BBQ Sauce From Scratch (pt.III) - Bold and Savory

BBQ Sauce From Scratch (pt.III) - Bold and Savory

Our part III of BBQ Sauce From Scratch, the bold and savory deviate from the traditional sweet and tangy profiles. Texas BBQ sauce features bold and smoky flavors, complementing the state's love for beef, especially brisket. California BBQ sauce emphasizes fresh and natural ingredients, often incorporating honey and balsamic vinegar. Hawaii BBQ sauce brings a tropical twist with pineapple and soy sauce, offering a unique and savory experience. These sauces can enhance various proteins like beef, chicken, pork, or seafood. Let's go.

1, Texas

Texas has a deep-rooted love for beef, especially brisket. The Texas BBQ sauce is often simple and less sweet, allowing the smoky flavors of the meat to shine. The hot and dry climate of Texas also influenced the use of bold spices to add heat and complexity to the sauce.

Flavor Profile: Bold, smoky, and savory with a hint of spiciness.
Protein: Beef (brisket, ribs, and steaks), sausages.
Beverage/Alcohol Pairing: Texas beer (e.g., Shiner Bock), Dr. Pepper, whiskey.

(image credit: Oakridge Acres Country Meat Store)



  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses

Spice blend:

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

or using local spice blends like


In a saucepan over medium heat, combine all the ingredients. Stir well to combine and bring the sauce to a simmer. Let it cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Remove from heat and let it cool before using it to baste or serve with your favorite BBQ meats.

2, California

Unlike any traditional BBQ, California's diverse population and emphasis on fresh, healthy ingredients have influenced the creation of unique BBQ sauces. The use of ingredients like honey and balsamic vinegar reflects the region's culinary trends and preferences.

Flavor Profile: Balanced, fresh, and slightly sweet with a mix of honey and balsamic vinegar.
Protein: Chicken, turkey, seafood (e.g., shrimp or fish).
Beverage/Alcohol Pairing: Iced tea, lemonade, white wine.


  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

 Spice blend:

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Salt to taste

or using local spice blends like California  Grilling Seasoning


In a saucepan over medium heat, combine all the ingredients. Stir well to combine and bring the sauce to a simmer. Let it cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 3, Hawaii 

Hawaii's BBQ sauce is influenced by the state's tropical climate and access to fresh fruits. Pineapple, in particular, is often incorporated into the sauce, giving it a sweet and tangy flavor that complements the island-style barbecue dishes.

Flavor Profile: Sweet, tangy, and tropical with a pineapple and soy sauce base.
Protein: Chicken, pork, shrimp.
Beverage/Alcohol Pairing: Pineapple juice, tropical fruit punch, light beer.

(image credit:


  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for added heat)


  1. In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients - pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, rice vinegar, honey, grated ginger, minced garlic, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using).

  2. Stir well to combine the ingredients.

  3. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

  4. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until it thickens slightly and the flavors meld together.

  5. Taste the sauce and adjust the sweetness or seasoning to your liking. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, you can add more brown sugar or honey. For more heat, increase the amount of red pepper flakes.

  6. Once the sauce reaches your desired consistency and flavor, remove it from the heat and let it cool.

  7. Store the Hawaii BBQ sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.


Starting in Texas and working our way out west to California and Hawaii, these zesty BBQ sauces provide an unforgettable experience for all. This marks the final installment in our BBQ Sauce From Scratch series, which is jam-packed with inventive fusion BBQ dishes that challenge classic norms. I hope these recipes spark enough inspiration to motivate you to create something truly unique!

Haven't seen our part I & II yet? I gotcha!


Zesty & Bold

Sweet & Tangy


Check out our Sous Vide BBQ to experience fail-proof BBQ straight from your kitchen!

Sous Vide BBQ In Your Kitchen

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