What is BBQ sauce?
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What is BBQ sauce?

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There’s nothing that beats a barbecue than when the sun’s shining and you’re entertaining family and friends. But a BBQ isn’t complete without the addition of a rich, dark and wonderfully smoky sauce to transform your roasted meat into a truly memorable barbecue experience.

What is BBQ sauce?

BBQ Sauce is used as a marinade, for basting meat cooked on the barbecue or more recently as a dipping sauce.

The word barbecue came to the UK via the Spanish, who adopted the term from the Arawak Indians of the Caribbean, whose barbacoa was a grating of green wood on which strips of meat were placed to cook or to dry over a slow fire.

Most American barbecue sauces can trace their roots to a sauce common in the eastern regions of seventeenth century North Carolina and South Carolina. The simplest and the earliest versions were popularised by enslaved Africans.

What is BBQ sauce made of?

The ingredients vary depending on where you are world, but most barbecue sauces include vinegar or tomato paste as a base, liquid smoke flavouring, onion, spices such as mustard and black pepper, and sweeteners such as sugar, honey or molasses. Regional variations might also contain hot chilli pepper, soy sauce, cumin or garlic and Worcestershire sauce.

Originally used to baste meat during cooking, barbecue sauce is also now more commonly served as a condiment similar to ketchup and brown sauce.

How to make BBQ sauce:

A straight forward BBQ sauce is easy enough to make, but a great BBQ sauce is a matter of personal taste and will benefit from experimentation. Why not save yourself some time and explore our delicious range of BBQ sauces or if you’re still feeling adventurous, try the recipe below.


30g of soft brown sugar

1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp of cider vinegar

150g of tomato sauce

1 tsp English mustard

1 pinch of salt

1 pinch of pepper

Step by step guide:

1. Put the sugar, Worcestershire sauce and vinegar in a small saucepan and stir thoroughly to combine.

2. Place the pan over a low heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved.

3. Add the tomato sauce, mustard, salt and pepper and mix well. Allow to cool before serving.


Add some onions and chopped tomatoes that have been sweated until soft, and a cautious dash of chilli sauce or tabasco if you want more heat. For a smoky version, add a teaspoon of smoked paprika. Spicier? Add garlic, cumin, or dried herbs.

What to eat with BBQ sauce 

Not sure what to try with new favourite? Why not give one of these classic combinations a go:

Variations on a BBQ sauce

Everyone has their own spin on the classic BBQ sauce. Here are some of the most popular combinations from across the globe.

Korean BBQ sauce

Korean BBQ sauce, also known as bulgogi sauce, is a popular variation used in Korean cuisine. It is typically sweet, savoury and slightly spicy, creating a delicious combination of flavours.

Typically made with soy sauce, dark brown sugar, minced garlic, rice wine vinegar, chilli-garlic sauce, ground black pepper, fresh ginger, Asian sesame oil, corn starch and water. 

Honey BBQ sauce

Honey BBQ sauce is a popular type of barbecue sauce that combines the flavours of sweet honey with tangy and smoky elements.

Stir ketchup, honey and vinegar together in a saucepan over medium heat until smooth; add liquid smoke, salt, black pepper, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.

Sticky BBQ sauce

Sticky BBQ sauce is a type of barbecue sauce that has a thick and sticky consistency. It is typically used as a glaze or marinade for meats, especially when grilling or barbecuing.

Butter is often added to BBQ sauce to create extra stickiness, making it ideal to use as a glaze for spare ribs, corn on the cob or vegetable skewers. Also good as a dipping sauce.

Our Sticky Rib & Wings Sauce has a beautifully sweet and spicy flavour and is made by combining juicy tomatoes, sticky, honey, rich garlic and a blend of spices to create a sticky sauce packed full of flavour.

Hickory BBQ sauce

Hickory BBQ refers to a style of barbecue sauce that is known for its smoky and rich flavour profile. It gets its name from the use of hickory smoke, which imparts a distinctive smokiness to the sauce.

This combines muscovado sugar, concentrated tomato purée, honey, onions, cornflour, salt, sunflower oil, garlic, vinegar. dried oregano and hickory smoke flavouring.

Our Hickory Smoked Barbecue Sauce is a classic sweet and smoky recipe created with a balance of juicy tomato, sticky honey and a delicate blend of herbs and spices. The perfect accompaniment to any barbecued meats and especially delicious with ribs, steak and sausages.


Take a look at a selection of sauces

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