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

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: barbecue sauce
Servings: 3 Cups
Author: Derrick Riches


  • 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.

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