Cooking homemade BBQ sauce - covered, or not?

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Joined Dec 19, 2014
Trying diff BBQ sauces, and some say "boil for 5 min", or "simmer for 20 min", but they never specify covered, or uncovered. Which leads me to believe there is an industry standard, that everyone knows about. 'Cept for me, of course. :(
 
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have you tried North Carolina Eastern sauce? no real need to cook. blend you favorite vinegar. i like 1/3 each of white wine, cider, and red wine. add one teaspoon sugar per cup of vinegar. add 1/4 cup of spicy/hot peppers per cup. fresh or dried, whole or crushed or ground or sliced. age in frig for a week. good with pulled pork, sliced pork, brisket, and any cooked green veg. enjoy.
 

pete

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have you tried North Carolina Eastern sauce? no real need to cook. blend you favorite vinegar. i like 1/3 each of white wine, cider, and red wine. add one teaspoon sugar per cup of vinegar. add 1/4 cup of spicy/hot peppers per cup. fresh or dried, whole or crushed or ground or sliced. age in frig for a week. good with pulled pork, sliced pork, brisket, and any cooked green veg. enjoy.
I'm a huge fan of NC style BBQ sauce especially when it comes to pulled pork. It really helps to cut the fattiness. Mine is cider vinegar, approximately 1 tablespoon sugar to each cup of vinegar, plenty of crushed red pepper, a good amount of black pepper, salt, and just a squirt or 2 of ketchup. Bring to a quick boil, cool and let mature at least overnight.

As to the OP, as Mary said, it really all depends on how thick the sauce is when you begin and how thick you want the final product to be. Remember, it will also thicken up some more as it cools. Generally, I tend to cook my BBQ sauce uncovered.
 
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I make a similar pulled pork sauce form equal parts cider vinegar/ketchup, then add salt and red pepper flake to taste. Simmer a couple minutes then off the heat I stir in a bit of butter to thicken it a bit.
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
Yes! Butter is the secret here [that most professionals seem to be keeping from us ;-)~] I recently learned. I guy who cooks at my brother's catering place said he was schooled to do that with ragu by a woman I knew to be a top Italian chef in Boston many years ago. Takes the bright red sheen off the sauce too apparently.
 
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When cooking tomato sauce uncovered, I use one of those skillet fry screens. That helps prevent tomato lava from gloping on to the stove.
 
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Joined Dec 19, 2014
Yes! Butter is the secret here [that most professionals seem to be keeping from us ;-)~] I recently learned. I guy who cooks at my brother's catering place said he was schooled to do that with ragu by a woman I knew to be a top Italian chef in Boston many years ago. Takes the bright red sheen off the sauce too apparently.

Any idea how much butter per .... ?
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
How much butter would depend on the application. Relatively little for a pot of ragu, whereas a hot dip could be 50% butter, and even more. Though I might stick to Robuchon [Potato] proportions on the latter, 2-4 parts other to 1 part butter.
 
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figure out what is going to be the star of the dish. thick, highly spiced BBQ sauce has its place(when i figure that out i will update this post), but it can overwhelm the flavor of the pork or beef you just spent hours and hours slow cooking to fall apart perfection. i have been served so called BBQ with so much sauce, it could have been old shoe and still tasted good.
 
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When it comes to slow sauces, I have this idea in my mind that it's a good idea to start the cooking process by having the sauce covered. I believe that the less amount of steam that escapes primarily results in the liquids that are expelled from the ingredients being returned into the volume of the sauce repeatedly, allowing the flavors to marry for a longer period of time. Once the sauce achieves the base flavor I am searching for, I then uncover and allow the sauce to reduce, evaporating the liquid and condensing the flavor I am trying to achieve. Tweaking along the way prevents overpowering by any of the participants.

I Think...
 

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