Sunday, September 14, 2014

Copycat Recipe: Rudy's BBQ "Sause"

As a native Texan, I've always loved to eat BBQ ribs, chicken, sausage, etc. So while attending graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, I explored various BBQ joints in search of the all-time best place for BBQ. Most people raved about the famous Salt Lick. However, after having ordered a large sampler plate of all their "best" fixins', my friend and I were quite disappointed with the food and never returned. Then I discovered Rudy's ...
The end. :)

Seriously though, eating at Rudy's was an eye-opening experience for me. That place was so good that I had my order memorized (1/2 lb extra moist brisket, 1/2 a hottie (aka jalapeño sausage), potato salad, large Coke (the Coke seemed stronger there FSR), and extra, soft, white bread). Rudy's was so good that after my then-husband/friend discovered the place, he ate there almost every single day and requested to go there for his birthday as a "special dinner" even though we had just been there the day before! haha
Now that I no longer live in a city with a Rudy's establishment (they are primarily located in Texas and Oklahoma now), I have been going through BBQ withdrawals. My first withdrawal prompted my search for a copycat recipe for Rudy's peppery BBQ "Sause" (with an "s", thank you very much!). Their "sause" is peppery with a hint of sweetness and tang; it is perfection IMHO.
I found a good recipe on Beth's Favorite Recipes, but the "sause" tasted a bit too sweet and not peppery enough compared to that of Rudy's BBQ. So, I adjusted the recipe to match it more with the original taste. Although the "sause" is pretty darn close to how the real stuff tastes, I still miss the brisket, ribs, chicken, turkey, potato salad, bread, paper plates (literally paper!), benches, water bags (to ward off insects), strong Coca-Cola, reusable cups (I used to have more than 20 of them!), quirky signs, automatic hand-washer, and the overall ambiance.
My mother's lovely hand demonstrates how thick the yummy "sause" is!
Even if you've never known the wonders of Rudy's BBQ, I suggest you give this "sause" recipe a try. All of my friends and coworkers love it and have asked for the recipe on more than one occasion. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, add more brown sugar. If you prefer a spicier sauce, add more cayenne and/or pepper. Just try out the recipe as is the first go round and then make adjustments. ENJOY Y'ALL!
The recipe yielded all of the sauce you see in this black bowl (about 2+ cups).
  Copy cat Recipe: Rudy’s BBQ "Sause"
Yield: 2+ cups

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup (236 ml) ketchup
1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
juice of 1/2-1 lemon
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
2-3 tsp coarse, black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Simmer until slightly reduced (about 10-15 minutes). Serve hot or allow to cool.


  1. I'd like to invite you to join our site . I really enjoy your blog and recipes and I think the over 8,000 unique daily visitors to eRecipe will too.
    By joining eRecipe, we will provide the Nutrition Facts for every recipe you post in which you could customize and add to your blog. Viewers need and love to know the nutritional facts. Its a free service that we offer to blogs and recipes we really love. It looks professional and your members will love it.
    Simply visit or contact me at We look forward having you in our network!

  2. Rudy's uses Tamarind for the "sour" profile, instead of lemon juice and vinegar. You can find it @ Fiesta or any Asian Market. For us Caribbeans or my Asian friends, you can't miss it. Typical bbq sauce is ketchup, molasses, and pepper. The tamarind is what adds that extra oomph.


English: Feel free to write a comment in your own language!
Español: ¡Siente libre de dejar un comentario en tu propio idioma!
Italiano: Sentitevi liberi di scrivere un commento nella vostra lingua!
Português: Fique à vontade de deixar um comentário no seu próprio idioma!
OR français, 한글, or another language!