Aaron Franklin’s BBQ Sauce

  • 1/2 lb butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cup s ketchup (not high fructose corn syrup)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 oz light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • a little less than 1 tsp garlic powder
  • a little less than 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 lemon squeezed
  1. Melt butter and saute onions until soft and translucent.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Serve warm with bbq.


Garlic Aioli


  • 1 cup mayonnaise (we used a light mayo)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (we prefer Franks, but use whatever you like)
  • ½ tsp freshly ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Mix above ingredients and adjust to taste adding more or less hot sauce or garlic as per your tastes. Store in fridge for at least one hour to allow flavors to mingle and blend.


Horseradish and Tarragon Tartar Sauce

(serves 4)

  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 to 3 tbsp of prepared horseradish, I’ll let you decide how spicy you want it
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained and roughly chopped
  • 3 dashes of hot sauce (I prefer Frank’s, but feel free to sub in your own brand and adjust if you want more)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped tarragon leaves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (2 hours would be better if you have the time)


Jalapeno Ranch Dip/Sauce

  • 2 cups of mayonnaise (we prefer Duke’s if you can get it, just for Pete’s sake don’t use light mayo)
  • 1/2 cup Herdez Tomatillo Verde Mexican Cooking Sauce
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 4-6 jalapenos, deveined, seeded and roughly chopped (we used 5)
  • 2 one oz packets dry ranch dressing mix

     Add the first five ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. You may want to start with 4 jalapenos and adjust the heat level by adding more later if it’s not spicy enough. Stir in the ranch packets and whisk to incorporate. Serve chilled. The longer it sits, the hotter it will get.


North Carolina-Syle Vinegar Sauce

Not being from the East and having never traveled there, I didn’t have any clue as to what pulled pork was supposed to taste like or what went into it. I’m from Texas, for goodness sakes. Beef, especially brisket, rule here. Years ago, I joined The Barbecue Bible Forum and was reading a bunch of posts about pulled pork. It got me interested and motivated to try and smoke some myself.  I’ve tried various recipes throughout the years and have stumbled on this one that I like from Steve Raichlen’s BBQ USA. This sauce is a mouth puckering sauce – all vinegar and heat, but mellows nicely when mixed in with the fatty pork.


  • 5 cups distilled vinegar
  • 3 tbsp salt, or more to taste
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 3 tbsp hot sauce

Mix all the ingredients in a large, non-reactive bowl, add 1 cup of water, and whisk until the salt and sugar dissolve. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. The sauce can be refrigerated for several weeks. Bring to room temperature for serving.

In addition, use 1.5 cups of the sauce along with one head of green cabbage, finely chopped, to make a simple North Carolina Coleslaw to be served with your pulled pork. This can be made up to 4 hours ahead and stored in the refrigerator, covered.

BBBQ Sauce

(Bourbon Based Barbecue Sauce)

I’m not a huge fan of barbecue sauces. I’ve always firmly believed that good barbecue should be able to stand on its own. You should be able to taste the flavor of the meat and the smokiness that it picked up after spending untold hours in a pit with a live fire. I don’t want the flavor of the meat drowned out by some overpowering, sickeningly sweet sauce like people do in some parts of the country (I won’t point fingers here). But sometimes sauce can be a good thing….in moderation. Kind of an accent to go along with the meat…not fighting it out to see which is more powerful. All that being said, here is a sauce that I have been toying with on and off for a few years….to the best of my recollection. (I really should write these things down so I know exact amounts.) Feel free to use it and tweak it to suit your own pallet.


  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced fine
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of chili sauce
  • 1 cup of ketchup
  • about a half cup of bourbon, whatever brand you happen to be drinking at the time, but Wild Turkey works best
  • 1/4 cup of cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice, fresh, not from the bottle
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • coupla tbsp of Worsey sauce
  • coupla tbsp of mustard
  • at least 4 dashes of your favorite hot sauce (personally I can’t stand Tabasco, find another brand)
  • anywhere from a couple of tsp to a couple of tbsp of drippings from a brisket (or whatever else you are smoking) I guess you could use liquid smoke if that’s all you have
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes (more if you like heat)
  • coupla tbsp of whatever rub you are using on your brisket


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan and saute the onions until soft, but not brown. Throw in the garlic when the onions are almost done.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients (except the meat drippings) and stir to mix. Allow them to come to a boil over medium heat, then reduce and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring often.
  • I generally do this the night before when I have started my brisket. It gives the ingredients time to blend. The next morning I will collect the drippings from the brisket and add into the sauce and bring it back up to a simmer.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature. Sauce will last about 3 days (due to meat drippings)

Getting excited as I type this as I know that I will be making this tonight to go along with a brisket I will be smoking overnight. Going to be served up in time for the Baylor Rice game tomorrow. I’ll go by the recipe I’ve posted here, but any additions or corrections I make, I’ll try and note and let y’all know. I’m thinking I might see what Sriracha does to the flavor or maybe some chili garlic sauce. We’ll see….

A Simple Central Texas BBQ Sauce

This is a simple sauce, as most BBQ joints in Texas only think of sauce as an afterthought, that is loosely based on a famous BBQ joint in Central Texas that shall be left unnamed


  • 1 cup of meat drippings (or chicken stock)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 or more tbsp hot sauce
  • coarse salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • coupla tbsp of your favorite rub, preferably whatever you are using at that time on your meat

Combine all the ingredients except the salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking for about 30 minutes, stirring often. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature. Sauce will last about 3 days. (due to meat drippings)

Simple Marinara Sauce

This a simple marinara sauce that can be used for pasta, as a dipping sauce or on pizzas, pizza rolls and calzones.


  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional for heat)


  1. In a blender or food processor, add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and basil and process until finely chopped.
  2. Pour into a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings to fit your palette.
  4. Sauce can be used immediately, but will taste better the next day as the flavors marry.

Recipe makes about 1.5 cups

Simple Tomato Sauce


  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1 tbsp dried)
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of sugar (to cut the acidity a bit)


  • Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften
  • Add the garlic and cook until soft, being careful not to burn
  • Add the basil and cook for 3 to 5 minutes
  • Add the canned tomatoes with their juices and bring to a boil 
  • Lower the heat and allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken
  • Using an immersion blender (or a blender), pulse a few times to break up the tomatoes to achieve a sauce like consistency (you are looking to still have some chunks, you don’t want it to be completely smooth, but exact consistency is up to you)
  •  Season with salt and pepper to taste

White Barbecue Sauce

This is an unusaul barbecue sauce from northern Alabama made famous by the popular Big Bob Gibson’s located in Decatur. This is not your normal barbecue sauce, but rather a creamy, peppery, tangy, sauce which the chicken is dunked in and then served alonside. Definitely something worth trying at least once.


  • 2 cup mayonnaise (preferably Duke’s, we used light mayo)
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup prepared white horseradish (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Whisk ingredients together in a large, non-reactive mixing bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

5 thoughts on “Sauces

  1. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely smartly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your helpful information. Thank you for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.

  2. Thanks for all the great recipes! I’m new to the world of smoking on a green egg and I’m going to attempt a brisket tomorrow. I was going to try your BBBQ sauce but wasn’t sure what the chili sauce was that you have listed in the ingredients list. Could you clarify? Thanks!

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