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Build Your Own BBQ Sauce with Global Flavor

It’s June, which means grilling season is here in full-force. Nothing says summer like firing up the grill and making a satisfying meal for your family and friends. One of my favorite parts about grilling is the possibility of taking meat and making it your own. Start with plain chicken or ribs, and you can do so much in terms of flavor, and especially with grilling sauces.

I’m not sure about you, but I’m always looking for that “perfect” barbeque sauce recipe- slightly tangy, but with a hint of sweetness. I’m happy to say we’ve developed that perfect sauce right here in the Land O’Lakes Test Kitchens and named it Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce. And once you master this basic BBQ sauce, you can go crazy and flavor it pretty much anyway you want. You only need a few ingredients to make the sauce, and you more than likely have them on hand right now!

Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce:

1/2 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 cup ketchup

3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Melt butter in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat until sizzling; add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3-5 minutes or until softened. Stir in all remaining ingredients; cook 5-6 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened.

Pour into mini food processor bowl or blender container; process until smooth.

Add Some Global Flavor:

Here comes the fun part - making a totally new and fresh sauce by adding other flavors. Try the Mango BBQ sauce on chicken, Chipotle on baby back ribs, Soy Ginger on shrimp kabobs, and Balsamic on pork chops. No matter the combination you chose, you’ll end up with a delicious grilling experience!

Mango BBQ Sauce:  Add 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño peppers with onions. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped mangoes, 1 tablespoon honey and 2 teaspoons lemon juice with remaining ingredients.

Chipotle BBQ Sauce:  Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce with remaining ingredients.

Soy Ginger BBQ Sauce:  Reduce Worcestershire sauce to 1 tablespoon. Omit salt. Stir in 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon orange juice and 1 teaspoon freshly grated gingerroot with remaining ingredients.

Balsamic BBQ Sauce:  Reduce Worcestershire sauce to 2 tablespoons. Omit white vinegar. Stir in 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard with remaining ingredients.

For starters, why not choose one of these flavorful choices and try it on our Best Ever Baby Back Ribs. We really liked them with the Chipotle BBQ sauce.

I’d love to hear if you have any other ideas on flavoring barbecue sauces - the possibilities and combinations are endless. Happy grilling season!


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    Hi, I'm Becky. I'm eager to share my best ideas and favorite recipes from my 20+ years in the Land O'Lakes Test Kitchen. I'm also excited to help with any questions you have about cooking and baking with Land O Lakes® products. Some of the questions and answers will be published in our newsletter, The Measuring Cup®. Please use the short form below to ask your questions, or share your tip or memory.

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