photo courtesy

   Cooking food directly over a flame is surely one of the first cooking methods invented by man. Perhaps for this reason, grilling has remained an ancestral rite that, still today, is considered almost an act of virility. Although nowadays, grilling is often considered a weekend hobby, in the past it was far more common and sought after. 
   Even the Ancient Romans believed that grilling was the best way to prepare meat and during the Middle Ages the practice took on a symbolic value. Back then, the poorest families boiled or salted their meat because they could not afford for the meat to loose any of its mass. Spit-roasting, on the other hand, pertained to the more noble classes who could afford to do so and did so almost to prove their social standing. 
   For this reason, the account written by Einhard, Charlemagne’s biographer, is particularly important: it describes how in the emperor’s last years alive, he was forbidden to eat roast meat because it was believed to cause gout, but ate it all the same – probably to maintain his status and image.
How to:
The Chefs at Academia Barilla have kindly provided the above information.  You can in fact find actual historical Italian/Roman recipes at their  You might find Roman Cheesecake, or Candied Violets, and even an ancient recipe for "Anne of Austria Maccheroni" (ziti).   Since we're aiming for quick and easy here, I don't need to reproduce them for you, but you are now connected if you are interested!
Start on this page for: Assorted BBQ/Grilling Sauces
Then click on the sub-pages from the Menu for:
Grilled Starters & Appetizers
Grilled Meats: Burgers, Steaks, Pork, Chicken, Lamb
Grilled Seafood, fish & shellfish
Grilled Vegetables & Side Dishes


is a vinegar and mustard based sauce, as opposed to the ketchup and molasses based sauces of the mid and southwest. The combination of sweet and tangy flavors brings out the absolute best in grilled or smoked pork and chicken.
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard (the kind you get at the ballpark)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp dry mustard (like Coleman’s)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Heat the butter over medium heat until it's frothy, then add the onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Do not let the onions brown.
  • 2 Add everything else, stir well and simmer slowly for 30 minutes or more.

Kansas City barbecue sauces are thick, tomato-based sauces that are just as sweet as they are spicy. Endless variations are possible, but the sweet-thick-tomatoey elements need to be there for KC BBQ.

  • 2 cups tomato sauce or ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 5 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle powder (optional)
  • 4 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Cayenne to taste
  • 1 Heat the butter in a pot over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the onion and sauté until it begins to brown. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  • 2 Pour in the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Simmer slowly for at least 30 minutes, and up to 2 hours. Adjust the heat and salt levels with the cayenne and salt right before you plan to use this sauce, which is great on ribs, chicken and pork shoulder.

    Thinner and has more of a tangy flavor than its Kansas City cousin. Being at the crossroads St. Louis style barbecue has many influences, so there are a number of ways of making this style sauce.  This is one popular example.
    2 cups ketchup
    1/2 cup water
    1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    2 tablespoons yellow mustard
    1 tablespoon onion powder
    1 tablespoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne
    Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over a low heat. Stirring occasionally and simmer for 20 minutes. Sauce should be thin, but not watery. Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate. Sauce is better if allow to sit for a day

    This time it’s a dark, rich sauce loaded with smoky flavor. I designed this to go with red meat, preferably beef, venison or bison, but I bet it’d work with pork or poultry, too.

  • 4 Tbsp butter (can substitute vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 grated onion
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1-4 chipotle chiles in adobo (depending on how hot you want your bbq sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Heat the butter in a heavy pot over medium-high heat until if froths (or heat vegetable oil until hot), then add the grated onion. Sprinkle a little salt over the onion. Sauté until the onion just begins to color, about 4-5 minutes.
  • 2 While the onions are cooking, finely chop the chipotle chiles in adobo. They are hot, so start with one chile. You can add as many more as you want later.
  • 3 Add the chipotle to with the onions, then add the tomatoes, vinegar, molasses, sugar, liquid smoke, and chopped sage. Stir to combine and let this simmer for 5 minutes. Taste it and add salt and more chipotle if you want. 4 Simmer the sauce gently, uncovered, for 1 hour. Before serving, taste one more time for salt and chile.


  • 2 quarts Water
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar Brown
  • 1 1/2 cups Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups Mustard yellow
  • 1 quart Ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Red pepper flakes
  • 3 quarts Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 quart Wine table -- white
  • 1 1/2 cups Salt
  • Bring to boil and then simmer for about 1/2 hour. Do not cook or store in aluminum store in glass. Does not need refrigerated.

A sweet & thick Tennessee style BBQ sauce recipe. Great on pulled pork, chicken and even beef brisket. 
24 Ounrces ketchup 
1/4 Cup Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon mustard
1/4 Cup cider vinegar
1/2 Cup vegatable oil
5 Tablespoons sugar
1 Clove garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons unsulfured molasses
1 Tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet
1 Tablespoon hot sauce
1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 Teaspoon ground black pepper
Blend all the ingredients in a blender and then put the stuff in a large pot, or use an immersion blender. Heat on medium-high until the sauce boils. Then dial back heat to medium and let sauce simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until it thickens as you like it.
But of course Memphis has its own:

Traditionally Memphis Barbecue is served without a sauce, but since rules are made to be broken, many Memphis BBQ Joints have sauces available, either on the side or by special order. This sauce captures the complexity of Memphis Barbecue in a rich sauce that has a mixture or sweet and vinegar with a hint of heat. A good Memphis Barbecue Sauce is thinner than most tomato based sauces.

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon mild chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • Melt butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until lightly browned. Add remaining ingredients (vinegar last), reduce heat and simmer over low for 20 minutes. Allow to cool. Optionally you can puree this sauce to make a smoother barbecue sauce.

    ALABAMA WHITE BBQ SAUCE (yes, white)
    This traditional Alabama Barbecue Sauce uses Mayonnaise as its base rather than tomato sauce, vinegar, or any of the other traditional barbecue sauce bases. Like many barbecue sauces you want to apply this only at the very end of your grilling or smoking. It will breakdown and separate if it is heated too long.

  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2teaspoon cayenne
  • Mix ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before using. Brush lightly over chicken, turkey or pork during the last few minutes of grilling. This barbecue sauce is also great as a dipping sauce so set some aside before you start grilling to serve on the table teaspoon cayenne

    **See Marinades & Spices Section for additional ideas to spice up your food before you put it on the grill. please feel free to move on to the grilling foods of your choice