Memphis Barbecue Sauce

Normally, Memphis Barbecue is served without sauce. However, rules are made to be broken and this why many Memphis BBQ Joints have sauces available; either on the side or by special order. This recipe captures the complexity of this Memphis Barbecue  Sauce in a rich, flavorful sauce that holds the perfect combination of sweet, vinegar, and heat. A good Memphis Barbecue Sauce is thinner than most tomato based sauces, so keep that in mind as you prepare it.

Memphis Barbecue Sauce

Memphis Barbecue Sauce

Derrick Riches
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Sauces
Cuisine American BBQ
Servings 3 Cups


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup pureed onion use blender of food processor
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt use more if needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • In medium sized saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add pureed onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, reduce heat and simmer over low for 10-12 minutes.
  • Remove sauce from heat and let cool completely. Store in an air tight container or jar in refrigerator for up to 1 week after preparation.
  • Before serving, bring sauce up to room temp either on stovetop or in the microwave for 45-60 seconds.
Keyword barbecue sauce

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