Best BBQ Sauce Using Sweet Baby Ray's as Base

A few years ago Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce showed up here in St. Louis and everyone we know loved it. The original sauce was the only one available at the time and we have used it for years now happily. Now Sweet Baby Ray’s is really a great sauce all by itself, but Hubby doctors it up when he makes things like BBQ porksteaks (it’s a St. Louis thing – a pork butt sliced into steaks), hamburgers, or bratwursts. It is is incredibly delicious I just had to share it with you all. This Sweet Baby Ray’s Doctored Up Barbecue Sauce is amazing!

Hubby does not have a specific recipe actually. He has always just approximated what he puts in. So the other day when he was making the sauce for Labor Day I took notes and photos of his process and estimated the amount of the ingredients he added. This really is a taste it and add more if you want kind of thing.

sweet baby rays doctored sauce step 1

Start with a 31 ounce bottle of original Sweet Baby Ray’s and dump into a large bowl or pan. Hubby uses a pan because after the porksteaks (or any meat) cooks then he puts it in a hot tub of the BBQ sauce for a while. Yum!

Now add in the rest of the ingredients except the remaining beer, but Hubby says it is important to stir well in between each. I don’t know if that is true, but it is his recipe so I would just do it his way.There is still a lot in the bottle clinging to the sides so take part of the beer and pour it in the bottle and shake it up and pour it into the pan also. Stir.

sweet baby rays barbecue additions

Now take about 3/4 cup to 1 cup in a small bowl. The rest he leaves in the pan and adds the rest of the beer to thin a bit. We cover the pan with foil to keep the cats out (they are very curious) and leave it on the counter til later. You don’t need to refrigerate it. He thins this part because it is going to sit on the grill for a while and will thicken up and it gets a bit too thick without adding that last bit of beer.

bbq porksteaks

Sear both sides of the porksteaks and then started brushing on the sauce you put in the small bowl. He does this 3 or 4 times so it builds up layers. Once the porksteaks are done he puts the reserved sauce in the grill safe pan onto the grill and lets those porksteaks take a swim. No super hot grill at this point, you just want to simmer them for a while.

bbq porksteaks hot tub

I promise this is fabulous barbecue sauce. Make sure you have some nice bread to sop up a bit of it too! I will share the recipe for the most divine ooey gooey cheesy bread in another post. It is perfect to dip in this sauce!

ooey gooey cheesy garlic bread

This is not something we eat often, but boy is it worth it when we do! Enjoy!



Best Barbecue Sauce


  • 1 bottle Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce, Original, 31 ounces
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic (not garlic salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 can beer, your choice


Pour the entire bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's into a large pan. Use half the beer and pour into the empty bottle. Replace lid and shake well to loosen remaining sauce, now pour into pan. Stir well.

Add the remaining ingredients one at a time, stirring in between each addition (this is what Hubby says).

Take about 3/4 cup of the sauce and pour into a small bowl. Use this to baste the meat as it grills. Pour the remaining beer into the large pan with the rest of the sauce and stir well. This will thicken up as it sits on the grill later when you add the meat into it.

If you are making porksteaks (or other meat), season it with salt, pepper, ground cumin and garlic powder about an hour before you begin to grill. When you start grilling, after meat is browned on both sides, start basting it with the smaller portion of the sauce. When cooked through put meat in the sauce "hot tub" and let simmer for 30-60 minutes.