I’ve put up quite a few recipes that were with some fairly exotic ingredients, however this time I wanted to make things a little simpler. No penguin or kangaroo in this one, just a nice simple barbecue sauce. Let’s begin with what I like to use:


Cola (Doesn’t really matter what type, just whatever you like)

Black Pepper


Brown Sugar (Optional)


Spices There’s a bunch here I could list off to make this hot as hell, but the non-spicy ones I like to use are things like:

Cumin, Celery Salt, Paprika, Mexican Oregano, Ginger, Chinese 5 Spice, Cilantro, Lime/Lemon juice

Okay, so right off the bat, you may notice that several of the ingredients are sweet. There’s a reason for that. I like barbecue sauce to be sweet and spicy. The ketchup and the cola are gonna be the base for the sauce. The cola will give it the initial sugar and color, the ketchup is the thickener. I hate thin barbecue sauce, so I go heavy with the ketchup. This is really gonna boil down to how much sauce you need, like if you’re doing 2 racks of ribs, or maybe just some steaks. You gotta know that right off the get-go. Anywho…

Even with the ketchup as a thickener, you may notice that a whole can of soda makes things come out pretty watery. The ketchup alone isn’t gonna suffice, hence the honey. This shit is like glue for barbecue sauce, so I love using it. You know those little plastic bear containers of honey you get in the supermarket? I could use about 1/2 to 3/4 of one of those on one sauce. Whatever makes it thicker. Also, just fyi, brown sugar is a pretty good thickener as well. I like dumping in about a handful of it to a sauce if I don’t have honey in front of me.

So let’s talk about the spices I like to add, because here’s where you would start to do that. Depending on what kind of “taste” I’m going for, I’m gonna limit myself to certain things. So, if I’m going for an Asian-style sauce, the Chinese 5 Spice, the ginger, and the paprika are gonna be my mainstay. However, because I live in LA, things tend to get pretty “Latin” around here, so I love using cumin, Mexican oregano, cilantro, and lime juice. If you don’t know already, cumin tends to give things a really “earthy” taste. What the hell does “earthy” mean? I don’t know, just taste it. You see what that taste is in your mouth? That’s “earthy”. Oh, and no, Mexican oregano is NOT the same thing as…well…regular oregano. It has a distinct taste and scent. You should try it out before using it. I think Cilantro is Spanish for “little green leafy plant that’s kind of like parsley, only with Latin flair”. Don’t quote me on that though. Lastly, if you don’t know what Lime or Lemon juice tastes like, go back to planet X you friggin alien.

As with most of the things I put together on the grill or in the kitchen, I tend not to measure shit. I already have a pretty good idea when there’s gonna be way too much celery salt in something. A good rule of thumb for when you’re cooking ANYTHING is: Add just a little bit of the spice at a time, then taste what you’re making. You can always add more. So just go slow with the spices and what not. That probably doesn’t sound too helpful, but when you’re making something yourself, do you want it to taste like how someone else likes it, or how YOU like it? See? There’s method to my madness.

Anywho…I’m sure you all can fumble your way through this recipe and make something you like. The best part about cooking for yourself is that you are the only critic that matters. If you go ahead and use the things I listed here and it tastes like shit to you, substitute one of the ingredients for another. I won’t get angry. Promise.