Ruben Santana BBQ Sauce Recipe

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Are you done looking for the best classic sauce for summer barbecuing? Then stop your search right here! The Ruben Santana BBQ Sauce recipe is so simple to make that you’ll stop buying your chocolate barbecue sauce from the store. 

Today’s sauce recipe is inspired by Ruben Santana, the founder of Bark Barbecue’s signature classic BBQ sauce. It is a tomato ketchup-based BBQ sauce mixed with other secret ingredients to add flavor to your BBQ meat. This sweet and tangy barbecue sauce is perfect for any kind of barbecuing.

It’s like a fusion of your Mexican barbecue sauce. Excited to give it a try? If you love barbecuing, you’re going to love this sauce recipe! 

Ruben Santana BBQ Sauce Recipe

Ruben Santana BBQ Sauce Ingredients

This Ruben Santana BBQ sauce is made with just a few easily available ingredients. Ketchup and molasses make it sweet and thicker in consistency. Butter gives it a rich and creamy texture.

Paprika and red pepper add to the spiciness. Here’s an outline of the ingredients you will need to make this mumm sauce: 


Tomato ketchup is something that is found in everyone’s fridge. You’ll be happy to know that tomato ketchup is the first ingredient on our list here. You can use any kind of tomato ketchup available at home. You’ll need 3 cups of ketchup in this recipe. 


Molasses is a healthier alternative to sugar. Molasses add sweetness and depth to the sauce. 1 cup of dark liquid molasses would be enough to get the expected consistency. Again here you can use molasses of any brand. 

Unsalted Butter:

Are you a butter lover like me? And use butter in almost every recipe? You will love the creamy texture of our Ruben Santana BBQ sauce. Unsalted butter adds creaminess and makes it more tasty. 100 gm unsalted butter is used in the recipe. 


Cumin is a powerful herb-based spice that adds to the savory flavor. Crush the cumin coarsely. Don’t make a fine powder. 1 teaspoon of cumin will liven up the taste of the sauce. 


Salt is the basic ingredient that balances the taste of any recipe. Use 1 teaspoon of salt in the sauce recipe. You can also use seasoned salt for a more intense taste. 


Coarsely crushed red pepper is a must to add spiciness to any BBQ sauce. 1 teaspoon of red pepper powder would be enough to make the sauce spicy. Add a spoon if you love your sauce extremely spicy. 

Garlic and Onion Powder:

Onion and garlic powder are a good way to add savory flavor to any recipe without using fresh ones. Add garlic and onion powder to the sauce to make it extra spicy and delicious. These powders are easily found in grocery stores. Use 1 teaspoon of both. 


Paprika is usually made from dried red chilies. Apart from spiciness, paprika has a unique smell that goes well with BBQ sauce. 1 teaspoon of paprika will make your sauce spicy enough to pair with any kind of BBQ meat. 


Though it is not vinegar-based BBQ sauce, ½ cup of vinegar is used in the recipe. Vinegar adds to the flavor of smoked meat proteins. Vinegar also raises the longevity of the sauce.

How To Make Ruben Santana BBQ Sauce?

Ruben Santana’s BBQ sauce recipe has an ideal balance of tangy, sweet, and savory flavors. It is a ketchup-based BBQ sauce. But it also includes a small amount of vinegar. 

You can easily spread it on chicken, ribs, or even on your beef brisket. So without wasting any time, let’s describe how to make it in 5 easy steps: 

Step 1:

Take a bowl. Put 3 cups of tomato ketchup, 1 cup of molasses, and ½ cup of vinegar. Mix it well and put it aside.

Step 2:

Take a large saucepan and put it on your gas stove. Put 100 gm of unsalted butter of your preferred brand. Butter will melt in 2-3 minutes.

Step 3

Put the sauce mix that we prepared before in the melted butter. Oh, the smell is divine at this stage! Bring the sauce to a simmer on medium heat. 

Step 4

Next, add all the dry spices and salt. Boil for 15 minutes on medium to low heat until the mumm sauce thickens. Stir often to avoid lumps. 

Step 5

That’s it! Let it cool down and then enjoy it with your favorite BBQ recipes.

Ruben Santana BBQ Sauce Recipe

Ruben Santana BBQ Sauce Recipe

Ruben Santana has been serving Texas-style BBQ in NY since 2020. Ruben Santana BBQ sauce recipe is one of the most popular Ruben Santana recipes. It can be your simple go-to sauce for any kind of barbecuing. 
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings10 people
AuthorSpice to Sauce


  • 3 Cups Tomato ketchup
  • 1 Cup Molasses
  • 100 Gm Unsalted butter
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Red pepper powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 Cup White vinegar


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan
  • Next add the sauce mix into the melted butte
  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat
  • Add all the dry ingredients
  • Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes
  • Let it cool down. And store accordingly


  • If you like the sauce less spicy, then add a cup of ketchup. Also, check the use of paprika. 
  • Use unsalted butter to cut back on extra sodium in your sauce. 
  • White vinegar keeps your sauce intact for a longer period. So don’t skip this ingredient. 
  • Try to use blackstrap molasses in your sauce to have a robust flavor.
  • Use smoked paprika instead of plain ones for better taste and color. 
  • If you don’t have garlic and onion powder available at home, you can use fresh garlic and onion paste directly in the melted butter. 
  • You can store the sauce in the refrigerator and enjoy it for up to 2 weeks.
  • You can also keep it in the freezer in a zip-lock bag for up to 3 months.


Calories: 253kcal

Final Words

Homemade barbecue sauce is flavorful, one sauce for all, and so easy to make with available pantry ingredients. You can pair up this Ruben Santana BBQ sauce with wings, fries, ribs, chicken etc. Even it goes with burgers and pizza. 

This spicy and sweet Ruben Santana BBQ sauce tastes much better than your store-bought Mexican BBQ sauce. Best of all, you can make it with cheap ingredients and no preservatives are used in it. Once you make this sauce at home, you’ll never go for a store-bought one.

Explore More Recipes:

Montgomery Inn BBQ Sauce Recipe

T&T BBQ Mop Sauce Recipe

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