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Whitey’s Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Updated: Oct 15, 2023

Authored by Roy Whitehead. Roy is a friend of BBQ Distro and Backyard BBQ Box member. Roy's from Dallas, TX and you can catch him now and again at our Speakeasy events, with his business partners who are the creative brains behind Elmfork Beverage and The Standard Ranch Water!

Total Time: 5 Hours

Ingredients for Whitey's Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 Stick of butter

  • 1 Medium sweet/yellow onion chopped

  • 1 Teaspoon of garlic

  • 1 32oz. bottle of Ketchup

  • 20 Shakes of Worcestershire

  • 12 Shakes of hot sauce

  • 1 Cup of beef stock (not broth)

  • Juice of ½ lemon

Instructions for Whitey's Barbecue Sauce

  1. Over medium heat, melt the stick of butter in a sauce pan

  2. Add the onion

    1. Stir every few minutes until the onions are clear, about 30 minutes

    2. It’s easy to burn onions cooking for 30 minutes. Carefully monitor the temperature

  3. Add the garlic and then stir…

  4. Immediately add the ketchup, Worcestershire, and hot sauce. Stir, blending the ingredients

  5. Add the beef stock to the empty ketchup bottle and shake vigorously. This will liquify any remaining ketchup leftover in the bottle. (Whitey grew up in the depression). Add the stock and liquified ketchup.

  6. Add the lemon juice

  7. Simmer the sauce for three or four hours stirring occasionally. The sauce will cook down about 1/3rd (leaving 2/3rd). The onion pieces will almost be unrecognizable.

At this point the sauce is ready to enjoy. But the chef can manipulate the consistency by stirring in more stock and increase the tanginess by stirring in more lemon juice. I save the ketchup bottle and return any leftover sauce and refrigerate. Write “BBQ” on the label with a sharpie. I wasn’t raised in the depression but find myself using the sauce more often when I can just squeeze a portion on a burger or otherwise bland meat.

My grandfather, "Whitey", had a stone pit barbecue with a side cast iron cooktop for beans and greens. It was deep in the Texas Piney Woods on Lake Cherokee. Characterizing the house as “rustic” would be generous, but the family and grandchildren shared a lot of love and ate a lot of barbecue.


So far, Roy's favorite sauce we have, if he doesn't have time to make Whitey's sauce is Smokey Joe's Got Ribs? Sauce... an excellent alternative!

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