Texas Style Barbecue Sauce

The best barbecue in Texas is brisket, pork, ribs, chicken and sausage slow cooked in a smoker-cooker.  

Traditionally, Texas barbecue is served with a homemade barbecue sauce, usually served warm.  Below is a simple recipe for a Texas style barbecue sauce.  This type sauce is usually a table condiment as opposed to a sauce used to bast the meat while cooking.  When you make a batch, play with the seasonings and their amounts until you get the recipe to your liking.  There are as many recipes for barbecue sauce as there are cooks.  Having grown up on Louisiana cooking, I like to use a fair amount of garlic and some Tobasco hot sauce.


  • 16 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) water
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) vinegar
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 fresh onion - pureed, 
  • or 2 tbs onion powder
  • 2-4 fresh garlic pods
    or 1 tbs minced garlic-pureed,
    or 1 tbs garlic powder
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbs coarse black pepper
  • 1 tbs Paprika
  • 1 tsp Tobasco sauce
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp salt or cajun seasoning mix (homemade, Chachere's or Zatarain's) 

Mix and Simmer:

  • Puree the fresh onion and garlic, if using fresh.
  • Add all ingredients to a thick walled pot.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add water or simmer longer to achieve the desired thickness;  I do not like it too thick.
  • Makes a little over a pint , depending on how much you cook it down.
  • Keep refrigerated.  The sauce is acid enough to store for several weeks in the refrigerator.
  • The sauce is best served warm for either dipping or poured over the meat.
  • The sauce is also good to mix with diced brisket to make chopped brisket sandwiches.
  • It is best to make the sauce a day early, cool in the refrigerator, then re-warmed the next day.  It seems like cooling and storing the sauce smoothes out the flavors. 
©David Wm. Reed