Spicy Barbecue Sauce for Pork or Chicken BBQ


Spicy Barbecue Sauce for Pork or Chicken BBQ

 It’s summer, and in Georgia that’s barbecue time. Slowly smoked pork, either pork butt or whole hog, is the traditional favorite here, with chicken a secondary choice. Barbecued beef brisket, though sometimes available commercially here, is really more a feature of St. Louis, Kansas City and especially Texas cooking. My personal favorite is smoked pork butt, with the meat “pulled” with two forks into chunky shreds, and bone and any excess fat that survived the slow cooking discarded.

BBQ sauce with pulled pork sandwich
While many cooks and BBQ eaters have their own favorite commercial sauce, I like making my own when someone I know is barbecuing. A decade or so ago our restaurant actually barbecued pork, whole hogs or butts, for special occasions. In the course of that I worked out my favorite sauce. I made the version in the recipe below for adults, and a milder, sweeter version with more ketchup in it for kids and adults wanting it less hot.

This sauce is basically in the North Carolina style, featuring cider vinegar, black pepper and  Worcestershire sauce. But I do use some tomato, in the form of ketchup. The wonderful hot pepper sauce from Jalisco in Mexico, “Valentina” Salsa Picante, is readily available and inexpensive here. It’s easy to find at Mexican grocery shops and even at many supermarkets. To me it’s more delicious in BBQ sauce than the Louisiana hot sauces or Frank’s “RedHot” or Texas Pete, but those would work, too.

 The recipe makes about a pint and a half, enough for a good barbecue gathering, but any leftover stores well in the refrigerator for later use. The sauce does not need refrigeration for a number of hours, making it convenient to take to the countryside or wherever the pig roast is happening.

 A technical note: because of the Worcestershire sauce, which contains anchovy, and soy sauce, which has some wheat, the BBQ sauce is neither completely vegetarian nor gluten-free. Non anchovy-containing Worcestershire sauce or gluten-free soy sauce or Tamari can be used if need be.


1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup Valentina hot sauce (from Mexican grocery shops and some supermarkets)

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon brown sugar

3/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon canola oil


Mix together using a fork or whisk. Refrigerate if held for more than a day.


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