Pitmaster Ray Sheehan’s recipe won the title in international competition in Louisiana
We are blessed to have year-round grilling weather here, and for many of us, our current stay-at-home status means there’s more time for improving our skills.
Ray Sheehan, a pitmaster and judge for the Kansas City Barbecue Society, shares 60 recipes, including 10 of his own barbecue sauces, in a new book, “Award-Winning BBQ Sauces and How to Use Them.”
Sheehan’s philosophy is to omit any artificial ingredients in his sauces and build a complex flavor profile through a lot of experimentation. His Memphis Mop BBQ Sauce won the title of “Best BBQ Sauce in the World” at an international competition in Louisiana.
He says he tried about 100 variations before landing on this one. “The secret to success is that it is well balanced,” he writes in the recipe’s introduction. “It’s not overly sweet, nor is it too spicy. However, it has just the right combination of spices to give you a little kick at the end, leaving the flavors lingering on your palate and you wanting more.”
Memphis Mop BBQ Sauce
Makes about 3 cups of sauce
2 cups ketchup, such as Simply Heinz
1/2 cup prepared yellow mustard
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon natural hickory liquid smoke
In a medium-sized saucepan, combine all the ingredients except the liquid smoke. Bring it to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Lower the heat to low and simmer until it’s slightly thickened, 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
With a whisk, blend in the liquid smoke until it’s incorporated.
Let the sauce cool, transfer it to a jar and store it in the refrigerator for up to a month.