Recipes | Sauces, Salsas & Condiments

Low FODMAP Sweet and Sticky BBQ Sauce

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This Low FODMAP Sweet and Sticky BBQ Sauce is just what the name says: a little sweet, a bit sticky, with an adjustable heat level. It is very easy to make and is based upon “copycat” recipes for the beloved Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce, which unfortunately contains high FODMAP high fructose corn syrup. Ours has all the texture and flavor you want in a sweet and sticky BBQ sauce using low FODMAP ingredients.

Low FODMAP sweet and sticky BBQ sauce in open mason jar, lid on the side; dark counter

Let’s Talk About Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce

The company the owns Sweet Baby Ray’s now makes over 20 different sauces, but we are talking about the original, which has quite a following.

According to the brand website, the story goes that “in 1985 a local Chicago boy named Chef Larry perfected his family’s recipe for a sweet and tangy BBQ sauce and entered it into the country’s largest rib cook-off, the Mike Royko Rib-off. Chef Larry called his sauce Sweet Baby Ray’s after his little brother David, who got the nickname shootin’ hoops on the west side of Chicago. On the day of the rib-off, Sweet Baby Ray’s beat nearly 700 entrants — an amazing feat for an unknown. The rest, as they say, is history.”

The sauce is now bottled and is insanely popular. A little history according to their Wikipedia page – the brothers (last name Raymond) sold the business in 2005. At the time, the brand was earning $30 million in revenue and had 21% total market share. By 2008, the sauce had become the second best-selling barbecue sauce in the United States. David Raymond retained the rights to the name “Sweet Baby Ray’s” and runs a restaurant under the name located in Wood Dale, IL.

overhead image of low FODMAP Sweet and Sticky BBQ sauce in glass jar_CopyCat Recipes

So, it is not surprising that “copycat” recipes have cropped up. If you are a recipe Googler, then you are probably familiar with the fact that you can find “copycat” recipes for many popular food items such as Cinnabon’s, Chick-fil-A sandwiches, bloomin’ onions, cheddar-bay biscuits and the like. The “copycat” recipe world very much focuses on chain restaurant food and prepared products.

What Makes Sweet Baby Ray’s Unique?

My problem with the Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce copycat recipes is that they don’t contain tamarind. Tamarind is in the original sauce and provides a certain flavor and texture that cannot be duplicated. Why so many copycat recipes leave it out makes no sense to me.

And, since tamarind is low FODMAP, I will make what I will call a Sweet Baby Ray’s low FODMAP copycat recipe in the future – with tamarind!

This recipe is being called Low FODMAP Sweet and Sticky BBQ Sauce because that is what it is. And it is similar to those Sweet Baby Ray’s copycat recipes you will find online.

closeup of sweet and sticky BBQ sauce on a spoon, dripping into a jar against dark background

Let’s Talk Pineapple – Fruit & Juice

The original Sweet Baby Ray’s and the copycat recipes contain pineapple juice. Pineapple juice has not been lab tested for FODMAPs.

Fresh oranges and freshly squeezed orange juice do not contain any FODMAPs according to Monash University (the info on the fresh-squeezed juice is on their Facebook page, not the app).

On the app we can see that all of the commercially prepared orange juices do contain FODMAPs. Time and again we are shown – and lab testing proves – that processing can and usually does alter FODMAP content.

For this reason, I did not use commercially prepared pineapple juice as an ingredient in this recipe. Instead, I have puréed and strained fresh pineapple and calculated our serving size FODMAP load on what we know about fresh pineapple.

BTW fresh pineapple is low FODMAP in 1 cup (140 g) amounts according to Monash University – per serving, of course. FODMAP Friendly gives it a “Pass” at 150 g or 1 cup.

low FODMAP sweet and sticky BBQ sauce in a glass jar, lid on the side

Garlic Flavor For Low FODMAP Sweet and Sticky BBQ Sauce

Garlic is a huge conversation topic for all FODMAPers. Garlic contains fructans which are a huge trigger for many people with IBS. As soon as I got ahold of FreeFod Garlic Replacer I knew that one of the first things I wanted to make was barbecue sauce.

FreeFod Garlic Replacer is a powdered product that you can use similarly to garlic powder and it is lab tested and certified low FODMAP by FODMAP Friendly. You can make this Low FODMAP Sweet and Sticky BBQ Sauce without it, but it will not be the same and will not be nearly as good. 

Ketchup & FODMAPs

Sometimes Monash goes above and beyond and I LOVE the fact that they tested ketchup products both with and without high fructose corn syrup. And, guess what? Their low FODMAP serving size is the same; low FODMAP at 13 g portions for both. Monash says this is equal to “1 sachet” but because that meant nothing to us, we weighed and measured ketchup and 13 g equals 2 ¼ teaspoons.

Fody has a “low FODMAP” ketchup that is lab tested and certified by Monash…but the serving size is just 17 g, which is 1 U.S. tablespoon.

Folks, there just isn’t that much of a difference between conventional ketchup and low FODMAP ketchup. We use Heinz Ketchup in the Test Kitchen for recipe testing.

Calculating Serving Size

As you can see below, the entire recipe calls for 340 grams of ketchup. When divided by 13 g we learn that we need to end up with 26 servings of this BBQ sauce.

