Memphis Barbecue Sauce

This wonderfully sweet and tangy Memphis Barbecue Sauce is insanely delicious and so easy to make! It takes 25 minutes from start to finish. Use this barbecue sauce on pulled pork, smoked chicken, and pork ribs.

Memphis is known for its “dry” ribs, which means no sauce. Just ribs, herbs, and spices. However, some outdoor cooks enjoy a good Memphis-style BBQ sauce slathered onto their smoked ribs. Others will serve it as a table sauce so that those who want some can help themselves. 

Even kids love this sauce. Have a picky eater lives on chicken nuggets? Spoon out a dollop of two of this as Memphis barbecue sauce for dipping. 

Memphis Barbecue-Sauce

Memphis Barbecue Sauce Ingredients:

  • Ketchup
  • Yellow onion 
  • Garlic
  • Vegetable oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Brown sugar
  • Yellow mustard
  • Molasses
  • Louisiana hot sauce (optional) 
Tomato-Jalapeno Barbecue Sauce

How to Make It:

  • Add chopped onion, red wine vinegar, garlic to a blender or food processor and puree.
  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan.
  • Add the blended onion mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Add ketchup and mustard and simmer for additional 3 minutes. Stir often. 
  • Reduce heat to low; add brown sugar, molasses, and hot sauce to the saucepan. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove Memphis barbecue sauce from heat and cool for 10-15 minutes before using. 
  • You can use part of this sauce as a baste during the latter half of cooking time. If applying to ribs, do so during the last 30 minutes. 
  • Store sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Memphis Barbecue Sauce

Tips:

  1. Not too keen on mustard? Use one tablespoon instead of two, or omit it entirely from the sauce. Substitute with one tablespoon of prepared horseradish. Keep in mind that this might change the flavor of the barbecue sauce, but it will still be quite delicious!
  2. This recipe yields roughly 2 cups of barbecue sauce, enough for two racks of spare ribs or three racks of baby backs. Double this recipe if you are planning to cook more than this amount. 
  3. Average 1/4-1/3 cup of Memphis barbecue sauce per pulled pork sandwich. Two cups will be enough for 6-8 people.

 

Memphis Barbecue Sauce

Memphis Barbecue Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: Memphis barbecue sauce, memphis bbq sauce
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 2 Cups

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 small yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce optional

Instructions

  • Add chopped onion, red wine vinegar, and garlic to a blender or food processor, and puree.
    Heat oil in a medium pot, add blended mixture and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
    Add ketchup and mustard. Cook for additional 3 minutes, or until lightly bubbling. Stir often. Reduce heat to low, add brown sugar, molasses and hot sauce. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes; stirring occasionally.
  • Remove sauce from heat and cool for 15 minutes before using. If preferred, you can use part of this sauce as a baste during smoking, or serve on the side with cook pork ribs.
  • Store sauce in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 week after preparation.
Memphis Barbecue Sauce