Gordon’s Dark BBQ Sauce Recipe

| May 24, 2020 | 1 Comment

Gordon’s Dark BBQ Sauce

Follow our easy, step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions to learn how to make our own Dark BBQ Sauce. We used this for our beef ribs during our restaurant days. It’s really easy to make. Printable recipe included.


Dark BBQ Sauce, enjoy!
This is a great sauce for pork ribs or beef ribs. This is the sauce we used at my brother’s restaurant years back. You probably have all the ingredients on hand, and it goes together quick and easy.


Dark BBQ Sauce, slider.

I started calling this my Dark BBQ Sauce years back when I created it to go on the Beef Ribs we served at my brother’s restaurant. Captain Gordon’s was a seafood restaurant, but we started running a lunch buffet during the week for the folks that worked in the numerous plants near where the restaurant was located.

We have our Eastern North Carolina Vinegar based BBQ sauce that we use to make our pork barbecue, and I needed some way to differentiate this sauce when talking about sauces. It is a bit on the dark side in color as it contains Worcestershire sauce, dark brown sugar, and liquid smoke which gives it a slightly darker tint.

We only ran the beef ribs on Thursdays, but we soon had a good following of folks that made sure they arrived early so they could get their fill of beef ribs for lunch. It was one of our more popular items on the buffet.

You probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry to make this. We made it by the gallons at the restaurant. The only thing you might not have is a 32oz bottle of ketchup.

Everything can be mixed together right in the sauce pot, then it needs to be stirred constantly for about 10 minutes as it heats up so you can make sure the brown sugar gets dissolved. We didn’t spend all day making sauce at the restaurant, but as mentioned, it was very popular for us.

I’ve also had great success with it on Baby Back Ribs and it’s really good on chicken, especially chicken on the grill.

I hope you like it and that you’ll share a Comment with us in the section at the end of the recipe to let me know how it turns out for you.

Ready to give our sauce a try? Alright then, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking!


Gordons BBQ Sauce ingredients.
Gordon’s Dark BBQ Sauce Recipe – You’ll need these ingredients.


Dark BBQ Sauce, add ketchup.
We start out by adding an entire 32oz bottle of Ketchup into a good sized stock pot.

Since this is the base of the recipe, you will want to use a good quality ketchup.


Dark BBQ Sauce, add the brown sugar.
Add one cup of Dark Brown Sugar.


Dark BBQ Sauce, add the yellow mustard.
Add 3 Tablespoons of Yellow Mustard.


Dark BBQ Sauce, add worcestershire sauce
Add 1/4 cup of Worcestershire Sauce.


Dark BBQ Sauce, add hot sauce.
Add 1 Tablespoon of Texas Pete Hot Sauce.


Dark BBQ Sauce, add vinegar.
Add 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar.


Dark BBQ Sauce, add garlic powder.
Add 1 teaspoon of Garlic Powder.


Dark BBQ Sauce, add onion powder.
Add 1 teaspoon of Onion Powder.


Dark BBQ Sauce, add liquid smoke.
Add 1 Tablespoon of Liquid Smoke.

You can omit this if you don’t have it. Liquid Smoke is generally found in the spice section of most grocery stores, probably near the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Smile.


Dark BBQ Sauce, add the smoked paprika.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of Smoked Paprika.

I prefer the smoked paprika, but use regular if that’s all you have. I like the smoky flavor the liquid smoke and the smoked paprika add to the sauce.


Dark BBQ Sauce, stir and heat.
Place your sauce pot over Medium heat on your stove top. Stir all the ingredients together as the sauce heats up and continue to stir it for about 10 minutes. The sauce is thick, so if you walk away from it, you’ll probably have a lot of those min-volcano’s popping up in the pot as it heats up. And, you know it’s going to erupt with bubbles all over the top of the stove. Don’t ask me how I know that. Smile.

You just need to heat the sauce enough to meld the flavors together. Remove it from heat after about 10 minutes.


Dark BBQ Sauce, enjoy.


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Dark BBQ Sauce, printbox.

Gordon’s Dark BBQ Sauce Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 pints 1x
  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Southern


One of our favorite homemade sauce recipes. It’s great for beef ribs, pork ribs, or on chicken. It’s a nice thick and rich type sauce.



132 oz bottle of Ketchup
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Yellow Mustard
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon Texas Pete Hot Sauce
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon Liquid Smoke
1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika


Place ketchup in a large sauce pot.
Add the brown sugar.
Add the yellow mustard.
Add the Worcestershire Sauce
Add the Texas Pete
Add the vinegar.
Add the Garlic Powder.
Add the Onion Powder.
Add the liquid smoke.
Add the smoked paprika.
Place sauce pot over Medium heat on stove top.
Stir ingredients together to dissolve sugar.
Reduce heat to Medium-Low.
Simmer 10 minutes. Remove. Let Cool.

Keywords: Captain Gordon's, Dark BBQ Sauce, Gordon's, thick, red, smoke, quick, easy, beef ribs, pork ribs, chicken, condiments

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Category: Sauces-Gravy

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (1)

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  1. Curtis Beethe says:

    This is a good recipe. Thanks for sharing.

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