Homemade BBQ sauce- need a recomendation for molasses and honey

Joined Dec 19, 2014
Hi :)

I want to start making my own  BBQ sauce, instead of eating out of a supermarket jar. Found a couple of good-looking recipes, and tried one. Not bad, but I am not too crazy about the flavor profile. There are a lot of things that make up the  flavor profile obviously, but there are two things that went in there, that I was hoping I could improve upon.

1) The honey. There are soooo many types - is there a preferred honey for BBQ sauce? I used Golden Blossom's honey that I found in the market. Not crazy about the flavor, but I am not really in the mood for buying 12 jars of different types of hony in order to find out what I like. I mean, what the heck will I do with all that honey? lol

2) The molasses. I used Grandma's Molasses


 - the only type on the market shelf. I get it home, open it, try it, and I am like, "eeeewwwwww...." I used it anyway, but was wondering if there are there better options?

Thanks in advance.
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Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
Unless the Honey is a major volume ingredient, I would think type is unimportant. 

Molasses, yes, it can be offputting straight from the jar. Do try unsulfured, which I think Grandma's brand already is, but I mention it just in case.

Both of these will provide some thickness and mouthfeel to the sauce. 

is a good book for this purpose. Actually approaches it from a more theoretical method on which ingredient is your base, how much of other ingredients can it take before becoming overpowering and so on. 
Joined Apr 4, 2012
If you are finding you do not like the flavor profile because of the flavors of the honey and molasses, I think you need to find another recipe entirely. Grandma's yellow label is as mild as it gets when it comes to molasses. Any honey other than a very mild, basic honey is going to be wasted in a barbecue sauce recipe.

I don't think this is an ingredient problem. I think you just need a different kind of barbecue sauce. God knows there are hundreds of different kinds of barbecue sauces out there.
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Joined Sep 9, 2012
I don't use honey or molasses, I like brown sugar.. I use tomato sauce or ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic, onion, chili powder, liq smoke and sometimes a touch of cinnamon depending on what I'm using it on
Joined Nov 5, 2007
What sort of flavor are you wanting to achieve?  Dark, smoky, spicy?  Light. sweet? Dressed up ketchup? From scratch tomato based?

Here's my starting point:

Saute 3/4 cup of onion and 2 or more cloves of garlic in oil of your choice. Pour off the oil (or not) and add these ingredients -

3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup vinegar (I used Apple cider vinegar)
3 T molasses
3 T Worcestershire sauce
1 t black pepper
1 t ground cumin
1 t chili powder
Joined Jun 23, 2015
I looked at all the tomato based BBQ sauces at the local grocery.  Only one used sweeteners other than High Fructose Corn Syrup.  I make a vinegar based sauce and use brown sugar.  I keep 8-10 different honeys in the pantry and they all taste different.  
Joined Sep 18, 2015
I make my bbq sauce from scratch, too, because I avoid sugar.

This is an EXCELLENT recipe which tastes just like Masterpiece. I triple the recipe and can it, too.

The link is:


Instead of using splenda, I use 1-1/4 teaspoons stevia glycerite (per recipe. Triple when tripling the recipe.)
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Joined Dec 19, 2014
Thanks for the replies.

Yes, getting away from refined sugar is exactly what I am trying to do. The Wost. sauce I use has sugar (cant seem to find any that doesn't),  but I first want to get the recipe down, and then I will try a sub., or try and make my own Wost sauce.

So, I wrote down the recipe (thankfully), but I cant find the site I got it from, otherwise I would post it here.

My train of thought is b/c I am not using sugar, the molasses and honey are being used as the sweeteners, and therefore would be a big part of the flavor profile.

Is that how molasses actually tastes? Ewwww......
Joined Sep 8, 2015
I don't use honey or molasses, I like brown sugar.. I use tomato sauce or ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic, onion, chili powder, liq smoke and sometimes a touch of cinnamon depending on what I'm using it on
Lauren, cinnamon surprised me.  What, when, where, why, how?  (ok, you don't need to explain how /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif  )
Joined Sep 9, 2012
It's great with cinnamon on pork (as is apple juice concentrate) or with ribs,etc that use a 5 spice rub

Lauren, cinnamon surprised me.  What, when, where, why, how?  (ok, you don't need to explain how :)  )


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
Hank, I use cinnamon in lots of my BBQ sauces, and I have a lot of them.  Sometimes it is straight cinnamon and other times its a component of the curry powder I use.  When I use cinnamon, in BBQ sauce I use a very light hand.  It's not really something that you want to taste, but it helps support and accent many of the other components.

As for sweeteners, I usually use brown sugar for most of my BBQ sauces.  You can use only, but as others have said, go with inexpensive stuff.  The nuances of specific types of honey will be completely lost in the sauce.  I do occasionally use molasses, but more as a flavoring agent as opposed to a sweetening agent as it does have such a strong flavor.  Don't be put off by its flavor straight.  Many dishes use molasses and wouldn't be the same without them.  Gingerbread cookies readily come to mind.  In recipes where I use molasses I always have another sweetener that does most of the sweetening of the sauce, with just a bit of molasses thrown in to give the sauce a different character.
Joined Sep 18, 2012
“Blackstrap” molasses

Those that live on Oahu are well versed in the smell and products of sugar cane. Children chew the raw cane as a treat. Before the cane is harvested, the fields are set ablaze to make the cane easier to harvest by burning off the outer leaves, which are useless having no sugar-content. The fire also drives out the sugar cane spiders, which are as big as your fist. When they show up in my bathroom, I would run like hell. The whole island smells like molasses as the cooking process extracts the juice to make cane sugar.

“Blackstrap” molasses is what is left over after the final refinement process in the making of sugar and is a third cooking. Blackstrap molasses is significantly more bitter than "regular" molasses and has significant health benefits with significant amounts of vitamin B[sub]6[/sub] and calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese. Blackstrap molasses has a low Glycemic Index so its carbohydrates are slowly digested, and metabolized and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose levels. This is happy news for me as I am diabetic.

B&G Foods makes Brer Rabbit[emoji]174[/emoji] Blackstrap Molasses my family has been using for over 100 years having a bold, robust flavor we like to use for Boston baked beans and barbeque sauces. The Grandma’s Molasses is also a brand they sell. All of these are unsulfured containing no preservatives, corn syrup, artificial flavor or artificial color.

I find it a lot of fun making my own BBQ sauce and I often wing it, tasting my way to success. I like hot so I avail myself of an ample supply of hot chilies from Peru, Mexico, and New Mexico. I often include ground mustard seed, and ground coriander.
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