Keto Barbecue Sauce – Sweet and Smoky is our version of an essential American classic for every grill master. Best of all, it is sugar free! And, our version has just enough tang to balance the sweetness. We have tried a number of the sugar-free store bought BBQ sauces and find they lack taste. As our readers know, the pre-requisite for all Tasty Low Carb recipes is TASTE! So, make your own!
A delicious Keto Barbecue Sauce is essential here in the Southwest, since we can grill all year round, either inside or outside. Our recipe is perfect on ribs, chicken, pulled pork, and beef. It really adds a taste explosion when used as a topping for meatloaf. It is an essential sauce! You might also want to try some of our other homemade sugar-free sauces:
- Keto Honey Mustard Sauce
- Homemade Sugar Free Ketchup
- Smoked Paprika Aioli
- Keto Remoulade Sauce
- Avocado Tartar Sauce with Pickled Jalapeños
Most barbecue sauces start with four simple ingredients: tomato paste for color and taste, a sweetener for cravings, a vinegar for tang, and water for consistency. Our recipe is no different. We like Cento tomato products so we start with their tomato paste. Our choice of sweetener is Sukrin Gold. It is a sugar-free substitute for brown sugar and really adds a molasses-like flavor. That is particularly important here in the Southwest. For tang we choose Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. It is simply the best. Cider vinegar also adds a slight touch of sweet with the after-taste tang.
However, barbecue sauce is much much more than the base ingredients. Its complexity is found in the variation of spices. We like garlic powder, onion powder, and mustard to start the seasoning process. The mustard balances the tomato flavor well. We find that a strong helping of black pepper and just a pinch of cayenne are also great complements. For smokiness we use a combination of liquid smoke and chipotle powder. The liquid smoke is so necessary!
Two unique ingredients finish off the recipe. Worcestershire sauce and ground cloves. They both add a unique flavor. If you wonder if they are needed, taste the sauce without them and you will agree, they are essential. You can also substitute Chinese Five Spice for cloves. If you do a lot of Asian cooking that may be more handy in your pantry.
The first tip is to start by melting the sweetener in your pan with the vinegar and water. Taste it, once melted, it should give you that basic “sweet-n-sour” flavor. Follow this with the addition of all of the other ingredients, except the butter. Stir to combine and then bring the sauce to a boil, reduce to simmer, and stir occasionally for 15 minutes. So easy to make! Just add that butter at the end. It adds a nice sheen.
While simmering, taste the barbecue sauce and adjust the ingredients according to your personal taste. For a tangier sauce, add a bit more vinegar. For a sweeter sauce, add more Sukrin Gold. If sauce is too thick, add more water. If too thin, cook longer or add more paste. Flavors will meld overnight in your refrigerator.
Keto Barbecue Sauce – Sweet and Smoky is a Perfect Sauce for Your Meat Recipes
Keto Barbecue Sauce – Sweet and Smoky is a perfect sauce! It will keep for a couple weeks in your refrigerator and will also freeze well. We make a bigger batch than shown in the recipe and freeze a good portion in zip-lock bags. It will keep for 2-3 months and be ready when you need it for grilling. Try our recipe, and tweak as needed – but, enjoy our Tasty Low Carb version!
- 1/3 cup Sukrin Gold (brown sugar substitute)
- 1/3 cup Apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup Water
- 2 cans Tomato paste (6 ounce cans)
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Onion powder
- 1 teaspoon Mustard (stone ground)
- 1 teaspoon Pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon Cloves (ground)
- 1/4 teaspoon Liquid smoke
- 1/2 teaspoon Chipotle powder
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- Add the sweetener, vinegar, and water to a medium sized sauce pan, over medium heat. Stir and dissolve the sweetener.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients to the sauce pan except for the butter. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.
- Simmer for 15 minutes, then add the butter until melted. Turn off the heat and let cool.
- Store in refrigerator until ready to use.