12 Bones Smokehouse – 12 Bones Tomato “Q“ Sauce – Review

Learn the best barbeque techniques from the 12 Bones Smokehouse in Asheville, North Carolina. Get awesome recipes to achieve the best results from your barbeque. Includes their famous ribs, pulled pork, turkey, and chicken, plus iconic barbecue sauces like blueberry chipotle.

After a brief foreword and introduction describing the origins and evolution of 12 Bones, the book then begins with Chapter 1, The Essentials.

The Essentials covers the required basics for your barbecue success. Starting with Tools Of The Trade it breaks down each of the must-have implements you will need to start barbecuing. It continues on with Smoking Your Meat which discusses the various techniques for smoking, then Cooking Over Gas, covering gas grills. Next, Cooking Over Charcoal offers information on the various types of charcoal you can use for your cooking.

The Word On Wood discusses different types of wood fuel for your barbecue, followed by Brine: What, Why, And How, giving you the ins and outs and a simple recipe for brine. A one-page insert advises how to get the perfect grill marks every time when you’re using a direct heat method, and a two-page spread offers up the Top 10 Commandments Of Grilling.

Recipes And More Recipes

Once you have fully embraced The Essentials, the rest of the book is devoted to recipes. Recipe categories include:

  • Beef And Pork
  • Poultry And Seafood
  • Big, Bad Barbecue Sauces
  • Veggies, Salads, And Pickles
  • Rib-Stickin’ Sides
  • Southern Treats And Homemade Sweets

The first chapter of recipes Beef And Pork begins with A Word On Rubs, which gives you more information about marinades and rubs followed by 4 quick recipes.

The recipes themselves are excellently detailed and include an introduction followed by the yield. You don’t need much more than that because, like with many cooking techniques, learning barbecue is like chess. Easy to learn but takes a lifetime to master.

That said however I believe that anyone using these recipes and the detailed instructions, after reading The Essentials thoroughly, of course, will have excellent success.

Fabulous Reference Tool

Throughout the book are pages about various ingredients or techniques. This gives you a little bit more in-depth information which makes this book invaluable as a reference tool.

It is not recommended to read this book on an empty stomach. Full-page photographs for most recipes will drive you to the fridge again and again if you haven’t already eaten. The flavor combinations are rather unique. They might throw some of the traditionalists off, but will keep you coming back for more.

For the included recipe I have chosen their 12 Bones Tomato “Q“ Sauce which is the basis of their famous Blueberry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce. Enjoy!

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12 Bones Tomato “Q“ Sauce

This recipe is a workhorse in our kitchens. We use this to build other sauces and include it in several recipes, including our Smoky Baked Beans. We love to serve it with our “Nekkid“ Ribs as well (page 32). Consider it somewhat of a mother sauce, 12 Bones style.
This sauce tastes better within a few weeks if refrigerated, or you can portion it out into smaller plastic containers and freeze it. Even better, if you know how to can, this stuff will keep practically forever.
Tom “Q”, as we call it in the restaurant, be a workhorse for you too. Smear it on burgers, chicken, you name it. Do note that this is a very mild, somewhat sweet sauce. If you’d like to try a space your size for size, check out The Pineapple-Habanero Barbecue Sauce (page 128). It’s a variation of this earth that will put a little hair on your chest.
Makes: 4 Cups


  • 3 cups kethcup
  • 2/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 6 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon dry English mustard
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • Combine all ingredients in a medium-size saucepan and simmer on low heat until all the dry ingredients have deserved, stirring occasionally with a whisk. Note that the mustard powder can be a bit hard to dissolve.

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