4th Generation Father's Day BBQ Sauce and Rub

Every year for Father’s Day, I end up walking around multiple stores in circles trying to find the perfect gift that says, “I love you and thank you for being my Dad.” Why is it so difficult to find a Father’s Day gift? Mother’s Day is easy—Mom’s love flowers, breakfast in bed with a mimosa, a handmade gift, or gift certificate for a massage, manicure, pedicure, or even a beautiful scarf. For those of you who have fathers who are golfers, I envy you. You can purchase a set of monogramed golf balls, new tees, a new polo shirt, golf club covers, ect. My step-dad, Bob, does not play golf, he is a fisherman. I know he would appreciate a gift card to a sporting goods store where he can purchase whatever fishing lures he needs, but I absolutley loathe giving gift cards—it feels so thoughtless and unoriginal.  What do you buy for the favorite men in your life who mean so much to you? It is very limited, especially here in the mid-west—if you look around the Father’s Day card section at gift stores, the cards are 90% golf-themed!

I started thinking about it, and almost every man I know loves to grill and smoke meat. So I came upon these adorable galvanized steel Grill Caddies from Pottery Barn and thought, how fun would it be to make my own BBQ sauce and BBQ rub, and then package it with these amazing accessories? It was my Father’s Day “Aha” moment! To make it even more special, my Grandma Nancy had her mother, my Great Grandma Nelson's, homemade BBQ sauce recipe. I did add a little extra flavor to the sauce recipe and instead of brown sugar, I added honey, because I think honey caramelizes beautifully on grilled or smoked meat! I believe with each generation it gets better and better; ergo, four generations later we have the perfect BBQ sauce! 

For the BBQ Rub

  • 1 Cup Paprika
  • ½ Cup Black Pepper
  •  ½ Cup Garlic Powder
  • ½ Cup Onion Powder
  •  ¼ Cup Cayenne Pepper
  • ¼ Cup Coarse Sea Salt
  • ¼ Cup Brown Sugar
  • cute jars (we got ours from World Market!)

For the BBQ Sauce 
(recipe makes 2 large bottles)

  • 2 Quarts Catsup
  • ½ Cup Liquid smoke
  • ¼ Cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Cups Brown Sugar (I prefer honey)
  • ½ Teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
  • ½ Cup Dry Rub Seasoning
  • cute bottles (we got ours from World Market!)

Click here to download & printe these adorable labels and Father's Day tags!

For the BBQ Rub:

Step 1: Stir all ingredients together in a large bowl.

Step 2: Store in air-tight container until ready to use. Sprinkle on choice of meat before grilling or smoking. This recipe makes quite a large amount, so if your container is small, or you aren’t preparing a large quantity of meat, you can always cut the recipe in half.  I found these adorable inexpensive glass spice jars at my local hobby store, and they worked perfectly. You could also store in a mason jar, but I like the ability to sprinkle the seasoning onto the meat. 

For the BBQ Sauce:

Step 1: In a large pot, stir all the ingredients together. Make sure there are not any lumps.

Step 2: Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20-30 minutes, then pour into air-tight container.

Note: If you plan on giving two bottles of the sauce (this recipe makes 2 large bottles), I recommend adding extra cayenne pepper and Tabasco sauce to half of the sauce to add a little heat. Then, you can give a bottle of hot and mild sauce. Pour into preferred storage containers and keep refrigerated.

Photography by Shannon Stafford
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What homemade Father's Day gift ideas have you made in the past? Share them with us on our Camp Makery Facebook page!