International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Texas-Style Barbecue Sauce

The Salt Lick barbecue in Driftwood, Texas

(American Tex-Mex mopping and grilling sauce)

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

Texas-style barbecue sauce differs substantially from its cousin to the north in Kansas City. It's thinner — almost soupy — less sweet and has only a touch of tomatoes or ketchup (sometimes none).

Use the sauce as a mop while your beef brisket is barbecuing. Pour it over shredded roast pork to moisten and flavor it. Or pass it warm at the table for dipping or pouring.

Makes about 3 cups


  • Oil -- 3 tablespoons
  • Onion, finely chopped -- 1
  • Garlic, minced -- 2 to 4 cloves
  • Chili powder -- 2 tablespoons
  • Chicken stock, beef stock or beer -- 2 cups
  • Ketchup or crushed tomatoes -- 1/2 cup
  • White or cider vinegar -- 1/3 cup
  • Brown sugar or molasses -- 1/4 cup
  • Worcestershire sauce -- 2 tablespoons
  • Dry mustard -- 2 teaspoons
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium flame. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent and just starting to turn golden, 4 or 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder and cook for another minute or so.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer slowly for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Put the sauce in a blender and puree. Adjust seasoning and serve warm or store refrigerated for up to a month.

Texas-Style BBQ Sauce Variations

  • Substitute some of the stock or beer with strong coffee. Add any beef drippings or trimmings to the pot while it simmers.
  • Crank up the heat by adding a couple good dashes of Tabasco sauce or some dried chile peppers (ancho, pasilla, guajillo, etc.), hot chile flakes, cayenne pepper, chopped habaneros or canned chipotles.


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