Primal BBQ Sauce

The summer grilling season is upon us, which means we have a full-on craving for meat slathered in BBQ sauce and grilled to crispy, caramelized perfection. In anticipation of firing up the grill, we’ve been searching for the perfect BBQ sauce and a quick scan of the grocery store aisle confirmed exactly what we expected: if we wanted a perfect sauce, we were going to have to make it ourselves.

When we say “perfect” BBQ sauce, we mean one without high fructose corn syrup, loads of granulated sugar and other unnecessary ingredients like caramel color, modified food starch and preservatives. To avoid all of these things in BBQ sauce, you pretty much have to make it yourself. This didn’t deter our plans to grill. Making Primal BBQ sauce is quick and easy and can be made from ingredients many of us already have in our kitchen.

Our other requirement for a perfect Primal BBQ sauce was that it had to taste good (duh) because while we don’t like what goes into jarred sauce, we do like the sweet, spicy and tangy flavor. We also wanted a versatile sauce that we could use on everything from beef to pork to chicken.

By using an array of warm spices, a little bit of hot sauce and honey and a tomato paste base flavored with tamari and vinegar, we’ve achieved the perfect BBQ sauce for all your grilling needs. Our sauce is slightly spicy, slightly sweet and a bit tangy. You can adjust all these flavors to your own liking by using more, or less, of the hot sauce, honey and apple cider vinegar. The result is a full-flavored sauce that pairs well with any type of meat and is good enough to serve on the side for dipping.

So fire up the grill, make a big batch of Primal BBQ sauce and slather it on to your meat of choice.  Leave the forks and knives inside, as this is the type of meal you’ll be eating with your hands. And leave the napkins inside too –  with sauce this good, you’ll be licking your fingers clean.

Makes 1 cup of sauce


  • 1/3 cup (about 3 ounces) tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons tamari
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1?4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1?4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1?4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1?2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1?2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder


In a small bowl mix together tomato paste, butter, hot sauce, honey, vinegar, tamari, mustard and water.

In another small bowl mix together allspice, cinnamon, pepper, chili powder, paprika and onion powder.

Mix the spices in with the wet ingredients.

Brush on meat before grilling or dip cooked meat into the sauce.

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