Gluten Free Barbecue Sauce Recipe
The men in my family are ridiculously competitive, even about things they don’t need to be, like barbecuing. Honestly, I do not know where they get it from!
Truth be told they all know their way around a grill and are grill-masters in their own right. They can all cook meat over fire very proficiently. And me, being smart, let them swelter over hot coals and take advantage of their competitiveness as the results are always fabulous.
But the difference between us and primitive man, who also cooked meat over fire, is barbecue sauce. And if I am going to be completely honest (and not at all competitive) I have to say, I make the best gluten free barbecue sauce!
I also have my own way of making “barbecue” chicken. Chicken over the grill can be tricky no matter how great a grill-master you are. The meat can easily become over-cooked and dry or the sauce can burn. That’s why I bake my barbecue chicken first, letting it remain moist and succulent, then I turn it over to one of the men for a minute or two on the grill. Sure they take all the credit, but that’s OK with me. We all know deep down inside that my barbecue chicken is the best.
It all starts with the sauce. I have tweaked and played with gluten free recipes for barbecue sauce for ages and I finally have one that is the perfect combination of spicy, sweet and tangy with a touch of smoke in there. Early versions of my homemade barbecue sauce had a list of ingredients as long as my arm. I worked hard to get that list down to where it is much less daunting. And this recipe only takes about half an hour to whip it up.
My award winning (at least in my own family) sauce starts with high fructose corn syrup free ketchup, Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade Certified Organic Blackstrap Molasses and Fair Trade Certified Organic Amber Honey for sweetness, pineapple juice for tanginess and gets it’s heat from pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I take a can of chipotle in adobe, puree it in the blender then use it to stir into all sorts of things to add spice and smokiness. I store it in a clean jar in the fridge and it last for months. The beauty of using the pureed chipotle in adobo is that you can make this sauce as spicy as you like. You can also make some of the sauce mild and some spicy. Start off with a little and add to suit your taste.
After I make the sauce, I take about 1 ½ cups of the warm sauce and put it into a large mixing bowl. I cut up a 4 or 5 pound chicken into pieces, season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper then dunk the pieces into the warm sauce. I line two baking sheets with foil and lay the chicken pieces in a single layer on the baking sheets with a little space between each piece. Then the chicken goes into a preheated oven (350 degrees) and bakes for 20 minutes. Then I flip the chicken over, brush with some more sauce and bake for another 15 – 20 minutes or until the juices from a thigh piece, pricked with the tip of a sharp knife, run clear (not pink at all). From there it goes onto the grill for about 2 minutes per side (or you can just pop under the broiler for a minute to char the top a little. Then I warm up some more sauce and serve it on the side. Perfect barbecued chicken every time!
Unlike most commercial barbecue sauces this one is almost completely free of high fructose corn syrup. There is a bit in the Worcestershire sauce so if you are avoiding HFCS completely just substitute with gluten free soy sauce.
With all the wholesome ingredients in this sauce, you can feel as good about serving it as I do.
- 2 cups ketchup (high fructose corn syrup free)
- 1 cup Wholesome Sweeteners Molasses
- 1 cup Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Honey
- 1 ½ cups pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or gluten free soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 dashes Tabasco sauce
- 1 teaspoon - 3 tablespoons (or more) pureed chipotle in adobo sauce
Combine all the ingredients except the chipotle in adobo puree in a large saucepan and whisk well. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once it begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the sauce is thick and glossy. Whisk the sauce well; add the pureed chipotle in adobo sauce, a little at a time, until the desired amount of heat is achieved. Make sure to whisk the sauce well after each addition of chipotle.
Store sauce in a clean glass jar in the fridge for up to a month.
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