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Cola Barbecue Sauce

Prep Time:

10 min

Cook Time:


2 cups


About the Recipe


  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a generous pinch for the garlic

  • 3 cups cola

  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup

  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 slightly heaping tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional for seasoning

  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, plus additional for seasoning

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice


Step 1

Smash the garlic cloves, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt, and, with the flat side of a large knife, mash and smear mixture to a coarse paste. 

Step 2

Stir garlic paste, the 1/4 teaspoon salt, cola, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire, chili powder, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, and allspice together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, stir in the lime juice, and season with black pepper and hot sauce, to taste. 

Step 3

Know-How: Barbecue sauces are all about balance: a sweet note offset by sour with a jolt of spice, all of which flourish in a cloud of smoke. There are lots of ways to work this magic-thick, thin, and in-between. Concocting a signature sauce is compulsory in some barbecue circles. Start with this basic riff and play with variations to suit your style.


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