Food for Soul

Simple Barbecue Sauce

By John Willoughby

  • YIELDAbout 1 1/2 cups
  • TIME10 minutes

Smoked paprika is the secret weapon in this simple barbecue sauce, which goes beautifully with pork and chicken. If you’re painting the sauce onto cooking meat, thin it out with water to about a one-to-one ratio, which will keep the sugars from burning too quickly over the fire. Serve the full-strength stuff alongside the finished meat.

Featured in: Mixed Grill, The American Way

LEARN: How to Grill

Simple Barbecue Sauce
Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times


  •  cup ketchup
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pimentón (smoked Spanish paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes.

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