6 ounce can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup white vinegar (see my update below)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup granular Splenda or equivalent liquid Splenda
2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum, optional

If you're going to use the xanthan gum, combine it in a small bowl with all of the dry spices. Whisk everything together in a medium pot. Cover and simmer 30-60 minutes, whisking occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cool, then pour into a glass pint canning jar and store in the refrigerator. It will keep for several weeks or more.

Makes 2 cups

With granular Splenda:
Per 2 tablespoons: 17 Calories; trace Fat; 1g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; .5g Dietary Fiber; 3.5g Net Carbs
Per 1/4 cup: 34 Calories; trace Fat; 1g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 7g Net Carbs

With liquid Splenda:
Per 2 tablespoons: 14 Calories; trace Fat; 1g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; .5g Dietary Fiber; 2.5g Net Carbs
Per 1/4 cup: 28 Calories; trace Fat; 1g Protein; 6.5g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 5.5g Net Carbs

Now that KC Masterpiece is no longer making their low carb barbecue sauce I wanted to tweak my old Smoky Barbecue Sauce recipe to try and make it taste more like the KC Masterpiece. I added a lot more sweetener and some blackstrap molasses plus double the liquid smoke and a secret ingredient that I hadn't seen mentioned in other barbcue sauce recipes: celery seed. The first thing that hits my nose and tastebuds when I smell and taste the KC Masterpiece is a strong scent and taste of celery seed. I had to just guess at how much to put in my sauce but settled on 1/2 teaspoon. 1/4 teaspoon didn't seem like it would be enough to make much of a flavor impact so I got brave and used double that. Oh, and I eliminated the butter that was in my original recipe. My old recipe was based on one by Dana Carpender and I think she used oil or butter to sauté the onion and garlic that was in her sauce. Since I was using all dried spices, I saw no need for any fat. I may reconsider that later though because the spices that I used are fat soluble. I might go ahead and add a teaspoon or so of oil or maybe a tablespoon of butter. However, without the added fat, the sauce measured exactly 2 cups so maybe I'll just leave it as it is. I'm very happy with the flavor and the cost to make this is great too. I paid 38˘ for the can of tomato paste so I figure that the whole batch probably cost me about 50-60˘. I used to pay about $1.55 for a 15.5 ounce bottle of KC Masterpiece.

UPDATE 7/29/11: In case you're wondering how long this sauce will keep in the fridge, I just finished off a batch that I'd made on June 27th and it was perfectly good after a month.

UPDATE 9/30/11: I've decided to change the name from Smoky BBQ Sauce II to My Favorite BBQ Sauce because it's the only one that I make anymore. I've also switched to using white vinegar instead of cider vinegar because I didn't care for the off flavor that the cider vinegar gave the sauce. White vinegar provides tang with no added flavor. I've also started adding 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum after my friend Nancy suggested it. It seems to smooth out the consistency but it's totally optional.

UPDATE 11/22/13: I do recommend adding the xanthan gum, if you have it. I makes a big difference in the consistency. Without it, the sauce has a grainy look, almost like it has separated. With the xanthan gum, you get a glossy, smooth-looking sauce. Many commercial brands of BBQ sauce have xanthan gum in them.

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