The bean recipe we always made for catering at Skylight events required us to make a “bean sauce.” It wasn’t much more than a simple, sweet barbecue sauce, but batch after batch, we’d mix up the bean sauce from a half-dozen ingredients. When we opened Sam Jones BBQ, Michael and I developed a sweet barbecue sauce. We also use it on the ribs. The finished product in the bottle was pretty dang close to the bean sauce in flavor, sweetness, and consistency. That’s why we don’t make “bean sauce” at SJB anymore and instead use our bottled sweet sauce.
If you don’t have any Sam Jones BBQ sweet sauce at home, you can always order some, or make the bean sauce recipe here. My dad still insists the beans are better with the bean sauce—something about heartburn—but it’s not much different. I never have gotten an explanation as to why they add just a smidge of Kraft brand barbecue sauce at the end. Maybe it’s a heartburn cure or something. Most likely, it’s just because that’s the way the Joneses always did it.
- There’s no need to heat this sauce. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix until the sugars are well dissolved. It will keep in the refrigerator for weeks.
Reprinted with permission from Whole Hog BBQ by Sam Jones and Daniel Vaughn, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography copyright Denny Culbert.