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Unread 03-07-2011, 09:14 PM   #145
On the road to being a farker
Join Date: 01-01-09
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
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We are now up to number 7 - big brother smokes recipe. Thanks to him for the recipe!

#7 big brother smoke (

Big Brother Smoke’s All Purpose BBQ Sauce

256 oz. Ketchup (2 cans)

cup your favorite rub (I use Sweet and Spicy)

1 quart Apple Sauce

10 oz. Apple Butter

1 cup Apple Cider

2 cup Apple Juice

1 cup Honey

Garlic Powder

1/ 4 cup Onion Powder

1/8 cup Oregano

1/8 Thyme

cup Yellow Mustard

1/8 cup red pepper flakes

Bring to a boil and let sit in the pot for about 12 hours or until cool before storing.

This is a good base sauce and you can doctor it easily (I always do based on my mood) with brown sugar for more of a sweetner; cayenne for heat; red food color or caramel food color for more of a mahogony thing. If you need more smoke flavor use cumin not liquid choke, I mean liquid smoke.

Recipe Review:

Notes: I used a combination of Hunts and Heinz ketchup (to help negate any brand specific dominance), Bama Apple Butter, a local brand no sugar added organic cloudy apple juice, supermarket brand no sugar added apple sauce, and a USA produced apple cider. The honey was a mixed blend to avoid any floral dominance, the mustard Frenchs brand and the remainder of the ingredients were penzeys spices.

Ingredients: What does the ingredient list say to me? APPLES! PORK! I knew off the bat that this would be a sauce primarily aimed at pork, and new it would be good with other game meats too. The question was whether it would be too sweet (with hardlu any salty/sour elements besides the ketchup) and how well it would go with meats other than pork. The thyme and oregano are an interesting addition, but I was worried they may clash with some of the other flavours and possibly those used in the rub on the meat.

Ease of preparation: Could not be easier - aside from gathering the various ingredients, it is simply a matter of combining them, bringing to the boil then cooling and storing!

Modifications and variations tested: I tested this sauce on grilled chicken, pulled pork, ribs, pork loin and beef back ribs.

Taste/Texture: The beauty of this sauce is that there are no thickeners added, but due to the ingredients, it turns out with a lovely consistency, not gluggy or cloying at all, with a slight shine. It is rather sweet. Thankfully though, it has some spice to back it up. Suprisingly, it doesn't leave you thinking you are eating pure apples, and I believe that is because of the large quantity of ketchup as well as including apple products in different forms (sauce which is cooked, cider which may be fermented, butter, which is cooked, juice which is raw) and obviously, the spices. I must say however, that even though I found it very sweet, it was not TOO SWEET. The one thing that threw me off was the flavour of the thyme and oregano. I know it is a unique aspect to the sauce, and I appreciate that, but for me, it just did not work. As much as I would like to say that I try all sauces with an open mind, the simple fact is that the thyme and oregano immediately brought Italian red sauces/pizza to mind when I was tasting it and it was the major downside to this sauce in my opinion.

Recommendations: I personally would get rid of the thyme and oregano and add some other spices... this would require some experimenting, but I think some warm spices such as cloves, allspice, nutmeg/mace, cinnamon, juniper, cardamom etc would work well and compliment those in the ketchup. I feel this sauce really has a LOT of potential with the apple, honey and ketchup mix. If using with pulled pork, I would add a bit more chilli or even some hot sauce to give it a bit more kick, and also a bit of vinegar to help with the fattyness of the pork. For beef, I would add a touch more mustard and ketchup to reduce the fruitiness, and add some of the rendered drippings from the cooking.


Appearance: 7.5/10 A fresh looking sauce with a vibrant colour a slight shine due largely to the honey and apple butter.

Consistency: 8.5/10 Outstanding. A lovely mouthfeel, not too sticky or cloying, not too thin - useable for a wide variety of meats (brushing to glaze, dipping, mixed with some cider vinegar for pulled pork etc).

Taste: 6.5/10 On pork, this sauce was terrific. We all know how well pork and apples go together, and this sauce really embodies that. On the grilled chicken, it was also very nice but I felt that the chicken needed a slighty bolder sauce. On the beef back ribs, it worked quite well, but I would tend to add some mustard or a bit more ketchup to tone down on the fruity notes. It really does have a nice balance of flavours, but some of the ingredients let it down.

Versatility: 6/10 As is, I would not say this sauce works universally well on all meats, but I believe it would adapt very well. For example, brisket with a dried apple rub would work very well if the sauce was tweaked as mentioned above. As is, it works beautifully on pork loin, ribs and pulled pork (with some hot sauce, salt and cider vinegar mixed in).

Overall Rating: 7/10. This sauce has a LOT of potential, and I believe it could EASILY be an 8 or 8.5/10 sauce, it just needs some slight modifications and tweaking depending on the meat it is used on.

Photos of sauce construction:

1.) The ingredients:

Top Row from left:

Apple Sauce + Apple Butter + Apple Cider + Apple Juice,
Oregano, Thyme, Onion Poweder, Ketchup

Bottom Row from left:

Honey + Mustard, Red Pepper Flakes, Rub, Garlic Powder

2.) Ingredients coming to a simmer:

3.) Turned off and left in pot:

4.) Sauce cooled and ready to use:

Thank you once again big brother smoke for the recipe

The next sauce, wampus!
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