A Brief History of BBQ Sauces

by Pre Brands June 15, 2022

A Brief History of BBQ Sauces

These days there’s very little argument over the fact that barbeque has become a significant part of American culture. Every summer, families across the country gather and mingle over countless dinners grilled on the barbeque, and what better way to spice things up than with some barbeque sauce slathered on various cuts of meat?


Of course, because barbeque is so popular, barbeque sauces have become commonplace in our society. That wasn’t always the case, however. Believe it or not, barbeque sauce has some history, too.

Barbequing in and of itself was popular in America dating back to the 15th century when a European sailor discovered the New World and found indigenous peoples smoking various types of meat over a wooden grate. However, barbeque sauce was not part of the process at this time and didn’t come into existence until around the 17th century.

It’s believed that the very first primitive barbeque sauce was invented in a Dominican missionary where the cooks used lime juice and pepper to flavor meat for the barbeque. Eventually, this technique become popular with others and made its way around the world.

A BBQ picnic spread on a table


18th Century Changes

It wasn’t until the end of the 18th century that vinegar was introduced as a common base ingredient in preparing barbeque sauces. Throughout this period, several recipe books highlight the use of vinegar along with salt, pepper, and even mustard. Continuing into the 19th century, more and more innovative creations began to crop up.



20th Century Changes


The beginning of the 20th century sparked the commercialization of barbeque sauces, and they began to creep onto the shelves of grocery stores across the country. The Georgia Barbecue Sauce Company in Atlanta was the first company to commercially sell barbeque sauce in 1909, and it turned out to be a huge success. Consumers ate it up, literally, and in 1940 Heinz became the first company to sell it by the bottle.

During the 20th century, other condiment products were also making it into the market – such as ketchup, sugar, and Worcestershire sauce – which greatly affected the flavors and varieties of barbeque sauces. Recipes began to be tweaked, and several different artisan flavors became available for the public’s differing palettes.

 

Varieties and Inspiration

Basic BBQ Sauce

The Basic BBQ Sauce is an original that dates back hundreds of years when only two ingredients were used in the recipe. The origin of this simple combination of vinegar and pepper can be traced back to the plains of North and South Carolina.


Mustard Mix

This mustard-flavored BBQ sauce was created out of the Germans’ love for mustard. During the mid-18th century, hardworking German settlers prepared their own BBQ sauce recipe, and the Mustard Mix BBQ sauce was born.



Tinge-y-Tangy Tomato BBQ

This sauce is restricted specifically to the region of North Carolina. Starting with a base of the original basic vinegar and pepper sauce, a dash of tomato ketchup is added for a thicker, tangy-er texture and flavor.



Heavy Tomato BBQ

Heavy tomato BBQ sauces are arguably the most popular around the globe. Using a hearty dash of tomato sauce instead of a light one, this sauce boasts an extra sweet flavor that is further from the original flavors of barbeque.

 

Our Epic DIY Regional BBQ Sauces:

We haven’t met a BBQ sauce that we didn’t like, oh the choices! Making your own is fast, easy, and economical. We offer 7 recipes for our favorites. Make them ahead of time for best results. No fancy ingredients needed, you’ll want to use good old fashioned yellow mustard when it’s called for.  

Brisket Sauce Preparation

 

There are 2 ways to prepare the sauces, specifically, half of these are cooked, and half of them are just mixed. The Texas Style, Carolina Gold, and St. Louis all need to be simmered for 20 minutes after they have been mixed. The Alabama White, Kansas City, Memphis, and Piedmont all need to be mixed well. 

The sauces will keep, refrigerated for 2 week or frozen for 3 months. Before freezing transfer sauce to freezer safe container. 

Kansas City BBQ Sauce

1/2 C ketchup
1/2 C water
1/8 C apple cider vinegar
1/8 C brown sugar
1 T molasses
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t ground allspice
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t celery salt
1/2 t ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously to combine, refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to meld.

Alabama White BBQ Sauce

1 C mayonnaise
1/3 C apple cider vinegar
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t hot sauce
1 t kosher salt
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously to combine, refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to meld.

 

Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce

1/2 C water divided
1/8 C granulated sugar
1/4 C yellow mustard
1/8 C brown sugar
1/3 C apple cider vinegar
1/4 t garlic powder
1/2 t chili powder
1/4 t onion powder
1/8 t white pepper
1/2 t ground black pepper
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1 t kosher salt
1 t low sodium soy sauce
1 T butter
1/2 t liquid smoke

Add 1/4 C water and granulated sugar to a small saucepan and cook over low heat until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients except soy sauce, butter, and liquid smoke and simmer over low heat, stirring, for 20 minutes.


Add soy, butter, and liquid smoke and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Let cool and transfer to a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously to combine, refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to meld.

 

Piedmont BBQ Sauce

 

1/2 C apple cider vinegar
1/2 C water
1/2 C ketchup
1 T sugar
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1 t kosher salt

 

Memphis Style BBQ Sauce

1/2 C ketchup
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
1/4 C water
1/4 C pureed or grated onion
1 T mashed garlic
1 T molasses
1 T brown sugar
1 T yellow mustard
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 t paprika
1/2 t chili powder
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 kosher salt

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously to combine, refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to meld. 

 

St Louis Style BBQ Sauce

2 C ketchup
1/2 C water
1/3 C apple cider vinegar
1/3 brown sugar
3 T yellow mustard
1 T onion powder
2 t garlic powder
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/2 kosher salt
1/4 t ground black pepper


Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool, transfer to a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously to combine, refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to meld.

Texas Style BBQ Sauce


1 T butter
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves mashed garlic
1 C ketchup
1/4 C freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 C brown sugar
1 T tomato paste
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T yellow mustard
1 t chili powder
1 t kosher salt
1/2 t ground black pepper


Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender about 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring.

Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes stirring occasionally, let cool.

Pour into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously to combine, refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to meld.

 

Best Meats from Pre

Regardless of which barbeque sauce you decide to slather on your meat, it’s important to purchase high-quality meat to make your backyard grill experience even better. We invite you to enhance the delicious flavor of your barbeque sauce by ordering some high-quality, grass-fed and finished Pre beef today!



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