5 Ingredient Friday: BBQ Sauce

This week’s 5 Ingredient Friday is so easy, it’s crazy! I had BBQ Chicken on the menu and I would normally use a bottled BBQ Sauce because, well, it’s easy. I’ve made BBQ Sauce before, and it’s taken some time and quite a few ingredients. But then I remembered that I saw a BBQ Sauce recipe of Claire Robinson’s that had only 5 Ingredients! So I decided I was going to make that.


  • 1 (7-ounce) jar or can organic tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons spicy Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ seasoning mix  (I used 1 tablespoon of BBQ 3000 and 1 tablespoon of Barbecue of the Americas from Penzeys)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt*
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper*
  • 4 cups water*

* FREEBIE ingredient


Whisk all the ingredients together in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about half or to desired thickness, about 1 hour.

Cool completely before transferring to an airtight container and storing in the refrigerator.

Cook’s Note: Use the BBQ sauce within 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.

My thoughts…

I read the reviews before making it and saw that a few people had issues with theirs thickening in the cooking time noted in the recipe. A few people also mentioned that it was a bit watery and that the full 4 cups of water weren’t really necessary.  So when I started making the BBQ Sauce I only added in 2 cups of water. It thickened up very nicely and I tasted it and it was strong! It had some kick to it. So I added in 1 more cup of water and let it thicken up again. I was very satisfied with how it turned out.

As I said above, I used 1 tablespoon of BBQ 3000 and 1 tablespoon of Barbecue of the Americas from Penzeys. And let me tell you – that gave it some flavor!

The BBQ 3000 is hand-mixed from the following:  salt, paprika, black pepper, nutmeg, mustard, allspice, citric acid, garlic powder, ginger, sage, thyme, white pepper, cinnamon, and natural smoke flavor.  I wanted some natural smoke flavor in the BBQ Sauce so I added in 1 tablespoon of this stuff.

The Barbecue of the Americas is hand-mixed from the following: coarse kosher fake salt, paprika, jamaican allspice, cayenne red pepper, nutmeg, black pepper, thyme, ginger, white pepper, korintje cinnamon. I wanted to add a little heat into the BBQ Sauce so I added in 1 tablespoon of this stuff.

I really think the combination of spices really worked well in this sauce.  I think that is what gave it that extra bang when it hits your tongue.  It wouldn’t have been so strong if I added in that last cup of water, but I really liked the flavor it had so I didn’t add that in. Since both the BBQ 3000 and the Barbecue of the Americas have salt in them, I only added 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt into the BBQ Sauce. I figured I could always add more if I needed to, but I couldn’t take it away.

This is a great recipe and I think I’m going to try some different BBQ Sauces using this one as a base. I think adding a little bit of maple syrup would add a wonderful flavor.  The bottom line is this – don’t buy any more of that bottled BBQ Sauce – try this and build from it so you know exactly what you are consuming!

Recipe courtesy Claire Robinson
Show: 5 Ingredient Fix
Episode: No-Grill BBQ

Strawberry Pomegranate Balsamic Salad Dressing

We got a bunch of green leaf lettuce and a bunch of fresh spinach in our CSA box this week, so salad was definitely on the menu for dinner! Mr. Curly Fry always uses the same salad dressing (Catalina) but I like some variety. I felt like making my favorite standby dressing. I have a bottle of Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar that I got from the one and only Garces Trading Company here in Philadelphia. This stuff is absolutely amazing. I put that in a saucepan to reduce it a bit and I added in some finely chopped strawberries that I had. I let that simmer for a bit and then set it aside to thicken and cool down. I whisked in a tiny bit of pomegranate juice, but not much. I put in enough to thin it out a bit. I used this on my salad and it was delicious! So simple and easy to make, yet so flavorful.