Memphis BBQ

American Royalty

There are few things in America that hold peoples’ attention like barbecue (BBQ). Likewise, there are few places in America that intrigue like Memphis. For instance, many people don’t realize that Memphis is an American birthplace to royalty. That’s right. Such as its Egyptian namesake was birthplace to pharaohs, America’s Memphis is the birthplace to kings—three to be exact. A King, of Sorts 

The primary and obvious being Elvis, King of Rock and Roll. The second, not as obvious but royalty none-the-less and widely known to many knowledgeable in both the ways of barbecue and professional wrestling (two knowledge bases not synonymous, but certainly flirtatious; such as peanut butter and jelly) is Jerry "The King" Lawler, 'rastlin’ royalty. Then, there’s the third king. To others than the faithful, the third king is obscure. But, to brothers and sisters of the BBQ flame—it’s the essential king.

Jerry, The King, LawlerCredit:, simply with the assemblage of the words Memphis and barbecue (BBQ) together, brothers and sisters of the flame will quickly alert you you’re summoning big power to being. But, when you add sauce, you’re hittin' high notes and messin’ with royalty. Memphis BBQ sauce, the third king birthed beside that aqueous artery, the Mississippi; will roll over you like Ol' Man River hisself, sucking you down as it slips into your soul, nourishing you all the way with its sweet soul and sassy spirit. Essential Memphis seethes in every bite once the smokin’ sweet mojo of Memphis BBQ sauce enters the system.


Want a taste of American royalty? Roll with the grilling king, Memphis Barbecue sauce. Summon some Memphis essence of your own with this Memphis BBQ sauce recipe which includes a sassy citrus twist. The measurements listed are for basic ratios and yield. As is everything in grilling matters and barbecue tastes, scale your measurements according to taste and yield.



Ketchup, 2 cups

Dark brown sugar, 2 tbsp.

Pure molasses, 1 ½ tbsp.

Worcestershire (Lea & Perrins) sauce, 2 tbsp

Ground ginger, 1¼ tsp.

Liquid Smoke, 1 tsp.

Chili powder, 1 tsp.

Water, 1 tsp.

Capers (smashed), 4-5

Caper juice, ¼ tsp

Allspice, pinch

Cayenne pepper, pinch+

Mace, pinch


Meat drippings, 2 tbsp.

Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, cool, 3 tsp.

Pinot grigio wine, cool, 2 tsp.

Black pepper, fresh cracked 2 pinches.

White pepper, ¼ tsp.

Tabasco, ½ tsp.

Meat on the Grill


Low and Slow

Heat: take care ensuring the cooking temperature never gets too hot and that the barbecue sauce NEVER BOILS. Let grilling love be your guide; low and slow, cool to hot--never boiling. 

Mix ketchup, brown sugar, molasses and liquid smoke in pan. Bring pan temperature up medium heat VERY SLOWLY, stirring slowly allowing sugars to break down.

Once heated to medium heat, add the rest of the initial ingredients one by one. Continue slowly stirring in all ingredients. The sauce should be very warm throughout moving quickly towards hot, but not boiling. The occasional bubble is okay, but take care in making sure the barbecue sauce doesn’t go into full boil.

After mixing all the initial ingredients, taste. The sauce should be a full-bodied sweet taste. There shouldn't be any vinegar taste or hints. If so, keep stirring encouraging further sugar break down until fully mixed and hot throughout.

Once all initial ingredients are mixed and the sauce is fully heated; remove from heat source and add cracked black pepper, white pepper and Tabasco sauce. Stir in these additions slowly then return sauce to LOW heat.

Care should be taken at this time to make sure that the overall heat now being applied is low, but that the sauce is hot throughout. No bubbling should be present at this time. If so, remove from heat and only return the pan back to the low heat once bubbling subsides.

Add the fresh, cool grapefruit juice and cool pinot grigio wine. Mix the sauce and keep on low heat. Now, add the drippings from whatever meat you are preparing. After adding the meat drippings, slowly elevate the heat to medium. Again, the occasional bubble of the barbecue sauce is okay, but not boiling. Once the bbq sauce is hot throughout, you’re finished.

Get Some Memphis Down Ya


For a great Memphis taste, serve this barbecue sauce alongside your rubbed and grilled meat of choice. This Smokin’ Sweet Sassy Memphis Style Barbecue (BBQ) goes great on pork, especially dry rubbed ribs.  Memphis style barbecue sauce also makes a great mop for your bbq meat while grilling. Increase your measurements for greater yield. Canning your Smokin' Sweet Sassy Memphis style bbq sauce is always a great idea and makes a great gift. However you do it, remember this, once that Memphis mojo and taste of royalty enters your system, it's never gonna leave.