Healthy BBQ Adapted from The Pink Adobe

BBQ is sometimes too good to be true. Today’s article discusses the use of “Liquid Smoke”. But this method is not my cup of tea, given the chemicals that are used. There are other options available that do not include chemicals. I thought it would be  helpful to elaborate a bit  more fully. 

There are two fundamental methods to BBQ:

1) One is to use charcoal and BBQ a steak or burger, lobster, or a pork roast directly on the grill. This method may take less than 30 minutes. This is the method the Pink Adobe recipe uses, however they list ‘Liquid Smoke’ in the ingredients. While that product adds the flavor that smoking adds, it also has chemicals that I do not want to use.

2) A very different approach is to smoke the dish, whether vegetable or protein. The smoked heat is extreme but will allow you to let the smoke do the cooking which  may take from 2-6 hours or longer. The first method will have more of a grilled appearance while the second one may show less grilled appearance, but will have a stronger smokey flavor infused from the smoke of the apple wood, mesquite, alder or oak burned in the smoker.                                                               

There are many methods for making a BBQ sauce, but I will only highlight the most popular, relying on spices and herbs to flavor your sauce. This method will be the quickest to the table.  In contrast,  sous vide, creates a sauce in the cooking process. Originally developed by the French, it takes hours when the protein is very thick like a pot roast or large chicken or turkey. Cooked in a bag with specific heat levels enables the dish to cook at a temperature  that is exactly as you wish- without  over or under heating . This method allows cooking very slowly for an extended period of time.  Tenderness can be controlled to the minute. But remember the sous vide method takes much longer to cook.

Today’s BBQ sauce recipe results in an extraordinary BBQ flavor without using the Liquid Smoke (chemicals) by adding several new ingredients as noted below to the Pink Adobe recipe:


  1. Omit Liquid Smoke
  2. 1 Tbsp  cumin (Added)
  3. 1 Tbsp apple wood rub (Added)
  4. 2 Tbsp ground Ancho chilies (Added)
  5. 2 Tbsp smoked chipotle (Added)
  6. 2 Tbsp smoked paprika (Added)
  7. 2 Tbsp cane sugar (Added)
  8. 2 Tbsp light brown sugar  (Added)
  9. 4 slices of bacon cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  10. 14 ounces bottle Heinz Ketchup
  11. 1 Tbsp Kosher salt  (Added)
  12. 1 Tbsp ground black pepper (Added)  
  13. 1 cup chopped onion
  14. 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  15. 3 ground garlic cloves crushed
  16. 1/4 cup white vinegar
  17. 1/4 cup lemon juice
  18. 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  19. 1/4 cup karo-white corn syrup
  20. 1 Tbsp molasses
  21. 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  22. 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
  23. 1 cup fresh mango juice

To prepare this BBQ sauce, fry bacon in a heavy stockpot until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels and dice. Sauté onion, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add juice of mango and add remaining ingredients. Add this sauce to the BBQ meat or vegetables before and after cooking.

This is a good one, you will enjoy! Without the chemicals in Liquid Smoke, it has the flavors that make a great BBQ sauce and it is healthier for you!

Send questions or your favorite recipes directly to  [email protected] I look forward to hearing from you. Chef Alan