Orange Juice Barbecue Sauce

OJ BBQ Sauce

There are probably millions of barbecue sauce recipes available online but if you’re like me you’re always trying to find something a bit different than what you can buy in a store.  Hell, I’m betting most of you have a sauce collection in your kitchen right now that would rival a museum.  Let’s face it – t does not take long for self-proclaimed grilling gurus to move past the assorted sauces found at the grocery store and into concoctions that you or your friends made themselves.

After getting into BBQ and grilling heavily, it just made sense to try my hand at custom BBQ sauces.  After all, if you’re out there spending hours on low-and-slow, you want to top the results with the best sauce ever, right?

One of my better results came from adding some citrus flavor to the sauce, here’s how it works.


Start with Small batches of Citrus Sauce

Don’t go crazy right off the bat! Start with a few test recipes. Start with a small batch of a quart or so. Here’s why. It’s much easier to toss a small batch of sauce you didn’t like and that you don’t feel like sharing with your barbecue and grilling buddies. On the other hand – It’s harder to let go of a huge test batch of sauce that could fill a five gallon bucket and cost you some serious time and money.


Junk Sauce

Wait… what’s  junk sauce? Junk sauce is a catch-all term for my experimental sauces.  It also just happens to be what call my successes also.  I know – it doesn’t make sense.

This junk sauce is simple – start with a bowl of your favorite BBQ sauce and start adding to it.  In this case we want to start with a spoonful of orange juice (though you can also use lemon, lime, pineapple, etc).

Then taste – how is it?  If it’s good then your job is done.  If not, keep adding junk – this is a great way to spice up your general store-bought varieties.  Other things you can try are spices link cinnamon, herbs like rosemary, and really anything.  Let your taste buds be your guide!

Ok, now onto something a bit more ‘official’ – my OJ BBQ Sauce:


Orange Juice Barbecue Sauce

  • 3 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup honey mustard
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar.
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic, more if desired
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons pepper

Combine all in a saucepan and stir. Cook over medium heat and allow to reduce slightly before serving.

Simple right?  And if you find it a bit lacking, don’t hesitate to toss in some more junk!


Quincy handles most of the marketing at CAPPEC and will work for coffee or IPAs. Currently residing in Asia, you can follow him at @YouKnowQuincy to see what he's up to.

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