Homemade barbecue sauce isn’t difficult, but these easy Crock Pot barbecue sauce recipes are especially easy to make and make everything taste better.
The hallmark of a good roast is slow, low cooking. It’s the gentle, indirect heat of the smoking process, combined with a “what’s the rush?” mindset that produces the most tender, tastiest, most appetizing roast.
Fortunately for those of us north of Mason Dixon, and without a yard in which to place a smoke pit, or even a home smoking device, a countertop slow cooker can provide the low and slow, if not all the smoke (But there are ways to cheat.)
The same goes for the sauces that often define barbecue. Excluding a few standouts like North Carolina Pepper Vinegar Sauce, South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce, and Alabama White Sauce, the richer, sweeter, and spicier sauces that accompany meats should also be leisurely paired .
In that spirit, here are 10 barbecue sauces that can be made in your slow cooker (or your Instant Pot on the slow cooker setting). Feel free to enjoy a lemonade, or stronger, on the porch while they simmer.
This rich, tomato-based sauce brings all the elements to the picnic table: sweet, hot, salty, and smoky, with just a hint of cider vinegar and lemon wedges that are discarded after the slow cooking process. Perfect for dipping, drizzling and spreading on grilled or smoked meats, this will be your go-to sauce for summer or anytime. Get the slow cooker barbecue sauce recipe.
The most central of the barbecue regions, Memphis-style barbecue sauce draws its influence from all over the United States: tomato base from Kansas City combined with vinegar and mustard from the Carolinas and a hit of black pepper from Texas. The result is a bit lighter and brighter than the previous sauce, but just as versatile. Get the Memphis Style Barbecue Sauce Recipe.
Bourbon and barbecue are like two peas in a pod, or in this case, like two components in a slow cooker. The alcohol will cook, but the bourbon leaves behind a trail of baking spice and vanilla. Also intriguing is the inclusion of Cavender’s Greek Seasoning, which seems strange, until you learn that the 13-ingredient spice mix was developed in Arkansas. Get the Slow Cooker Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe.
Barbecue sauces are built around the interplay between salty and sweet, and what better to bring out the sweet than ripe summer fruit? Peaches provide the perfect pulpy consistency to melt into the sauce, with an added kick of jalapeno, like a southern belle with attitude. Get the Slow Cooker Jalapeno Peach BBQ Sauce recipe.
Sometimes it’s hard to separate the sauce from the meat on the barbecue, as is often the case with pulled pork. But I couldn’t resist because: cherry cola. How fun is that? A little prepared barbecue sauce (choose any from this list) and a heaping dollop of cherry cola come together for a delicious pulled pork sandwich that you can enjoy indoors or outdoors. Get the Slow Cooker Cherry Tail Pulled Pork recipe.
Blueberries are a bit dark when it comes to fruity barbecue sauces, but they still bring the sweetness just like peaches. And why not give your salsa a splash of antioxidants, as well as some ultraviolet vibes of color? Get the slow cooker cranberry barbecue sauce recipe.
If there’s one thing that goes as well with barbecue as bourbon, it’s beer. The recipe mysteriously lists the beer measure as “12”. I suspect it’s 12 ounces, but you’ll still want to have the 12-pack on hand for the before, during, and after cooking process, so… happy accident? Get the recipe for BBQ Sauce with Jalapeño and Beer.
That a maple barbecue sauce comes from Canadian Living might be my favorite thing about this. The second thing I like the most about this is that it also includes orange juice. This is a recipe for breakfast barbecue sauce, if ever there was one. Get the Slow Cooker Maple BBQ Sauce Recipe.