Dinosaur Bar-B-Que’s Mutha Sauce

We are hard-core Dinosaur BBQ fans; it is the one place we never skip when we’re in Rochester, and if we’re lucky my mom will occasionally bring it to PA when they visit. And as controversial as the subject of BBQ can be, Dino is by far the best I’ve had to date. Ribs are great, pulled pork is great, sides are awesome – I can’t complain, which honestly doesn’t happen too often, just ask Mike. The “Mutha” BBQ sauce is fan-freaking-tastic too. It is the mother sauce that is used throughout their cookbook, so it is super versatile, and I find myself using it for more than just BBQ. I use it in place of ketchup in and on top of meatloaf, in shepherd’s pie, in creamy dressings to give them a BBQ kick, and the list just goes on and on…

I make the standard, not super hot sauce, aka their Sensuous Slathering Sauce, but if you love it hot hot, you can add two to three Habanero peppers, and you’ll essentially have their Wango Tango Sauce. Don’t you just love the names too?

I really try to get a good mince on the veggies, so they bled in evenly. You could certainly use the food processor to chop everything up too, I would just do each veggie separately so you can control the size of each one better.

And of course you can buy their lovely sauce from them as well, if you aren’t in the mood to whip up a batch yourself – just check out their Dino Store online .


Dinosaur Barb-B-Que’s Mutha Sauce

Adapted slightly from Dinosaur Bar B Que An American Roadhouse
Makes 6 to 7 cups of sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup minced onion
1/2 cup minced green pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
pinch of each kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1, 28-ounce can tomato sauce
2 cups ketchup (preferably Heinz)
1 cup water
3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup cayenne pepper sauce
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons coarse fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon liquid smoke (optional – but I highly recommend)

In a large sauce pan heat oil over medium high heat. Add in onions, peppers, and a pinch of both salt and fresh ground black pepper. Cook until soft and golden, stirring occasionally; this will take about 10-15 minutes because a lot of water will evaporate of the finely minced veggies. When onions and peppers start to turn golden, add in the minced garlic and stir constantly for one minute. Pour all remaining ingredients into the pan, except for the liquid smoke. Bring sauce to a boil and then lower to a simmer of 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so the sauce does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

After 10 minutes, remove from heat. Stir in the liquid smoke and let sauce cool. Pour into a container(s), cover, and store in the fridge until ready to use. I have found that this has a great shelf life, as long as it is refrigerated.


The HOT, “Wango Tango” Variation:

Additional Ingredients:
2-3 Habanero peppers, minced*
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Add Habanero along with the peppers and onions, following directions above.

Add cayenne pepper with the remaining ingredients after veggies have been cooked down.

* Just a friendly reminder – be careful when working with Habanero peppers. Wear gloves to keep your fingers from coming in contact with the hot capsaicin oil; your eyes and other sensitive areas will thank-you later.


  1. says

    Nice! I used to work at the Dino in Syracuse (helped open the Rochester joint, too, many moons ago), and John Stage would be happy to see how his sauce recipe has inspired you. Keep up the good cooking!

  2. Deb says

    My 14 year old decided to make this as his first from scratch made sauce. Fantastic! Will be our family go-to BBQ sauce. Also tried the mustard sauce variation (with the pork chop recipe) from the Dinosaur BBQ cookbook…another winner!

  3. Mia says

    Simply Divine!!!! Worth every minute making it. I only wish i would of doubled the recipe, so I could share it. Yes I plan on keeping every drop of it for myself!!! It is that good!!!!!!!

  4. Kristen Fisher says

    I’m definitely going to try this. I got hooked on it when they sold it in Albertsons in Baton Rouge. I haven’t been able to find it anywhere locally since 2014. Wango Tango is by far my all time favorite bbq sauce.

  5. Jerry says

    When I made the sauce it didn’t taste anything like the dinosaur sauce. Is it critical what type of tomato sauce you use or type of onions?

    • says

      Hmmm…any canned tomato brand should work. And as long as you had yellow cooking onions they should be ok. I’ve found that the liquid smoke is pretty key and the flavor does get better after sitting for a day or two – gets that real Dino flavor.

  6. Perry Muir says

    I’m a huge fan of the restaurant, spent many many evenings there as a result of doing business with Wegmans (headquartered in Rochester). I’ve made this sauce and it’s awesome. Have you ever tried canning it? The batch is big and I figured it would be easier if I could can pints.

  7. Anne says

    I made the Mutha Sauce and meatloaf the other day. They were delicious. Will definitely make it again.
    How long will the Mutha Sauce last in the refrigerator and can it b frozen

  8. Robert Gorman46 says

    I’ve come back to this page to make this recipe many times over the years. The honeys in the 46 admin office love it. Roll Call and Payroll girls can’t get enough. Thank you for publishing what we believe to be the best wing sauce on the planet, Period!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *