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House BBQ Sauce

by Neil Rankin from Low and Slow

Make use of your smoker with this simple barbecue sauce recipe from Neil Rankin. It will become your staple meat sauce once you've made it once. Easy, delicious and it keeps for weeks!


I’ve made sauces with hundreds of ingredients and I have to say, after years of trying this and that, simple is always better. This is my basic sweet and a little spicy BBQ sauce. For a less spicy sauce, you can replace half of the hot sauce with cider vinegar. If you don’t have a smoker – don’t worry – the sauce will still taste good.

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240ml tomato ketchup
80ml Frank's Red Hot Original Pepper Sauce
80ml Worcestershire sauce
80ml cold water
30g unsalted butter, cubed
2 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
cracked black pepper


1. Mix together the ketchup, pepper and Worcestershire sauces, and water in a heatproof container. Stick it in the smoker at 120c and leave for at least an hour, adding more water if the sauce dries up too much. If you’re cooking meat in the smoker and it has levels, smoking the sauce under the meat won’t do any harm. Once the sauce is out, add more water until you have the required thickness.

2. If you aren’t smoking the sauce, simply leave out the water.

3. Melt a little of the butter in a saucepan and roast the garlic until brown. Add the sauce and cook for a few minutes, then turn down the heat and add the rest of the butter, cube by cube, stirring well after each addition until emulsified.

4. Strain the sauce and finish with cracked pepper, as much as you like. It shouldn’t need any salt. This will keep for weeks in a sterilsed bottle or jar in the fridge.

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