Classic BBQ Sauce

My mom made this BBQ sauce while I was growing up and I just loved it. I've tried quite a few recipes that sounded similar, but this one really hits home for me. This recipe makes a good amount, but in my house, there are just the two of us so I cut everything in half and still wind up with plenty left over after barbequing chicken, hamburgers, pork chops, whatever.

Classic BBQ Sauce 

Mom's classic BBQ Sauce


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small white onion, diced small
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 can (28 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup molasses (save the rest of the moles for later)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 or 2 California Bay Leaves (They're easy to find on Amazon and contain about 100 times more flavor than ordinary bay leaves.)
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper

What do do with them...

  1. Mince 1 small white onion and three garlic cloves. Saute the onion until soft and turning brown, then add the three finely chopped garlic cloves and heat just until you can smell the garlic, less than a minute.
  2. Quickly add the 6 Oz. of tomato paste and (at least) 2 Tsp dried mustard to the onions and garlic. Stir well and the onions and garlic will incorporate nicely into the paste. Keep stirring the paste until it starts to turn a nice, dark red color.
  3. Finally, add 2 cups of water, 28 Oz. tomato sauce, 1/4 cup molasses, 2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce, 3 Tbs white vinegar, 2 Tsp coarse salt, 2 Tsp black pepper, and the bay leaves. 
  4. Simmer for up to 2 hours, (if you can), then season to taste with vinegar, salt, and pepper. I've been known to add a little extra molasses as well.