Go Back
+ servings

Happy Fourth of July Barbecue Sauce

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: American
Servings: 128 servings


For the Rub

  • ½ cup chile powder
  • ¼ cup salt hickory flavored
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest

For the Sauce

  • 4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 cups sugar
  • cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup spice rub (see previous recipe)
  • 4 each lemons juice of
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 cups white onion chopped
  • ¼ lb butter unsalted, 1 stick = 4 oz
  • 10 cups ketchup
  • cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup liquid smoke


For the Rub

  • Mix thoroughly and save in a glass jar or zip-lock bag.

For the Sauce

  • Combine the first 10 ingredients in a large pot. Turn heat to medium and stir well to melt sugar and dissolve mustard.
  • Bring to a boil carefully (stirring often), reduce heat to medium low and allow mixture to simmer until onions are done stirring frequently, approximately 20 minutes.
  • Add the ketchup, Worcestershire and liquid smoke.
  • Stir mixture well and bring back to a simmer for approximately 45 minutes, stirring frequently. Let stand to cool, overnight is best.


1. Always cook this recipe in a well-ventilated area. The smell can be overwhelming.
2. Stirring is very important to prevent the sugar from scorching or burning.
3.NEVER substitute another vinegar for apple cider vinegar.
4. Don't spend a lot of money on ketchup, the cheaper the better.
5. To add heat add 1-1 1/2 tablespoons of red pepper flakes.
6. The sauce can be bottled for longer life but must be processed in a canner, which gives it an indefinite shelf life. However, when opened, the sauce must be refrigerated.