5 DIY Condiments You can Make for Barbecue Season

With the outdoor meal come the standard accoutrements: pickles, slaws and salads, chips, beer, and, of course, gobs of condiments: Salsa, ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce and mayo top the list. It's paydirt for recyclers, but not necessarily the most eco-friendly or economical for the rest of us. And, are all those jarred sauces and spreads really even healthy? Probably not. But make them from scratch? That can seem like an impossible challenge. What exactly is mayonnaise, anyway? How does mustard get its bright yellow glow? Only a Heinz-trained chef can make ketchup that actually tastes like ketchup, right?

Read more about preservatives

Not to burst your bubble, but WRONG.

The fact is, we're so inundated by jars and bottles and cans of the stuff that we just assume they're not easy to make from scratch (and taste good). Even the most savvy home chef likely still relies on pre-made condiments. But now is the time to fire up your DIY engines and get to making your own condiments!

When you make them from scratch, you can make them to order (even the store bought versions have expiry dates; they can't live in your fridge forever). You can also eliminate some of the not-so-healthy ingredients like stabilizers, artificial colors and flavors, and Heinz's not-so-secret ingredient: high fructose corn syrup.

While some, like ketchup and barbecue sauce, may be more of a time commitment,  you can whet your appetite with some simpler recipes to start, or if you're up to the challenger, dive in to the more laborious. Trust me, once you go homemade, you'll never go back to the store bought stuff again.


1. Mustard

It really is super easy. I like this simple recipe from Mother Earth Living, but there are scores out there from the fine Dijon, to grainy and the super spicy. If you make one condiment in your life, let it be mustard!

2. Eggless Mayo

Ditch the raw eggs in this vegan mayo recipe. I also avoid the soy using almond milk instead. And give it a healthier kick with sunflower oil instead of canola. Or go super healthy with hemp seed oil. Just remember not to heat it!

3. Salsa

Have you made your own salsa yet? It's quite easy and lots of fun. You can whip up a great salsa in a matter of minutes. Check out this recipe from the Queen herself, Martha Stewart.

Read more about processed foods you can make at home

4. Ketchup

We're all essentially taste bud brainwashed when it comes to ketchup. But don't let Heinz destroy the experience of developing a new relationship with ketchup. There are lots of recipes out there and I recommend trying a few until you find one that really resonates. Start simple with one like this.

5. Barbecue Sauce

It's hard to find a barbecue sauce recipe that doesn't require already prepared ingredients (like ketchup, mustard and Worcestershire). So that's why this one is last on the list! Master the other recipes first and then give a go at your barbecue sauce using your homemade ingredients. Here are three barbecue sauces to try.


Image: Robert S. Donovan

By Jill Ettinger| June 01, 2014
Categories:  Eat
Keywords:  EatFood and Nutrition

About the Author

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a freelance journalist and marketing specialist primarily focused on the organic and natural industries, she bridges her love for changing the food system with her lifelong passion for writing and connecting people in their shared values. You can connect with Jill on Twitter and Instagram.

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