Black barbecue sauce

There are so many variations on what can be called barbecue sauce, and so many of them are great. This one is pretty subtle with sweetness, edge and hint of smoke.

Quantities are a guide.


  • ¼ cup black treacle (molasses)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • ¼ cup vinegar (I use about half/half balsamic and white wine)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 4 red peppercorns, ground
  • ½-1 Tbsp hickory smoked salt
  • 2 dried chipotle chillies, stems removed, soaked for 1 hour, deseeded and chopped to a paste
  • water to loosen. For extra bite use the water from the chillies


  • pan
  • wooden spoon


  1. Heat all the ingredients gently in a pan, stirring till smooth.
  2. Taste and adjust.

What you should know

If you are using this sauce to baste while barbecuing, be sure to leave some to slap on after the meat is cooked. The high heat of the barbecue seems to burn off all the subtlety and edge so you’ll need to keep some of the sauce away from the flame.

Re: Black barbecue sauce

The trick to retaining the flavor is to keep the heat low. For bbq my modus operandi is low and slow. Really all you want to do is glaze.

Re: Black barbecue sauce