Smoky Southwest BBQ Sauce

This sauce, featured on Episode 2, is a take on Rachael Ray’s awesome BBQ sauce base with the goal of imparting the most smoky flavor possible. Some smoky chiles, some smoky whiskey, and some honest to goodness smoke make for a mellow sauce that really brings the southwest to your barbecue.


Start with Rachael’s base:

1 cup ketchup

2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons dark maple syrup

2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika (about 1/3 palmful)

Coarse black pepper


Then add:

½ tbs finely chopped or ground ancho chile

½ tbs finely chopped or ground chipotle pepper or chipotle powder

About 2 shots of smoky whiskey. I used Whiskey Del Bac - Dorado


Sweat the garlic in a small pan on the stovetop - do not allow the garlic to brown. Add the chiles and the paprika and toast over low heat about 5 minutes. Combine all ingredients in a metal pan - foil loaf pans work great.


Prep the grill. If using a charcoal grill, light half a chimney of charcoal and arrange the coals so that they are all to one side. Add a few thick mesquite wood chunks and allow the grill to heat to about 300ºF.

If using a gas grill, light only one or two burners on one side of the grill making sure there is room to place the sauce on the opposite side to cook indirectly. Place a large foil pan over the lit burners and add plenty of small mesquite wood chips. Adjust gas to keep the grill around 300ºF.


Place the sauce in its pan on the grill away from the direct heat. Be sure to check the temp and keep it between 275 and 300ºF. Allow sauce to absorb smoke and combine flavors for about 2 hours stirring every 15 minutes or so and adding wood chips as needed. Serve immediately to be the star of the barbecue or make it ahead of time and store in the fridge.