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Coffee BBQ Sauce

Sorry for my absence y'all! It's been one heck of a year and I've been all over the place. Between hunting season and working on some other really big projects(which I'll update everyone on soon), this year has just been a fast one and it's hard to believe that it's already the holidays. I was sitting here today working on a holiday meal prep list and realized that it was the perfect day to get another test recipe completed, so I fired up the smoker and got back to work.

By no means am I a "drench all my food in BBQ sauce" kinda guy, but from time to time, I do enjoy some sauce on a rack of ribs, a chicken or even a steak. To me, BBQ sauce is one of those things that people get all hot over because it can completely overpower your food. And though I don't disagree with that statement, I do think that BBQ sauce has its place in the world.

If you ask me, there shouldn't be only one type of sauce, they're unique for a reason. Some are designed for pork, others are super tangy and some are so thin, they're meant to soak a sandwich bun. So, this recipe is my version of a good all-purpose sauce that has a little tang, a little boldness and some smokiness.

Now, the main star of the event... coffee. For those that know me, y'all know that I drink a hell of a lot of coffee, every single day. The bolder the better. And, over the years I've learned to use in it spice mixes, desserts and yes, even in BBQ sauce. It adds depth, smokiness and richness without adding a heavy ingredient to your recipe. After all, it's just flavored water, right?

If you've ever tried your hand at making BBQ sauce before, then you know that it's really that not complicated of a process and this recipe is really no different. The only slightly technical piece (and it's not really that technical) to making this recipe is to smoke two onions. So, in the end, it's really not that difficult.


2 whole yellow onions, peeled

3 cups of strong black coffee

3 cups of ketchup

1 cup of apple cider vinegar

1 TBSP of garlic powder

3 TBSP kosher salt

1/4 cup of molasses

2 cups of light brown sugar

2 TBSP olive oil


To begin, fire up your smoker to 275-300 degrees. Peel both onions and cut the top and bottom off, so that you have a flat surface for them to stand up on. Place on the smoker and drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil on each. Close the lid to the smoker and let these go for about 2 hours.

Once the onions have sat in the smoke for a couple of hours, they'll still have their shape, but should just start to be soft on the inside. At this point, remove from the heat and set aside.

To make the sauce, add both onions(whole) and all of the remaining ingredients to a large pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Be sure to whisk all of the ingredients together as it warms up. This will ensure that there aren't any pockets of dry ingredients throughout. If you have access to a hand blender, now is the time to break that thing out and emulsify those onions. Be careful, this sauce is super hot! Once blended, let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes on low. If you don't have one of those gadgets, just pour the sauce into a blender and blend until smooth. Again, be very careful while blending hot items!

Once the sauce has had time to reduce and thicken, let cool, bottle and store in the fridge. This will hold for about 2 weeks. If you want to hold it longer, can it in mason jars and keep it on the shelf!

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