BBQ Sauce Recipe

I got an email one day that asked if I was interested in coming up with a BBQ sauce using Pepsi’s new product Pepsi Natural. I’m a real big fan of Pepsi Throwback and of colas in general, so the proposition was somewhat intriguing. I’d seen cola BBQ sauces around and was always interested in trying one. So here’s what I came up with.
The first thing that I noticed was that the Pepsi Natural is not nearly as sweet as your standard soft drink. It’s perfectly pleasant to drink and quite refreshing, just not so super-sweet. In order to make this work without the sauce being way too watery is to reduce the Pepsi Natural into a more concentrated form. I tried it with and without the reduction technique and the reduction was the crowd favorite. The bourbon is totally optional, it worked great without it.

Cola-Based BBQ Sauce Recipe:

  • 1 bottle of Pepsi Natural (or any other cola-flavored drink)
  • 1 can (6 oz) of tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp of mustard
  • 1 Tbsp of worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp of your favorite BBQ rub
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke


  • 1 tbsp bourbon


In a medium sized sauce pan simmer the 12 oz bottle of Pepsi Natural until its volume is reduced to 4 oz. Stir in the other ingredients and remove from heat.

For the chicken:

  • 1 family sized package of chicken thighs (around 12 pieces)
  • salt
  • pepper

Set up your grill for indirect heat. Salt and pepper the chicken thighs. Sear the skin of each chicken thigh over the direct heat, until you get some nice grill marks, then move to the cooler side of the grill (skin side up). Add some smoke chips to the direct heat and close the lid. Cook until the internal temp of your largest piece reaches 180º… around an hour or so. Five minutes before removing your chicken brush on the BBQ sauce. Remove your chicken thighs and take a bow.

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16 thoughts on “BBQ Sauce Recipe”

  1. This looks yummy. I have never heard of using Pepsi in a bbq sauce before. All the flavors sound like they mix well together! I may just have to try this out. 🙂

  2. Good call on using the Pepsi out of the bottle.. I think anything in a can tastes like the can. I’m sure it probably doesn’t in actuality, but in my psyche it sure does. I think I should try this recipe.. I’m sure the flavors mesh together well!

  3. This makes a great a great BBQ – the bourbon adds a great taste – the first batch I did was with plain old Jack, the next with Woodford Reserve – not sure it made a difference which one I used though.


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