1/4 cup sugar (at most, we used 1tbsp of sugar)
1/4 cup salt
2 to 2.5 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
2 to 2.5 tbsp (freshly ground or crushed) celery seeds
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp (or more, to taste) cayenne pepper
1 tsp sweet hungarian paprika (optional)
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp chili powder
2 quarts ketchup (I’d suggest real sugar (what we used), or reduced sugar)
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1.5 to 2 tsp liquid smoke
1 to 1.5 tsp lemon juice
Add all ingredients to a large saucepan, bring to a simmer. Serve warm or cold. Water can be added to thin the sauce if you like. Celery and black pepper should be the primary spice flavors tasted. A little additional vinegar and salt may be added to taste. If you want additional heat, add more cayenne pepper.
This should be a slightly harsh, peppery sauce, with a real kick from the celery seeds. I added celery seeds to get the balance where I wanted it.
Where I have given a range, we went to the high end of the range, or perhaps slightly over in some cases. Feel free to start with the low end measurements, then start adding until you’re happy.
Our end result sauce is very much like Gate’s original, but with a little more zip from celery and pepper, and a similar heat level.
This recipe scales very well.
As we did it, it probably has about 4g of sugar per tbsp.