Jesse’s Basic BBQ Sauce

When it comes to BBQ and BBQ sauces, everyone has a favorite.  Sweet, spicy, vinegar based, wet, dry rub, and on, and on, and on….

Here’s an easy one to make that is sure to please even the most critical of BBQ connoisseurs! Based on Wiley’s Championship BBQ in Savannah, GA.


  • 5 cups (40 ounces) ketchup
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2⁄3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (how hot you want is up to you and your guests)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon celery salt


Combine all the ingredients in a medium, non-stick saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally as it simmers for at least 20 minutes.

Set aside to cool to room temperature.

For a sweeter sauce, use honey instead of molasses in the recipe.  We recommend using local honey.  For a really spicy sauce, add some crushed red pepper flakes. For a smokier sauce, add ground ancho chili powder.

Play with the recipe to find the perfect sauce to fit your tastes.


Eat It and Like It launched in Savannah, Georgia with television personality Jesse Blanco as the host. His passion for food and travel has made Eat It and Like It a two-time EMMY nominated program about contemporary and traditional Southern food.

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