Jelly Toast

balsamic bbq sauce

Disclosure: I have partnered with Bumble Olive Oil Company for a series of posts featuring their products. I was provided the olive oil and vinegar to review and use for this recipe. All words and opinions are my own.

Father’s Day always stumps me – although for the life of me, I don’t know why. When it comes to my own dad, I know him very well, but for some reason, constantly get stuck when it comes to gift ideas.

I often find myself at a cross roads.  I have the safe options that, while a bit on the boring uninspired side, are guaranteed that he will like and use. These safe options include all of the following: books, coffee or an iTunes card. Uninspired, I know.

Which leads me to the more risky options. The things that I think he will like and use, but aren’t entirely sure. This category pretty much encompasses everything else. The risky category can be down right overwhelming.

Don’t misunderstand me. It’s not that my dad is dull or boring in anyway. In fact, he’s one of the most interesting people I know. He just happens to work long, hard hours and in the bits of free time that he has, he tends to unwind with a riveting book and a hot cup of (black) coffee. And now seeing this description typed out on my computer screen, I realize that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – if say, that apple fell with her own little stash of French Vanilla Creamer and cheesy romance novel.

And the stumping doesn’t stop at my dad. When it comes to my husband (who I arguably know better than anyone else in the world) I am equally as stuck. You see, he is very into gadgets and electronics (computers, cameras, video games, etc) and he is very particular. Or rather discerning. He has good taste and he knows what he likes.

So, while I know my way around bits of computers and the like, our use of computers and gadgets is very different. What might work for my needs, won’t necessarily jive with what he has planned.  So gift giving occasions usually have me hinting around at what he’s interested in, attempting to choose the gift on my own, but in the end saying, “I know you wanted that new headset, so….if you find the one you like, you know,  just go ahead and buy it. Haaaappy Faaaather’s Day!”

I’m the worst. Seriously. It boils down to the fact that I just want him to have the shirt/headset/camping gear/power tool he would truly enjoy. Is that so wrong? Maybe I just need to hone my reconnaissance skills. Hunt and gather information like a ninja in order to buy the most perfect gifts. Although, if I’m going to be a ninja, I definitely need a new outfit.


So what does all this talk of lack-luster gift giving have to do with tangy, mouthwatering Balsamic BBQ sauce? It’s a Father’s Day cliche, I realize, but grilling is something that both my husband and my dad both enjoy doing. Are they pit masters who attend meat smoking competitions wearing matching ‘I Love Pig Butts’ t-shirts? No. Although I may have just solved my dilemma of what to get them both for Father’s Day.

So while they won’t be rocking those shirts anytime soon (or will they…?) they are two men who enjoy grilling and are often whipping up some sort of smokey deliciousness – some of which is bacon wrapped.

So, in honor of my husband, my dad and my father-in-law (as well as my brothers, brothers-in-law and really all the awesome dads out there) I wanted to create a tangy, vinegary and powerful BBQ sauce that is anything but lackluster.

When it comes to BBQ sauce, I know what I like: strong, vinegary with a touch of sweetness and a whole lot of sass. That’s right, I’m making some seriously sassy (and saucy) BBQ sauce. And while this sauce is not spicy, it is a mouthful of awesome.

Awesomesauce, even.

To create this sauce, I used my favorite balsamic vinegar from Bumble Olive Oil Company – and in this case, I chose to use the Red Apple Balsamic Vinegar for a touch of sweetness. A bit of Bumble’s Chipotle Olive Oil adds just a splash of spice.

This is hands down my new favorite BBQ sauce. The rich balsamic vinegar is strong, but sweet. It gets you right in the jaw and your taste buds explode. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The sauce is smooth, silky and just thin enough that it can be brushed over ribs, chicken or even shrimp to caramelize into the best glazed BBQ you’ve ever made.

On my to-do list is a big batch of pulled pork tossed with this dark, rich Balsamic BBQ sauce. I have a feeling it will not disappoint.

Trust me, this sauce is anything but lack luster. In fact, it’s quite luster-ful.


Balsamic BBQ Sauce

Yield: makes about 2 cups - serving size 2 Tablespoons - 1 points+ per serving


2/3 cup good quality balsamic vinegar (I used Bumble's Red Apple Vinegar)
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil (I used Bumble's Chipotle Olive Oil)
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 Tbs molasses


Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat over medium. Stirring frequently, allow mixture to come to a simmer and continue to cook for about 15-20 minutes or until sauce is reduced by about 1/4. Sauce will be thick and fragrant. Store sauce in tightly lidded jar in the refrigerator.
recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
June 12th, 2013

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20 comments on “balsamic bbq sauce”

  1. wow, my whole mouth just filled with saliva.

  2. This sauce looks realy good. I like that it’s not too sweet.

  3. I’m terrible with father’s day gifts too. It seems like I always end up getting my pop a book every stinking year. I love the idea of cooking him up something special, though, like this delicious bbq sauce that he can keep in his fridge for his coveted bbq grilled chicken! This sauce looks so rich and phenomenal. The balsamic idea is brilliant and I’m going to have to try some bumble olive oil!!

    • I’m glad I’m not alone with the gift giving, Julia! I am seriously the worst when it comes to that. Luckily, I feel like this will be a good year knowing I’m armed with this sauce 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  4. You seem to really know the men in your life Emily. Lucky them. Great post, beautiful photos, and the recipe – well, I am always looking for a new BBQ sauce recipe, so I will be giving this one a try for sure!

  5. These photos are gorgeous! I’ve only made my own BBQ sauce once, but I need to do it again. And yes, this would definitely be a great gift!

  6. Lovely work! Would you be happy to link it in to the current Food on Friday which is about all things BBQ? This is the link . I do hope to see you there. Cheers

  7. I saw this and as I’m reading it I’m thinking it sounds like Giada’s recipe. Then at the bottom I see “recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis” 🙂 I made this from her recipe recently and it was amazing! Definitely highly recommended!

    • Yes! It’s a great sauce and I have found that I like the touch less vinegar and adding a bit of molasses. You can’t go wrong with Giada! Especially when it comes to anything Italian-y 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by, Eric!

  8. I’ve been looking for a new BBQ sauce to make, and now I’ve found yours! 🙂

  9. My dad is SO hard to shop for! He always requests specific brands/sizes of various power tools, and I invariably get the wrong type. I also like to fall back on homemade treats, which I hope are always appreciated!

  10. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who was doing a little homework on this. And he actually bought me dinner due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this topic here on your web site.

  11. Lovely work! Would you be happy to link it in to the current Food on Friday which is all about sauces? This is the link . I do hope to see you there. There are already quite a lot of links for you to check out. Cheers

  12. I just made this for Father’s Day, and it’s awesome. I added a little bit of cumin, cocoa powder, and black pepper, too, to give it a bit more of a deep flavor.

    • I’m so glad you liked the BBQ sauce! I love the sound of your additions – cumin and cocoa powder?! How wonderful! I’m so glad you stopped back!