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Slow-Cooked Memphis-Style Barbecue Sauce

Yield: Yields about 4 cups

Memphis’s location allows the barbecue meisters to pull inspiration from three different directions—the vinegar of the Carolinas, the sweet of Kansas City, and the spice of Texas. This sauce incorporates all of those flavors into a truly authentic Memphis-style barbecue sauce.

This recipe is excerpted from Grillin’ with Gas.


  • One 24-oz. bottle of ketchup
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup apple-cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. granulated onion
  • 2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 Tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce


  • Combine the ketchup, water, vinegar, both sugars, pepper, granulated onion, and mustard in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1-1/2 hours, stirring the sauce occasionally during this time. Add the lemon juice and Worcestershire, and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool. Pour into an airtight container and refridgerate for up to three weeks, though I doubt it will last that long.


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