Base BBQ Sauce from Barque

Base BBQ Sauce from Barque

David Neinstein, head chef and owner of Barque Smokehouse and Barque Butcher Bar in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
On the competitive BBQ circuit (Kansas City Barbecue Society), I learned to rely on a base sauce to then branch out with for other flavours profiles, depending on the dish. The more I prodded the expert BBQ chefs, the more I realized that there were few mind-blowing secrets out there and most chefs kept it super simple.
The first trick I was convinced to adopt, and the most important in my opinion, was to use Heinz ketchup. Many classic barbecue sauce recipes contain much of the ingredients listed in a ketchup bottle, with a little Texas flair. To me, Heinz got it right, so that’s where I start.
After making this sauce, let it sit in the fridge for a day or two,the flavours will really come together. After that, it’s good for at least a month (refrigerated), but I hope you’ll finish it before then and try another batch.


  • 2 cups Heinz ketchup
  • 2 tblsp tomato paste
  • 1⁄3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tblsp molasses
  • 1⁄4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tblsp BBQ rub (see below)
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp granulated onion
  • 1 tsp fine black pepper
  • 1 tsp tobacco sauce BBQ Rub

The 3-2-1 Method

BBQ sauce really benefits from the added texture that the rub brings. In addition to righteous grit, it helps to caramelize the food during the smoking cycle. This is also a competitive BBQ trick.
This method uses ratios to guide the creation of your favourite rub ingredients. Use a spoon, trowel or bucket, the results will remain the same. Be creative.

3 Parts:
White sugar
Brown sugar
Kosher salt

2 Parts:
Granulated onion
Granulated garlic
Fine black pepper
Smoked paprika
(Optional – anything goes)
Ground cumin
Ground mustard seed
Dried chilis like ancho and guajillo
Dried herbs like thyme, rosemary and oregano
Chunky peppercorns, pink, green or white

1 Part – the really strong stuff:
Cayenne pepper
Cloves, nutmeg and/or baking spices

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until it’s fully blended. Transfer it to an airtight container and date it, it’s good for a year.


In a medium sauce pan, combine all ingredients over medium heat. Mix it really well with a whisk (an immersion blender is great here if you have one), bringing it to a slight boil, but not more. Keep mixing it and at a level light boil for 30 minutes and let it cool on the counter.
There are many ways to add to this recipe and make it your own. Here’s some suggestions, but the limit is your imagination.

  • Cubed pineapple
  • Apricots
  • Roasted garlic
  • Whiskey
  • Charred jalapenos
  • Bird’s eye chilis or scotch bonnet
  • Tea in bags like Earl Grey
  • Honey or agave syrup
  • Freshly ground ginger
  • Turmeric

Wanna stop by and taste the BBQ sauce from the head chef who does it best? Here’s the contact information of the restaurant itself: 

Address: 299 Roncesvalles Ave,Toronto, ON.
Phone(416) 532-7700

photography by Barque Smokehouse

To find out more about the restaurant head over to their website:

Or have a look at their Social Media accounts:

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