With the summer's arrival, backyards are filled with fired up barbecue grill and Barbecue Sauce. Barbecue Sauce is nothing but a liquid flavoring sauce or condiment which may be thick or watery. As the name implies, it has been created to accompany barbecued foods. 

Though it can be taken along with any food, it is usually topped over cooked meat or used during barbecuing, grilling, or baking. Traditionally it has been a favored sauce for ribs and chicken. In some occasions, it may be used for dipping items like fries, and sometimes replaces tomato sauce in barbecue-style pizzas.

Barbecue Sauce enhances the flavor of any kind of meat, whether barbecued on an open grill outdoors or cooked in the oven. It can also be used in all kinds of recipes or as a condiment for burgers and sandwiches.

Also, barbecue sauces may contain sour, sweet, or spicy ingredients or be of a particular flavor alone. The ingredients may vary, but some items like tomato paste, vinegar, spices, and sweeteners are common. These variations are often due to regional traditions and recipes.

A good barbecue sauce can serve a host of functions in the kitchen. Different geographical areas have their particular style of preparing Barbecue Sauces and the taste varies accordingly. For example, vinegar and mustard-based barbecue sauces are popular in the southern United States, while ketchup and corn syrup-based sauce are common in Asian countries. 

Mexican salsa can also be used as a base for barbecue sauces. In China, Hoi sin Sauce serves as a base ingredient in the many recipes of the Chinese barbecue sauces. A simple blend of tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce makes up a barbecue sauce in Australia.

Barbecue Sauces are sometimes sweet and spicy, as it is in St. Louis, which is prepared generally with tomatoes and vinegar. On the other hand, it is not as sweet and thick as in the case of Kansas City. Varieties of sauces are sold in the market from fruity to brown sauce.

However, making barbecue sauces are quite simple though some may take a long time to prepare. A quick and simple sauce can be made by combining primary flavors with some dipping and basting. There are also other recipes that take a lot of time and produce a complex layering of flavors. The flavors may be complex, but it is not necessary for the procedure to be complex.

Homemade sauces can be prepared according to one's own taste and flavor. Also, homemade sauces are much lower in sodium than the commercial ones. It can be made in advance, and in large quantities also. Once prepared, they can be placed in a glass jar or heat-proof plastic container and are covered and refrigerated for up to a month.

Otherwise, the sauce can be frozen in small quantities for up to a year, and can be defrosted as and when needed in a microwave or in a saucepan over the stove. Slow open grilling and simmering is the usual way of preparing Barbecue Sauces but some best sauces can stand up to direct cooking for 10 minutes but not more than that.

Lastly, Barbecue Sauces date back to some hundreds of years and have are now regarded as a BBQ essential.

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