Anyone who has ever mixed up anything will attest to the fact that it can take a long, long time to get it right.

And as tasty as some of those pre-mixed/pre-made BBQ sauces can get (and yes, there are a number of really good ones out there, especially from local Maine farms and pantries), there's never really been a substitute for making your own. You buy the stuff, you mix the stuff, you cook the stuff, you know what you're in for from the get-go.

"But, it's too much trouble!" is what you're thinking. Look, since your family and friends are gonna be swallowing this concoction, it's absolutely more than well worth the time, which is about 30 minutes prep (maybe), and then it's a simple boil and simmer deal.

I find prep work alotta fun to do, like working on a favorite puzzle or something: it's extremely therapeutic and kinda relaxing.

Get out what you'll need to put the ingredients in. I use whatever is around: bowls, coffee mugs, plastic cups, whatever you got, just to keep 'em all separate from each other after you measure them.

You do not want to mix 'em all up in one big bowl; they need to be put into your stove-top saucepan in a particular order. After you do all that, sit back and wait for the cooking process to finish off what will turn out to be one of your favorite condiments of all time, I promise. This sauce always comes out so insanely tasty-good, you'll wonder why you haven't been doing it all along. Makes for a great gift too, for the foodie-friends in your circle.

The Best BBQ Sauce For Charcoal Grilling (my preferred method, but whatever you like to do, go with that)

In your stove-top pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil (medium-heat).

Add:

  • 1 chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallot
  • 2 cups of ketchup (I prefer Heinz)
  • and 1/4 cup of bourbon (if you wouldn't drink it, then you shouldn't cook with it. Get a good brand!)

Stir in:

  • 1 cup of orange juice (again, don't go cheap here)
  • 1 cup of molasses
  • 1/4 cup of cola (not diet)

Mix in well.

Next, stir in the following: 1/4 cup of brown sugar (dark brown is okay, too)

  • 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke (do not skip this ingredient!)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon of BBQ-spice blend.

Cook and stir (a lot) until the whole mess thickens up pretty good, maybe even an hour or two (simmering at the end).

Of course, make sure it's cooled off before you store it. I like mason jars, but use whatever you have. Lasts up to a month when properly stored.

It's taken a while to get this right, but here you go. And it works with whatever/however you like to use your BBQ sauce! Get ready for the compliments...