Memphis Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Memphis Barbecue
Jackson Vereen/Photodisc/Getty Images
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 3 cups (48 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
33 Calories
0g Fat
8g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 cups (48 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 33
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 124mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 0g
Calcium 16mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Memphis barbecue sauce is considered by many barbecue enthusiasts to be the best all-purpose barbecue sauce recipe. It has a great balance between hot, sweet and tangy. It's traditionally served with pork ​but works just fine with beef and chicken.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup onion (minced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/3 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

Steps to Make It

  1. In a saucepan, sauté the onion, garlic, and salt, in the vegetable oil for 5 minutes on medium-low heat.

  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, and bring to a simmer.

  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until the sauce reaches the desired thickness.

  4. Taste and adjust seasoning.