I’ve adapted a family recipe for the crock-pot so break out the barbecue grill this weekend with this Slow Cooker BBQ Sauce recipe. A delicious Southern sweet and tangy sauce, so easy to make that you’ll never use the pre-made bottled sauce ever again!
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know I’ve been all about grillin’, smokin’, and chillin’ this summer. I love barbecuing so much that I got another new smoker this past weekend! Yay!! It’s a Pit Barrel Cooker and which is a refined version of a UDS smoker (Ugly Drum Smoker – the kind made out of a 55 gallon drum).
This thing is great since you hang the meat over the coals and the fat drips on the fire creating the moisture and flavors of whatever you’re cooking. Also, due to the design it allows me smoke a shite ton of meat at the same time.
It arrived on Friday and by Saturday morning the coals were lit. Loved it so much that I fired it up on Sunday too! It’s been great, other than some slight user error on a rack of ribs…but that’s a story for another time.
How to make a southern sweet and tangy slow cooker BBQ sauce
I have fond memories of this BBQ sauce. It’s my Mom’s recipe and she’s been making it for as long as I can remember. Every time she made it, I would find myself following the delicious smell into the kitchen and peering into the huge pot.
I would take the wooden spoon that was always next to the stove and gently stir the sauce around the pot, being careful not to disrupt the floating lemon slices. I also had the self-proclaimed title of “official taste tester” and my duty was making sure the sauce was tasting okay. In fact, I took my job very seriously and I would continue to taste many times throughout the day.
It’s a good thing my Mom always made such a large pot of this sauce because I probably ate 2 cups of it while exercising my official title. This BBQ sauce is tangier and has a thinner consistency than most, which I prefer as I’m not a huge fan of thick and overly sweet sauces.
To make the cooking process even a little easier, I adapted Mom’s recipe to cook in a crock-pot or slow cooker. Just set it and forget about it! I have to tell you, her original recipe makes A TON!! It makes something like 20 gallons.
Well, maybe not that much but it does makes a lot. For my recipe, I cut it back to 15 cups 😉 The good news is the leftover will stay fresh in the refrigerator for months or, if you’re really handy, can the sauce in glass jars and they’ll keep in the pantry indefinitely.
So go on make a big batch of Slow Cooker BBQ Sauce and get yo grill on this weekend!! Happy grilling 🙂
- 4½ cups all-natural ketchup
- 2 cups water
- 1¼ cups brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup Worcestershire sauce
- ¾ cup onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup all-natural yellow mustard
- 4 whole fresh garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 5 slices of fresh organic lemon
- 1-2 teaspoons liquid smoke (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a crock-pot or slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 hours, then reduce to low and cook for additional 2 hours.
- Remove lemon slices and allow to cool before storing in the refrigerator.
** Leftover will stay fresh in the refrigerator for months or, if you’re really handy, can the sauce in glass jars and they’ll keep in the pantry indefinitely