t feel like bringing my pantry with me! (Truth be told, I pretty much did, but we’ll just blame that on my obsessive compulsive disorder and leave it at that!)
My plans for the grill, in no particular order was a nice steak, some chicken kebabs, a cut of pork or two, veggie burgers, and of course, tofu. I will always prepare a vegetarian grilled main in addition to the meat for myself. I knew this barbeque sauce would work well for all of the grilling I was planning – even the tofu! – so I doubled the batch.
When we were packing up to come home, I had only about a tablespoon of the sauce left in the jar. I had made the perfect amount! I used it on steak, pork, burgers, sausages, and tofu. I didn’t end up making any chicken on the grill, but maybe next time.
Adding barbeque sauce to grilled meats is not a common practice, so I’ve come to understand. For example, most people will grill sausages or burgers with just seasonings, not sauce. And, in some cases, I’ve been called names I cannot repeat for adding sauce of any kind to a steak. It’s considered blasphemous!
Listen here; it’s my steak and if there’s no barbeque sauce added during the grilling stage, you can bet your last dime that I’ll be burying that $20 steak in ketchup as soon as it’s on my plate! Yes, ketchup! Because I love it, that’s why. Forget that HP Sauce – ew! It’s Sugar Free Hot and Smoky Barbeque Sauce or ketchup for this guy!
When I was old enough to go to a friend’s house for dinner, and if that friend wasn’t a fellow Newfoundlander, I was always a little disappointed if the grilled burger or hot dog wasn’t coated with barbeque sauce. It’s just not the same if you add it after it comes off the grill. Barbeque sauce needs to be charred and cooked onto the meat to be just right.
Newfoundlander’s are notorious for adding barbeque sauce to whatever they are grilling while they are grilling it. You can add more after, but you must add it while the meat is still on the grill. I often will add additional sauce to my plate, even if just as a dip.
My method is as follows: grill on one side until half cooked. Next, flip and baste with sauce; allow to cook for the same amount of time you did before the first flip. Turn the steak, pork, or whatever you’re grilling once more, and baste; cook for a few minutes. Flip one last time and cook a few minutes longer.
I know that’s not the way to properly grill a steak, but it is when you only eat steak that is well done, and you’re cooking to please yourself for once. Ha! Of course, I’d be a little more “normal” in my grilling approach should company be joining us!
No matter how you grill – multiple flips or otherwise – try adding my Sugar Free Hot and Smoky Barbeque Sauce during the grilling stage or when the final dish is on your plate. It’s all about personal preference. At the end of the day, this post is all about the sauce, and you’re going to love it; I promise!
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Sugar Free Hot and Smoky Barbeque Sauce
A good barbeque sauce needs to be smoky, it needs to be hot and spicy, it needs to be thick, and have a deep, rich red colour. My homemade barbeque sauce is all of that and more; it's also sugar free!
- 1 cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
Add all of the ingredients to a sauce pan, and over low heat, simmer for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally, until heated through.
If the sauce is too thick for your preference, add a few tablespoons of water to thin the sauce out.
Pour into a mason jar for safe keeping. Once refrigerated, the sauce will thicken. Simple stir whisk the sauce again to loosen it up.
Can be re-heated or used cold. Will keep for 4 weeks in the refrigerator.
If you would like to add sweetness without adding sugar, consider adding a tablespoon of stevia or honey. If you're not concerned about ending up with a sugar free sauce, you can also add a tablespoon or so of brown sugar.
1 serving is equal to 1 tablespoon.
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