The Best Barbecue Sauce

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: about 1 quart
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2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)  

2 cloves garlic, smashed

3 cups ketchup

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup steak sauce

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons molasses

3 tablespoons yellow mustard

1/2 teaspoon ground celery seed

Kosher salt

1 to 2 teaspoons liquid smoke, optional


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, until the onions are golden, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the ketchup, 1 cup water, the vinegar, brown sugar, steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, mustard, celery seed and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the onions are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the liquid smoke, if using. Strain the sauce, pressing on the solids to extract any liquid.
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