Mypigmeup | Basic Southern-Style “Q” Sauce
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Basic Southern-Style “Q” Sauce

Basic Southern-Style “Q” Sauce

In this blog, there is a recipe for a basic Southern-style barbeque sauce.


The history of barbeque sauce can be traced back as far as 239 BCE in China. Master Chef I Yin wrote that a sauce for meats should be harmoniously balanced between sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and pungent. Every country in Asia used that harmonious balance for sauces for meats with ingredients indigenous to their region. Many modern Asian sauces use ketchup and corn syrup as part of their base.


Smoking meat was used by chefs in Europe to preserve meat and add flavor. Chefs in the Middle Ages use butter and vinegar to baste roasting or smoked meats. They often add herbs and spices to the butter.


The history of barbecue sauce in America has no specifically defined time line. It is said that Christopher Columbus brought a sauce back to Europe from Hispaniola (The Dominican Republic and Haiti) in the 15th century. Barbecoa was the term use for smoked meat by the Arawak natives in the Caribbean. They used the spices peppers, and other herbs to flavor their smoked meats.



In 1539, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto brought his own pigs and vinegar to the New World for the soldiers. Along with the vinegar, spices, chili peppers, sugar, and molasses indigenous to the Caribbean were used to help preserve and flavor their roasted and smoked meat.


The earliest use of a sauce for meat (pork, chicken, beef, or whatever else they could shoot) has been traced back to American colonists in the 17th century. Those sauces contained many of the spices used in modern barbecue sauces.


In the 18th century, German settlers in South Carolina using one of their favorite condiments, mustard, to produce their barbecue sauces. South Carolina is now famous for its mustard based sauces.


The break-down of regional barbecue sauces are as follows:

  • South Carolina: Mustard and vinegar with spices and sugar.
  • East (North) Carolina: Vinegar, spices and sugar. (Thin and sharp-used to penetrate the meat)
  • West (North) Carolina: Ketchup, tomato paste, vinegar, spices and sugar.
  • Alabama: Mayonnaise, vinegar, spices, sugar.
  • Kansas City: Ketchup, vinegar, spices, sugar. (Used to baste on beef)
  • Memphis: Ketchup, vinegar, spices, molasses.
  • Texas: Ketchup, chili powder, cumin, ancho powder, onions, sugar. (Used to baste on beef)


Now that I have thoroughly bored you, here is the “Q” sauce recipe:



  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of either ketchup or mustard (depending upon your taste)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup corn or cane syrup
  • ½ cup hot sauce (Use your favorite hot sauce, I use Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper (I use McCormick’s Smokehouse Ground Black Pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes



  1. 1.     Put all the above ingredients in a medium saucepan and warm over medium heat.


  1. 2.     Stir the ingredients to make sure they blend thoroughly. The sugar and syrup need to be fully stirred into the sauce.


  1. 3.     Pour the sauce into a blender and liquefy for 1 to 2 minutes. This will guarantee that the ingredients are thoroughly blended. (Especially if you use mustard for your base sauce.)


  1. 4.     Pour the blended sauce into glass jars and refrigerate.


Makes 1 ½ quarts

Preparation Time: 10-15 minutes


Note: If you wish to make the “Q” sauce hotter (spicy), you can chop up one or two habanero or Scotch Bonnet peppers and add them to the sauce during step 1.

  • Davey
    Posted at 14:44h, 26 November Reply

    Awesome to hear the history lesson on BBQ. Minus that I want a yummy bbq sandwich and a side of bacon right now lol!!

    • Cookin' Bill
      Posted at 21:30h, 29 November Reply

      Davey, Thanks for the comment. I agree with you a BBQ sandwich sounds great right now! With a side of bacon sounds even better!

  • Carly
    Posted at 00:58h, 07 December Reply

    I’ve never really thought about the history of BBQ sauce! The recipe looks pretty easy. I always like trying to make things at home – How long would this sauce last in the fridge?

    • Cookin' Bill
      Posted at 08:03h, 07 December Reply

      Carly, It should last up to six months.

  • Gina Mohr
    Posted at 19:43h, 07 December Reply

    Mmmm the ingredients in this make my mouth water just thinking about them lol. I don’t have a blender… can it just be stirred really vigorously?? :).

    • Cookin' Bill
      Posted at 20:59h, 16 January Reply

      Yep, great exercise!

  • Anna Colins
    Posted at 00:44h, 16 December Reply

    Another really great recipe and another great post.

    • Cookin' Bill
      Posted at 21:00h, 16 January Reply

      Thanks Anna. I hope you get an opportunity to make some for yourself and friends.

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