Sticky Hog Barbecue Sauce

I’ve been on a quest for a while for a really good barbecue sauce recipe. I’m partial to Kansas City-style sauces. Original Blues Hog Barbecue Sauce and Sticky Pig Barbecue Sauce are two of my favorite commercial sauces. Both feature a great sweet and spicy taste and a thick consistency that really sticks to the meat. I’m not into “clone” recipes, so when I created this one I wanted a fairly simple, gluten-free sauce that was similar to these two, but with its own joys and nuances.

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until all the sugar has dissolved and the sauce starts to thicken a little bit (about five minutes).

Sticky Pig on the left. Sticky Hog on the right.

Bottle and store in the fridge.

The Verdict: ★★★★★
I called my dear wife over to help me taste test this sauce and knew I had a winner when (after a few little adjustments) she was eating it by the spoonful. The pomegranate molasses adds a great sweet/tart flavor and the teaspoon of balsamic vinegar is just enough to smooth the vinegar’s tang and round everything out.

The real test, though, will be this weekend when I try the sauce out on some racks of baby backs. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

5 thoughts on “Sticky Hog Barbecue Sauce”

  1. Yep, this is one I’m going to have to try, Dave. Blues Hog original is the favorite of everyone in the family except me. I like it for ribs, but it pains me when they put it on pulled pork (God forgives them, they don’t have North Carolina roots and don’t realize proper pork bbq has a vinegar sauce, lol). So if this is thick and sweet like that, I’ll make it for them.

  2. It’s pretty thick and sweet, but not quite as candy-like as Blues Hog. Probably because I used brown sugar instead of corn syrup. Let me know how it goes as I’d be very interested in your take on it.

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