Eat: Keri’s Ying Yang Bourbon BBQ Sauce

I love BBQ in all forms.  Wet, Dry, Beef, Pork, Chicken, Links, Veggies… Texas, Carolina, Kansas City, Memphis…. Lean, Moist…. WHATEVER – it all has goodness in it’s own fabulous regional BBQ-y way.

THAT BEING SAID – If we are going to have a sauce at home, I like a balenced mix of sweet, tang, heat, and smokieness.

Oh and bourbon.  Because for goodness sakes, why not!?

It recently came to my attention that I don’t actually have my  Basic BBQ sauce recipe anywhere on ED&BK…  My Southern Sloshed Party Pork recipe uses bottled sauce (and I tend to use bottled when I do that recipe, which I do often, because I doctor it up so much and it all just cooks so long anyway… why not take the help on that one?)  But for other applications – something to slather on Brisket after it has cooked with a dry rub, basting chicken or ribs at the end of cooking on the BBQ,  dunking anything I can get my hands on into, etc, I start with this basic recipe.

Then I branch out.

Sometimes I add honey and make it a little sweeter.  Or an adobo pepper for lots of heat.   Or a teaspoon of my favorite Tomato Basil Chipotle seasoning from Mondo Market to give it a certain “hmmmm, what is that yummieness?”

But just as it is, it is the best of all the things I like – it isn’t too sweet, or too vinagary, or so spicy that you can’t taste anything else.

It’s like the perfect Ying Yang BBQ Sauce.  Let’s call it that – Keri’s Ying Yang Bourbon BBQ Sauce.  :::pausing to alter post title:::


2 cups kechup

4-6 dashes liquid smoke (I like the liquid smoke, but it is concentrated, so be careful if you don’t like a lot of smoke – I go 6 dashes)

3/4 cup Bourbon (I like Jim or Jack for this – but here I am using the The Hub’s Weller, because I wasn’t impressed with it, and because I am tired of hearing him affect a wierd southern general accent when he says it “I duh-CLARE – it’s the Well-ahhh”  (no)

1 cup brown sugar (I pack it down pretty good in the cup)

1/2 teaspoon cayenne/ground red pepper

4 tablespoons apple cider vinagar

3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

3/4 teaspoon garlic paste (I use the tube because I don’t want chunks)

2 teaspoons dry mustard



This is an “everybody into the pool” situation – combine everything into a pot (I spray mine with cooking spray before adding the ingredients, as it gets pretty sticky and the spray makes clean up easier.)

Then give it all a good wisk over high heat and let it come to a boil:

Drop the temp to low or medium low and let the sauce simmer 30 minutes (you want bubbles, but not a thunderous boil) uncovered.

A NOTE:  It is messy – get your wet paper towel ready and just wipe things down when you occassionally stir the sauce – if you cover it, it isn’t going to thicken, and that will make you a sad sauce panda.  Embrace the mess (but look out for the spatters, molten, sticky sauce leaves marks.)

After 30 minutes, pull the sauce off the burner and coat the back of a spoon with it, then run your finger through.  Does the line you made stay clean?  That is what the french folks call “nape” and it is sauce-consistancy perfection. Also, this sauce thickens a bit more as it cools, so you will get a good coating on your desired sauce carrier.


Cool and store in a covered container in your fridge – I have kept it up to 10 days and had no issues (keep in mind, you are reheating as you use.)

Here’s a country-style pork rib that has been given the Ying Yang treatment.  Mmmm.  Lunch.

Or package some up as the perfect fall party host gift!

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