Ina Garten's Sweet And Tangy Barbecue Sauce Features A Whole Cup Of Honey

When it comes to making a good barbecue sauce, it's all about finding the right ratio of sweet, tangy, spicy, and vinegary; however, it can be easier said than done. Tip the scale towards either flavor experience and your tongue may not be happy. Enter Ina Garten. Garten has discovered the magic proportions for her sauce and it might surprise you to learn she uses a whole cup of honey to achieve the sweet tingles for your taste buds.

Garten confesses there are "a lot" of ingredients required to make this sauce, but it's worth it. In an episode of "Barefoot Contessa," via YouTube, she shares that it all starts with chopped onion and garlic sautéed in vegetable oil, along with a little tomato paste and cider vinegar. Then comes the cup of golden honey which the cookbook author shares will caramelize on the grill and this is where the depth of flavor this ingredient adds really pays off. 

Ready in just 30 minutes

While many barbecue sauces use brown sugar to add sweetness, honey can be a great option if you want to really make your protein stand out. Sure, a cup of this golden goodness is going to make for a lot of sweetness, but when it caramelizes on the meat, it adds a nutty taste and scent that is not quite as sweet as raw honey on its own. It also will add a sticky texture to your barbecue that is finger-licking good.

To keep that sweetness in equilibrium, Garten also uses Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce. This mixture gives you all the sweet, spicy, tangy, and vinegary elements needed for perfection. The professional chef then ups the heat with a little chili powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes. As Garten says, there are a lot of ingredients, but all together, they create a beautiful flavor balance — in just 30 minutes.