Copycat Tony Roma’s Blue Ridge Smokies Sauce

This copycat Tony Roma’s Blue Ridge Smokies sauce is fantastic. It has some of your ‘standard’ BBQ sauce ingredients, such as ketchup and liquid smoke. That’s not what made it so special to me. It’s the red wine vinegar. The vinegar really adds a nice edge to the sauce. It’s like a nice combination of a KC BBQ sauce with a little North Carolina vinegar-based sauce.

My first experience at Tony Roma’s was in Salt Lake City, Utah, many, many years ago. I instantly fell in love with their ribs. Ribs, ribs, ribs. Tony Roma’s started my love of ribs and I now make them often at home on my own smoker.Copycat Tony Roma's Blue Ridge Smokies SauceI rubbed a rack of ribs down with a copycat Famous Dave’s rib rub, let it get happy overnight, then tossed the ribs onto my Weber Smokey Mountain for 6 hours. I then slathered on some copycat Tony Roma’s Blue Ridge Smokies sauce. The end result was tender, tasty, and finger-licking amazing.

If you don’t like liquid smoke, substitute smoked salt and leave out the Kosher salt.

Copycat Tony Roma's Blue Ridge Smokies Sauce

Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Author Mike


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar I substituted Sugar in the Raw
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder


  • Place all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Bring to a boil while stirring constantly.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer, stirring often, for 30 minutes or until desired consistency is achieved.
  • Sauce gets better when refrigerated overnight. Warm slightly before using.