The yield of the recipe is about 3 cups (720 ml), which equals 48 tablespoons of sauce. So, a scant 2 tablespoons of sauce, per serving, is low FODMAP.

I know this sounds like a small amount of BBQ sauce, but did you know that the original Sweet Baby Ray’s serving size is 2 tablespoons? And Fody Foods BBQ sauces have the same serving size of 2 tablespoons. But, do you know why? They have the same serving sizes because the FDA says that is what a serving size is for BBQ sauce. If you are confused, we invite you to read our article, How To Read A FDA Nutritional Label. It explains everything. We bet your eyes will open a bit (a lot!) about what serving sizes are on labels and how they get determined.

Are you sitting down? What this means, additionally, is that 2 tablespoons of a low FODMAP product does not necessarily mean that 2 tablespoons is the maximum you can eat and have it remain low FODMAP. That’s right. Please read How To Read A Certified Low FODMAP Product Label.

Molasses & FODMAPs

Molasses is low FODMAP in 1 teaspoon amounts. Our recipe calls for ¼ cup (60 ml) total, which is 12 teaspoons. Our serving size keeps you well below that limit.

Our BBQ Sauce Is Not Vegetarian Or Vegan

Worcestershire sauce adds depth, complexity and flavor to our Low FODMAP Sweet and Sticky BBQ Sauce and since it contains anchovies, the finished sauce is not vegan or vegetarian.

If you want to substitute, you could try soy sauce, but the finished overall flavor balance of the BBQ sauce will be different – and not as good, in our opinion. But it is your choice.

How To Make Low FODMAP Sweet and Sticky BBQ Sauce

Your first step is going to be to “make” your pineapple “juice”.

Place pineapple chunks in blender carafe. Whisk the FreeFod Garlic Replacer together with the water and add to the blender.

chunks of pineapple in a blender carafe

Blend until liquified, then pour through a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl.

pouring liquified pineapple through a strainer

The juice will look foamy and opaque. That’s okay.

pouring liquified pineapple through a strainer; seeing juice below in bowl

Measure out your 1/4 cup (60 ml) of pineapple juice. Any extra can be set aside for another use.

Now place the pineapple juice in a saucepan with the ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne.

ingredients for BBQ sauce in pot, ready to be whisked together

Whisk all the ingredients together and simmer for 5 minutes, whisking frequently to prevent scorching.

sweet and sticky BBQ sauce simmering in pan with whisk

That’s it! So easy. Let’s make Low FODMAP Sweet and Sticky BBQ Sauce!

More BBQ Sauces

Make sure to check out these additional BBQ sauce recipes:

Low FODMAP sweet and sticky BBQ sauce in open mason jar, lid on the side; dark counter
5 from 1 vote

Low FODMAP Sweet and Sticky BBQ Sauce

This Low FODMAP Sweet and Sticky BBQ Sauce is just what the name says: a little sweet, a bit sticky, with an adjustable heat level. It is very easy to make and is based upon “copycat” recipes for the beloved Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce, which unfortunately contains high FODMAP high fructose corn syrup. Ours has all the texture and flavor you want in a sweet and sticky BBQ sauce using low FODMAP ingredients.

Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes about 3 cups (720 ml); serving size scant 2 tablespoons; approximately 24 servings

Makes: 24 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Author: Dédé Wilson

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Place pineapple chunks in blender. Whisk the FreeFod Garlic Replacer together with the water and add to the blender. Blend until liquified. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer and measure out ¼ cup (60 ml) of juice to use in the recipe. You will most likely have extra to drink or for another use.
  2. Place the pineapple juice, ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne in a non-reactive saucepan. Whisk together to combine. Bring the sauce a simmer over medium heat, whisking often, and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool. BBQ sauce is ready to use. You may refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Whisk before using.

Tips

  • Low FODMAP Sweet, Sticky & Smoky BBQ Sauce: Add 1 teaspoon or more of liquid smoke, such as Wright’s brand. Look for brands that just contain smoke and water. Just whisk in at the very end of cooking.

FODMAP Information

Our recipes are based on Monash University and FODMAP Friendly science.

  • Pineapple: Monash and FODMAP Friendly have both lab tested pineapple. Monash lab tests deem 1 cup fresh, chopped pineapple at 140 g to be Green Light low FODMAP. FODMAP Friendly give it a “Pass” at 1 cup (150 g). Monash has also tested dried pineapple and they have not determined a low FODMAP amount. It is Moderate at 25 g for fructans.
  • Sugar: Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have both lab tested white, granulated sugar. Monash states that a Green Light low FODMAP serving size of white sugar is 1/4 cup (50 g). FODMAP Friendly simply states that they have tested 1 tablespoon and that it is low FODMAP. Regular granulated white sugar is sucrose, which is a disaccharide made up of equal parts glucose and fructose. Sucrose is broken down and absorbed efficiently in the small intestine.

Please always refer to the Monash University & FODMAP Friendly smartphone apps for the most up-to-date lab tested information. As always, your tolerance is what counts; please eat accordingly. The ultimate goal of the low FODMAP diet is to eat as broadly as possible, without triggering symptoms, for the healthiest microbiome.

Course: Basic, Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 61kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 265mg | Potassium: 98mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 155IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.