Basic Tomato Barbecue Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    3 cups

Appears in

The Glory of Southern Cooking

The Glory of Southern Cooking

By James Villas

Published 2007

  • About

This robust, slightly sweet red sauce is ideal for either barbecued pork ribs or beef brisket, both of which take on a nice glaze when basted with the sauce. In the Deep South, cooks might also use a sauce like this one for barbecued venison, lamb, or duck. Be warned that the sauce does tend to burn if used over coals that are too hot, so any meat being basted with the sauce should be cooked at least 6 inches from the coals. In a tightly sealed jar, the sauce keeps well about a month in the refrigerator.


  • 1Β½ cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Tabasco sauce to taste


In a stainless-steel or enameled saucepan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring, till the sauce is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.