My Mom is practically famous for her oven-roasted spare ribs. We have this “thing” where the family member who is celebrating a birthday can choose what they want for their birthday dinner. Hands down my husband would choose my Mom’s Oven-Roasted Barbecue Ribs. As you know, there are so many different types of barbecue sauces. But, being from the Metro-Detroit area, my family is die-hard Open Pit-barbecue-sauce fans. It’s what I grew up on. However, there is a problem. This is a Detroit and/or mid-west sauce, and I live in California.
Is there a copycat recipe for Original Open Pit?
Yes! I’ve been working on this sauce for years. You see, on my quest for a healthier lifestyle over the last 15 years I’ve been learning how to make meals from scratch with real-food ingredients (versus eating packaged foods that have ingredients I can’t pronounce). I published my first version in May of 2013. Since then, I’ve improved on the recipe and I now think it’s a bonafide copycat of the Original Open Pit Barbecue Sauce, and it happens to be Paleo compliant. Yay! I made my Mom’s Oven-Roasted Barbecued Ribs with this copycat sauce, and my husband and I were so happy and satisfied. We couldn’t stop saying, “mmmm” as we were eating. This meal is better than any barbecue ribs we’ve ever had at a restaurant. I realize that is a bold statement since this isn’t “real barbecue” from a smoker. However, my husband said, “honey, that was excellent.” Dear reader, it doesn’t get better than that.
Copycat Original Open Pit Barbecue Sauce
7 oz of tomato paste (I use Bionaturea organic)
7 oz of organic honey
7 oz of vinegar (I use 1/2 rice and 1/2 champagne vinegar for some complexity)
1 tablespoon of yellow mustard (I use Annie’s organic yellow mustard or similar)
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1. Place all ingredients in a medium sized pot and stir until honey and spices are completely incorporated.
2. Gently heat without boiling until steamy and keep warm on low (about 20 minutes).
3. Baste on meat and cook according to recipe instructions, or serve on the side as a dipping sauce.
Is barbecue sauce Paleo?
Yes, it can be. It’s possible to have a Paleo barbecue sauce if it’s sweetened with a whole food sweetener like honey.
How can you use barbecue sauce?
You can use barbecue sauce on pork ribs, chicken, and salmon. You can also mix it with mayonnaise and serve it as a dipping sauce for french fries.
Copycat Original Open Pit Barbecue Sauce
- 7 oz of tomato paste (I use Bionaturea organic)
- 7 oz of organic honey
- 7 oz of vinegar (I use 1/2 rice and 1/2 champagne vinegar for some complexity)
- 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard (I use Annie’s organic yellow mustard or similar)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- Step 1 Place all ingredients in a medium sized pot and stir until honey and spices are completely incorporated.
- Step 2 Gently heat without boiling until steamy and keep warm on low.
- Step 3 Baste on meat and cook according to recipe instructions, or serve on the side as a dipping sauce.
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4 thoughts on “Copycat Original Open Pit Barbecue Sauce”
Happy to find a healthier version of Open Pit. This tastes great! I added a teaspoon of Bragg’s liquid aminos (soy sauce alternative).
Julia, great idea. Thank you for sharing it.
Haven’t made this yet. I want to be able to use it for my ribs tomorrow night and store the rest for future. What is the overall cook time for this sauce and can I store the remainder w/out issue?
Thanks a Bunch,
Hi Deb! The sauce is done once it’s gently heated at a low simmer – about 20 minutes. You can keep it warm on low for hours while the ribs are cooking and serve some extra on the side. YUM! I’ve kept extra in a mason jar in the fridge for several weeks. For the most part it doesn’t last that long because I use it on pan seared salmon, chicken, and I mix it with mayo for special sweet potato fry dipping sauce. Let me know if you have any other questions.