Memphis Style BBQ Sauce

by Mike Bradley

Today’s offering is a very easy to make, uncomplicated Memphis Style BBQ Sauce. My wife and I have always been most drawn to this style of BBQ sauce for reasons we just can’t explain. It’s simple and delicious. The flavors aren’t exactly complex, but they’re satisfying. I could ramble on that way about this sauce for a long time. This is a basic recipe that anyone can make.

This sauce works incredibly well with my slow cooker pulled pork, but goes well with just about anything – even potatoes! Usually, when making a more standard style of BBQ sauce, I’ll just fire from the hip on what I put in and see how it comes out. In this case, I’ve refined the recipe a good bit. Simple as it may seem, it wasn’t easy to arrive at the ingredients to include or the amounts of them needed for just the right flavor I wanted. So without further delay…

Memphis Style BBQ Sauce Recipe



  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder


  1. Combine all wet ingredients in a medium sauce pot. This includes ketchup, mustard, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and liquid smoke. Whisk these together until fully combined.
  2. Add dry ingredients including the light brown sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder and chili powder. Whisk the sauce again until all elements are well combined.
  3. Heat the sauce over medium-low heat until it simmers. Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes and remove from heat.
  4. Once slightly cooled, the sauce is ready to be bottled. Use a funnel to pour your sauce into the bottle.
  5. Refrigerate for 24 hours or so before serving for optimal taste.

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