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Apr 21, 2012 03:31 PM

Homemade BBQ Sauce without using Sugar.

I've been trying to come up with a sauce without using HFCS or sugars of any kind. After reading labels and finding most commercial brands contain some form and the ones that don't taste terrible. HELP!!!!
My family loves Sweet Baby Rays, but after undergoing Gastric Bypass Surgery, I have to find something that I can make which will be comparable but sugar free.

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  1. I know I had recalled seeing sugar free BBQ sauce in the supermarket -- I think I may have tried it. So I just googled "sugar free barbecue sauce" and found a number of brands commercially available plus some recipes using stevia, splenda, etc.

    1. Are you looking for something that isn't sweet at all, or one uses sugar substitutes? Most of us expect bbq sauce to be a blend of sweet, sour, salty and spicy. Without the sugar (or substitute) it might not taste like bbq sauce to you.
      is a Carolina style bbq sauce that is quite vinegary, with just a bit of sugar.

      1. Are you trying to avoid refined sugar or all sugar? If you're just trying to avoid refined sugar, try using apple juice as your sweetener. You'll need to cook it down a bit, but it's a good natural sweetener and will even add an appealing apple flavor, which is a natural complement to BBQ.

        4 Replies
        1. re: katecm

          I was thinking the same. If it's refined sugar that is the issue, a fruit of some sort instead. I was thinking more of a whole (fresh or canned fruit) --something that would provide body and substance vs. just a juice. Maybe prunes or peaches. Pears are a very neutral tasting fruit. Raisins? Really, with a tomato base and all of the flavor elements that go into a tasty BBQ sauce, I don't think you can go wrong with most fruits.

          1. re: splatgirl

            If you're going to substitute apple juice, maybe it would be best to use some frozen's pure apple juice, and it's already cooked down into a syrup. I'd probably still augment it with a touch of honey, though.

            1. re: The Professor

              Which is still highly concentrated fructose, even higher in fructose than HFCS, thus unsuitable for the OP. The OP very clearly says "sugars of any kind." Concentrated apple juice is everywhere and is one of the worst things you can possibly consume.

              1. re: acgold7

                Granted...any kind of fruit juice (without the pulp of the whole fruit) is one of the worst things you can consume. Especially drinking it by the tumbler full.

                But realistically...if it's used in a BBQ sauce to add a sweet compnent, it does less harm because if you are using the BBQ sauce properly, you are not consuming the equivalent of a glassful of juice. And if you are using that much BBQ sauce, you're just disguising what is probably very bad BBQ. LOL.

                My other suggestion...using Stevia... is probably the better option.
                No fructose, sucrose, etc...and it's still plenty sweet, and it is a natural product unlike the very suspect chemical sweeteners on the market these days.

        2. I'm not big on artificial sweeteners (it's pretty well established that they're worse for you than sugar).
          However, I've tried the aforementioned Stevia recently and much a bit better about using it, given the mounting evidence agains the popular blue packet and yellow packet chemical sweeteners. And if it is natural Stevia (rather than the many refined versions that have cropped up), all the better.
          It's not great for everything since it can throw a bit of an aftertaste, but in something like a barbecue sauce it should work very well indeed. Make a small batch and give it a spin!

          1 Reply
          1. re: The Professor

            "pretty well-established that they're worse for you than sugar"? Documentation please, Professor.

            As to the drawbacks of sugar...are you familiar with some of the work that's been done by, umm, is it Dr. Lustig?

          2. Adding fruit or juice only changes the type of sugar. BBQ sauce without sugar is on the level of making beef borguignon without wine. Doable, but a totally different product.

            I would suggest a Carolina mustard base sauce or mop to totally reinvent your palate to the definition of BBQ.

            You might want to check with your doctor or nutritionist for viable tasty sugar substitutes. Good luck on your journey.