What I have come to realize over the last year is that we are only limited by what we think is possible. In the case of BBQ sauce it has so many ingredients in the list and a lot of them are things we can’t have. It’s probably natural to think the molasses or brown sugar are the key ingredients that give BBQ sauce its unique flavor profile. For a long time I assumed making a BBQ sauce would just be impossible. That’s where Paula Deen comes into the picture. I opened up her bottle of sugar free sauce and was astonished. We quickly ran out to Big Lots and bought all the bottles we could find. I haven’t been able to find it since. It’s so expensive on Amazon It’s cruelly expensive. So I was left to the task of trying to create my own recipe.
I spent weeks eating her BBQ sauce exclaiming, “How does she do it?? How does she make it taste like dinner and dessert?? What did she do???” So much so that I was near offending my husband who would reply back to me, “You know the wings are good too, I’m the one who cooked them on the grill.” My first recipe tasted nothing like BBQ sauce. I was very disappointed but happy with it as a steak sauce.
The fact that it had been done before kept me hopeful. I had a fantastic sauce to reference with Paula Deen’s sugar free BBQ sauce and I had Google. So for a few weeks I’ve read every single sugar free BBQ sauce out there and what I have found is a decisive lack of liquid smoke. Not just any liquid smoke…it has to be mesquite liquid smoke. I know it says hickory smoke on her ingredients list but trust me the mesquite liquid smoke is what works. How does Paula make her BBQ sauce taste savory, sweet, and almost like a dessert but perfectly balanced for slathering on grilled meats? It’s the spices. In particular we will need cinnamon. Are you tired of getting by with BBQ sauces that taste like A1 or salsa? Me too! Those days are over. This recipe will probably evolve as I have more time to develop it. I’d like to create a variety of sauce recipes. I can’t wait to see what else we can do while staying low carb.
I feel like a fresh BBQ sauce has more explosive flavor then any bottled sauce could have. I actually have 1/2 bottle of the Paula Deen sauce in the fridge and it has gone untouched since pulling this recipe together. My husband is planning on bringing a bottle of my BBQ sauce to work and I’m pretty sure even though I just made some more this morning that I’ll have to make another batch within a few days! Try it. You’ll love it!
- 3/4 cup Heinz reduced sugar ketchup (192 grams)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Colgin mesquite liquid smoke
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (to thicken)
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup sugar equivalent. I used 4 1/2 tsp truvia and 1/4 tsp ezsweet. (technically that means it's 1/2 cup sugar equivalent plus 3.5 tablespoons, so it's just shy of 3/4 cup however you can sweeten this to taste as well.) **Update I tried this with all Truvia last week and was very unhappy with the results. I recommend the measurements I have here for the two sweeteners or else using ALL liquid sweetener for this recipe.**
- Combine ketchup, water, vinegar, worcestershire, lemon juice, mustard, and liquid smoke in a sauce pan over medium heat.
- Once the sauce starts to heat up add xanthan gum and whisk very quickly until all of the gum is incorporated.
- Add in spices and sweetener.
- Let cool and store in a squeeze bottle or jar.
- This makes 2 cups of BBQ sauce.
- Serving size is 2 tbsp.
- 10 Calories; trace Fat; trace Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 2 net carbs