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smokin' in the backyard ... a kick a*s bbq sauce recipe

(If you're a child of the 80s, you said that in the tune of Mötley Crüe - Smokin In The Boys Room)

When you're gluten free, finding a bbq sauce that doesn't have soy - let alone all the other weird ingredients like HFCS and "natural flavorings" - can be difficult.

I always thought making my own would be just as difficult. Turns out... IT'S NOT! Just like making mayo, once you have the general profile down, the rest is a SNAP!

I got the base recipe from StrictlyPaleo-ish a while back (sadly, her website is no more), but I've been tweaking this recipe for several years now and I think I've got it pretty much down to something of my own. Of course, I change it up almost every time I make it, depending on what it's going on, or what I'm in the mood for.

We were recently gifted (YES, GIFTED - I KNOW, RIGHT?!) a Traegar smoker and the boy and I have been breaking in it pretty well. That's right... girls can grill/smoke/bbq as good (if not better) than the boys!! In fact, the first weekend we had it, I smoked a pork belly for some fantabulous bacon.

Since then, we've smoked some fresh, Alaskan salmon, ribs (not pictured, I'm fired) and a pork butt.

I think I've made three batches of sauce in the month we've had the smoker!!

sweet-heat bourbon bbq sauce

1/8 cup good bourbon*

1/3 cup water or apple cider/juice

½ cup unsweetened apple sauce

½ cup tomato paste

½ cup grade B maple syrup or honey

2 T balsamic vinegar (we like Fini brand)

1 t liquid smoke (we like Lazy Kettle brand)

1 t yellow mustard powder

1 t onion powder

1 t garlic powder

1 t salt

1 rounded t cocoa powder

1 T mesquite BBQ seasoning (we LOVE the Kirkland brand) or use your favorite spicy BBQ rub/seasoning

  1. Mix all ingredients in a pan

  2. Let simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes

  3. Pour sauce into a jar and allow to cool before storing in the fridge

* You could use all water/apple and omit the bourbon, but REALLY?

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