Last Updated on January 15, 2024
Families have been enjoying the unique flavor of Johnny Harris BBQ Sauce since its inception over 100 years ago. Its tangy and savory flavor has been a favorite of barbecue fans for generations.
And while it can be purchased in stores, nothing beats the taste of making your own. This classic recipe is perfect for impressing guests at your next backyard cookout.
What is Johnny Harris BBQ Sauce?
In 2002, Chef John Harris earned a spot on Food and Wine magazine’s prestigious list of America’s Best New Chefs. Additionally, he was honored as the Best Chef New Orleans by New Orleans Magazine. His culinary prowess has consistently made him a James Beard finalist for the Best Chef South award, with four nominations in consecutive years from 2009 to 2012.
Furthermore, Lilette, the restaurant associated with Chef Harris, has garnered recognition as one of the top 10 best restaurants for five consecutive years, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
One of his popular items is the Johnny Harris BBQ Sauce which is a classic American barbecue sauce recipe that has been around for over a century.
It is a tomato-based sauce with a unique blend of spices that is perfect for slathering on ribs, chicken, and other cuts of meat. The sauce is also great for dunking fries, wings, or even vegetables in for an extra kick of flavor.
What Does it Taste Like?
Johnny Harris BBQ Sauce has a unique flavor that has been delighting fans for generations. It has a slightly sweet taste that is balanced perfectly with a hint of tang and a smoky finish.
The combination of spices adds an extra layer of complexity that makes it one of the most popular barbecue sauces around.
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- Ketchup: Ketchup serves as the base of the barbecue sauce, providing a tomatoey sweetness and a thick, smooth consistency. It adds a familiar flavor and helps create a rich, savory foundation for the sauce.
- Cider vinegar: Cider vinegar contributes acidity to balance the sweetness of the ketchup and add a tangy kick. It also helps tenderize meat and enhances the overall flavor profile of the sauce.
- Water: Water is used to thin the sauce and achieve the desired consistency. It allows for better control over the thickness of the sauce, ensuring it can be easily brushed onto grilled meats.
- Worcestershire sauce: Worcestershire sauce adds depth and umami to the barbecue sauce. It contains a mix of savory flavors, including anchovies, garlic, tamarind, and various spices, which enhance the overall complexity of the sauce.
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice provides a bright and citrusy element to the sauce, cutting through the richness of other ingredients. It adds a fresh and zesty flavor that balances the sweetness and helps elevate the taste of the barbecue sauce.
- Brown sugar: Brown sugar contributes sweetness and depth to the sauce. The molasses content in brown sugar adds a rich, caramel-like flavor that compliments the tanginess of the vinegar and ketchup. It also aids in forming a nice glaze on grilled meats.
- Dry mustard: Dry mustard adds a mild, pungent flavor to the sauce. It enhances the overall spiciness and complexity of the flavor profile, providing a subtle heat that complements the sweetness and tanginess.
- Paprika: Paprika contributes a smoky and slightly sweet flavor to the barbecue sauce. It also adds a reddish color, enhancing the visual appeal of the sauce. The smokiness from paprika complements the grilled or smoked flavors of barbecue dishes.
- Salt and pepper to taste: Salt and pepper are essential for seasoning and balancing the flavors in the barbecue sauce. They help enhance the individual tastes of the ingredients and allow you to adjust the overall seasoning to suit your personal preference.
Step 1: Gather Ingredients:
Ensure you have all the necessary ingredients ready before starting the sauce-making process.
Step 2: Mixing the Base:
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup of ketchup, 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of water. Use a whisk or spoon to thoroughly blend these ingredients.
Step 3: Adding Flavor Elements:
To the ketchup mixture, introduce 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir well to ensure these flavors are evenly incorporated.
Step 4: Sweetening the Sauce:
To impart sweetness, add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar to the mixture. Stir until the sugar dissolves into the sauce, creating a balanced sweet element.
Step 5: Spicing it Up:
Enhance the flavor profile by incorporating 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard and 1/2 teaspoon of paprika into the mixture. Thoroughly mix these ingredients to give the sauce a savory and slightly spicy kick.
Step 6: Seasoning with Salt and Pepper:
Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Begin with a small amount and adjust according to your preference. Mix well and taste to ensure a harmonious balance of flavors.
Step 7: Simmering (Optional):
If time permits, consider simmering the sauce over low heat for about 10-15 minutes. This process allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a richer consistency.
Step 8: Adjusting Consistency:
If the sauce appears too thick, add a bit more water to achieve the desired consistency. Conversely, if it’s too thin, simmering for a bit longer can help thicken it up to your liking.
