Aaron Franklin’s Espresso Barbecue Sauce

Aaron Franklin is the master of Texas barbecue. This espresso based-sauce has a subtle coffee flavor and a sharp vinegar taste that cuts though fatty meat. For this recipe, I made the espresso using a moka pot. If you’re interested in how to use one of these, the guide by ChefSteps and James Hoffman is great.


  • 1½ cups ketchup
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ½ apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • ¼ packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh espresso
  • (optional) drippings from freshly smoked barbecue


Add the ketchup, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and brown sugar to a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally to bring all ingredients together.

While the sauce comes to a simmer, brew espresso.

When espresso finishes, the sauce should be at a simmer and all ingredients should be combined.

Remove the sauce pan from the heat and add the espresso.

Stir to combine, and allow to cool. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Serve with fatty meats such as burgers, brisket, or pork. Store refrigerated.


  1. Hello,

    What are the units of measurements for:

    1/2 apple cider vinegar
    1/4 dark soy sauce
    1 tablespoon garlic powder
    1 tablespoon onion powder
    1/4 packed brown sugar

    Thank you,

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Solve : *
29 − 13 =