Punch up your outdoor entertaining with these regional BBQ sauces

7 July, 2014

The Fourth of July is a holiday best celebrated outdoors. And what better way to show off your new outdoor dining set than with an evening barbecue? The warm summer night air creates the perfect atmosphere for enjoying some delicious food while reconnecting with friends and family. If you are lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a nearby fireworks show!

When inviting company over for a backyard barbecue, you will need to make sure you have enough outdoor seating. This isn't limited to just sofas and sectionals – you need to be sure you have enough dining chairs as well. Use this holiday weekend as a chance to spruce up your al fresco entertaining location with brand new outdoor furniture. Once your dining and seating areas are all set up, you are ready to begin planning your menu.

Barbecue is often only as good as its sauce. Therefore, be sure to put some time and effort into creating homemade condiments for your guests. Homemade sauces are actually surprisingly easy to make yourself, and they are sure to wow even the most experienced BBQ connoisseur. Leave the meat smoking to the caterer and focus on making one or more of these delicious sauces:

North Carolina Style: This vinegar-based sauce is tangy and spicy. Boil 3 cups of cider vinegar with a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of sugar. As it cooks, add a tablespoon of crushed red pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Let cool a bit before serving.

Texas Style: A little bit sweet, this tomato-based sauce is sure to be a hit. Melt a tablespoon of butter and add a clove of minced garlic. Add a cup of ketchup, 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 1/3 cup of Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1/4 cup of ground cayenne pepper. Simmer for approximately 15 minutes and then chill before serving.

Alabama White: The white BBQ sauce of Alabama is one of the more unique regional varieties. To make it, just combine a quart of mayonnaise, 3/4 quart apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup of corn syrup, 1/4 tablespoon of cayenne pepper and prepared horseradish to taste. This mixture isn't cooked at all, just mixed well and served.

Use these regional BBQ sauce varieties to punch up your holiday entertaining this Fourth of July.