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Over the past few weeks, I’ve been on a mission to come up with a sugar-free, gluten-free, low carb BBQ sauce recipe. Sure, the ultimate time to think about this is grilling season, but I actually love using barbecue sauce for all kinds of recipes throughout the year. I truly believe that the right condiments can make all the difference between something like boring, plain chicken and a rich, flavorful meal.
Finding good quality low carb condiments on the market is hard. They’re usually filled with artificial sweeteners and preservatives, or they just don’t taste that good. Then there’s your usual garden variety BBQ sauce packed with high fructose corn syrup. Ugh.
Prior to this low carb BBQ sauce recipe, I was using this store bought sugar-free BBQ sauce. It’s decent, and much better than any other sugar-free one I’ve tried. However, the balance of flavors is not as rich and smoky as I would like. Besides, I’m not thrilled that the sweetener used in it is artificial (sucralose). It still tastes pretty good and contains no added sugar, so I do recommend it if you prefer not to make your own.
Nonetheless, I really wanted to come up with a better, homemade alternative for sugar-free BBQ sauce.
I must admit, this challenge was a bit daunting. Making homemade barbecue sauce can be a Big Deal. People have competitions for barbecue sauce recipes! And, different parts of the country (and the world!) all have different interpretations of what makes an excellent BBQ sauce.
As if that weren’t enough, this low carb blog is also all about recipes with ten ingredients or less. If you’ve ever looked at the ingredient list for a barbecue sauce, or tried to make your own using just about any recipe, you probably know this isn’t the easiest promise to uphold. No matter how you like it, BBQ sauce has a ton of complex flavors!
It took a few experiments to get my low carb barbecue sauce recipe just right. (Or, at least, just right according to several friends-and-family taste testers I had.) And, I even managed to squeeze it into just ten ingredients, not including water and sea salt. Yay! I’m really excited to share the result with you. If you can, I’d encourage you to try my version.
In my world, the perfect barbecue sauce is a balance of sweet, smoky, spicy, tangy, and thick. This low carb BBQ sauce is all of the above. The liquid smoke really makes the biggest difference, so don’t skip that part – even if you have to shop online to find it.
By the way, the wonderful thing about this sugar-free BBQ sauce is it’s crazy easy! Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan, then let it simmer for twenty minutes. Totally effortless.
So, what’s your favorite way to use a low carb barbecue sauce? Chicken? Ribs? Fish? Salad? Pizza? I’m going to be using this recipe year-round, so I’d love to hear your ideas. And when grilling season comes a few months down the line, we’ll all have even more possibilities!
Low Carb BBQ Sauce Recipe (Sugar-free, Gluten-free):
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Want more low carb, gluten-free ideas for dips and sauces? Try these: