Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce sounds incredible to most of us! But why are home versions lacking in the Dr. Pepper flavor department?
It’s questions like these that put good home cooks to work, and as I stood at my local Sprouts pondering why that bottle of Stubb’s Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce tasted so much more “Dr. Peppery” than my own, I committed to finding out a way to punch that much flavor into a jar of my own homemade sauce.
Secretly, I knew that Stubb’s was probably hand delivered an extract from Dr. Pepper themselves and it did occur to me to just buy a Dr. Pepper extract off of Amazon.
(Home soda makers do this all the time, and for those of you who have my cookbook you will remember we do the same thing when making homemade root beer in flip top bottles.)
But something about that seemed like cheating, so I marched forth with a more honest method… creating my own quick concentrate by reducing a couple cans of DP on my stovetop.
This process is easy enough. I just pour 2 cans of Dr. Pepper into a medium saucepan, and simmer until maybe 2-3 T. of syrup is left.
Essentially, what we’re doing is forcing the carbonated water in the soda to evaporate, leaving behind the syrup, which is the essence of the cola.
Guess what?! It worked PRETTY GOOD YALL!
Once you have the extract, it’s a total breeze to make barbecue sauce. You just add the other ingredients and simmer until it’s rich and saucy. As with any barbecue sauce the flavors really enhance overnight and this one is not different. The Dr. Peppery flavor really takes over on Day 2.
You can throw this sauce into jars and it will last for quite awhile refrigerated. I think my last batch is on week 3 and it’s still bone-sucking good.