Step 9: Final Check and Adjustments:
Taste the sauce again and make any final adjustments to the seasonings, ensuring it aligns with your preferred flavor profile.
Step 10: Cooling and Storing:
Allow the sauce to cool before transferring it to a jar or airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for later use, ensuring freshness and easy accessibility.
– Taste the sauce as it cooks to ensure that it has the right balance of flavors.
– If the sauce is too sweet, add a splash of apple cider vinegar to balance it out.
– If the sauce is too spicy, add a bit of brown sugar to mellow it out.
– Use the sauce as a marinade for chicken, ribs, or other cuts of meat.
– Experiment with different kinds of hot sauce to give the sauce a unique flavor.
– Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
One serving of Johnny Harris BBQ Sauce (2 tablespoons) contains approximately:
– Calories: 40
– Total Fat: 0g
– Cholesterol: 0mg
– Sodium: 270mg
– Total Carbohydrates: 8g
– Dietary Fiber: 0g
– Sugars: 7g
– Protein: 0g
What to Serve With Johnny Harris BBQ Sauce?
Johnny Harris BBQ Sauce is great for adding flavor to a variety of dishes. Here are some suggestions for what to serve with it:
– Grilled or smoked meats
– French fries
– Veggie burgers
– Grilled or roasted vegetables
– BBQ sandwiches
– Baked beans
How to Store Leftover Johnny Harris BBQ Sauce?
Leftover Johnny Harris BBQ Sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. The sauce can also be frozen for up to three months.
What other Substitutes Can I Use in Johnny Harris BBQ Sauce?
If you don’t have all of the ingredients for Johnny Harris BBQ Sauce, there are some great substitutes that you can use. Here are some suggestions:
– For tomato paste: Use ketchup or tomato puree.
– For onion powder: Use fresh chopped onions or onion flakes.
– For garlic powder: Use fresh minced garlic or garlic flakes.
– For chili powder: Use smoked paprika or chipotle powder.
– For brown sugar: Use granulated sugar or honey.
– For apple cider vinegar: Use white vinegar or red wine vinegar.
– For mustard powder: Use dijon mustard or yellow mustard.
– For Worcestershire sauce: Use soy sauce or tamari.
– For hot sauce: Use sriracha or cayenne pepper.
- Mixing bowl
- air tight container
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste adjust according to your preference
- Ensure you have all the ingredients listed above.
Mixing the Base:
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, and 2 tablespoons water. Use a whisk or spoon to thoroughly mix these ingredients.
Adding Flavor Elements:
- To the ketchup mixture, add 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Stir well to incorporate these flavors.
Sweetening the Sauce:
- Introduce sweetness by adding 2 tablespoons of brown sugar to the mixture. Stir until the sugar dissolves into the sauce.
Spicing it Up:
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard and 1/2 teaspoon of paprika to give the sauce a savory and slightly spicy kick. Mix thoroughly.
Seasoning with Salt and Pepper:
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Start with a small amount and adjust according to your preference. Mix well and taste to ensure the balance of flavors.
- If time allows, you can simmer the sauce over low heat for about 10-15 minutes. This helps the flavors meld together and creates a richer consistency.
- If the sauce seems too thick, you can add a bit more water to achieve your desired consistency. Conversely, if it’s too thin, simmering for a bit longer can help thicken it up.
Final Check and Adjustments:
- Taste the sauce again and make any final adjustments to the seasonings, ensuring it meets your preferred flavor profile.
Cooling and Storing:
- Allow the sauce to cool before transferring it to a jar or airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for later use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use fresh ingredients in Johnny Harris BBQ Sauce?
Yes, you can use fresh ingredients in Johnny Harris BBQ Sauce. Just make sure to adjust the measurements accordingly.
Is Johnny Harris BBQ Sauce gluten-free?
Yes, Johnny Harris BBQ Sauce is gluten-free.
Does the sauce need to be cooked?
Yes, the sauce does need to be cooked in order for the flavors to fully develop.
Can I freeze the sauce?
Yes, you can freeze the sauce for up to three months.
Can I use different kinds of hot sauce in the recipe?
Yes, you can use different kinds of hot sauce in the recipe to give it a unique flavor.
Can I make the sauce ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Johnny Harris BBQ Sauce is a classic American recipe that has been delighting fans for over a century. Its unique flavor is perfect for slathering on ribs, chicken, and other cuts of meat. The sauce is also great for dunking fries, wings, or even vegetables in for an extra kick of flavor.
The recipe is easy to make and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. So the next time you’re in the mood for some classic barbecue sauce, try making your own Johnny Harris BBQ Sauce.