I know that someday you'll find better things.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Killer BBQ

It’s 8 am on a Thursday. The family’s departed for school and work, and I’m in the kitchen with pens, paper, and half the spices from the pantry scattered out across the counter, experimenting with ingredients until I’ve created the perfect BBQ sauce. You might think I don’t have anything better to do. Not true! I am doing this because I have SO many things to do. This is just one of the many ways that I procrastinate, but the results will be worth it. You have no idea the lengths that I will go to for a good BBQ sauce.

The day they invent a pill that can replace 100% of the nutritional value of three square meals a day, I’m done eating forever. Food, blech. Overwhelming to buy, messy to prepare, and time-consuming to eat. There’s so much I’d rather do with all that time and energy.

Few things in the culinary world are worth the effort and expense for me. BBQ is one of them. Forget the meat and just give me that sauce.

Nothing you can buy in a bottle at the grocery store could possibly compare to the sauce from a pit-smoker BBQ shack. Years ago on a trip to San Antonio (Or as Russ calls it, ‘The city so nice, we flew there twice—in a five hour span’) one of my BBQ sauce hankerings hit, and we ended up walking six miles across the city to satisfy it. In improper footwear, excessive heat, and through some pretty sketchy neighborhoods.

Totally worth it.

Fortunately, fate led us to an accidental discovery of an even better sauce that is much closer to home. Kenny’s Wood-Fired Grill in Addison, which might be the best restaurant in the entire Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and quite possibly the world, has a sauce that hits all the right notes. 

Sweet, savory, and spicy in all the right places of your tongue, this sauce makes you consider asking the waiter for a pint glass and a straw. (Depending on how many Grey-Goose-on-tap martinis you’ve knocked back, you might actually ask the waiter for these items and then have to pretend that you were joking. Hypothetically.)

To my knowledge, only one menu item is served with this magical elixir. The conceptually-criminal tenderloin meatloaf sandwich is the opposite of a travesty. It is divine. To ignore the ramekin of BBQ sauce is to miss out on an utterly decadent experience.

When packing up our leftovers, the thoughtful waiter included an extra to-go dish of the BBQ sauce. His actions may have changed my life, for as I dipped my finger in to taste, taste, taste the following day, I realized that maybe I could try to replicate the sauce at home.

The experiment became a family affair. We worked as a team to make guesses about the ingredients, comparing my progress to the precious drops that remained at the bottom of the Styrofoam to-go bowl.

Pinch, dash, splash.

At long last, we agreed. I’d nailed it. We all stood around the mixing bowl in a dreamy sauce stupor, until Hannah broke the trance by asking if I’d recorded the ingredients so we could have it again and again.


So, here I am, actively avoiding all the chores, tasks, and errands of the day by replicating and recording in order to create an official recipe. Posting it has two main benefits—I’ll be able to locate it for future reference, and if you’re feeling adventurous (or procrastinate-ful) you can create a jar of joy for your own family to drink—Err, I mean—enjoy.

Killer BBQ Sauce


Wet stuff:
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup ketchup (Not sure if brand matters, I used Simply Heinz)
1 tablespoon molasses
1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke (I actually used ¼ teaspoon, and it was almost too much)

Dry stuff:
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
3 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1.5 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon black pepper


1.       Dump all the ingredients into a glass jar (I used a pickle jar, but I bet a spaghetti sauce jar would work, too.)
2.       Put on the lid; Shake it until it's thoroughly mixed.
3.       Let it set up a bit in the fridge before you impress your friends and loved ones.
4.       Enjoy on anything. Or everything. Or by itself with a straw.

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