Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue Sauce from scratch is just what you need for cookouts this summer! Learn this recipe and never rely on the store-bought kind ever again.

Making it at home from scratch is cheaper and you have complete control over what goes into it! Here are some recipes that you can do at home, too: Basil Pesto and Greek Salad Homemade Dressing!

Photo of Homemade Barbecue Sauce

BBQ Sauce Recipe

Barbecue Sauce is sweet, tangy, and spicy all at the same time. It is simply perfect for your meaty dishes, nachos, or salads! This is a highly versatile mixture that you can also use as a dip for whatever you like.

I do have a preferred brand when it comes to barbecue sauces. And even with my favorite brand, I still tend to add ingredients to suit any taste.

For kids, I make it sweeter and cut back on the spiciness. But for adults who appreciate the spiciness, I add more of that. For salty dishes, I cut back on the salty ingredients, too.

The bottom line is that nothing beats a homemade one that I can customize depending on the food that I pair it with and depending on who I serve it to.

And it tends to be cheaper when you make it from scratch. Most of the ingredients are already a staple in my pantry, so I can make this whenever I want in whatever volume.

Photo of Barbecue Sauce

What is Barbecue Sauce made of?

For this recipe, you will need the following:

  • ketchup: sour, try to find something that has not much sugar in it
  • apple cider vinegar: it will provide the tang with a slightly sweet flair because of the apples
  • brown sugar: it will give a complex sweetness, richer than the white one
  • maple syrup or honey: caramel-like, smooth, and sweet but with a hint of woody flavor
  • Worcestershire sauce: oozing with umami and will provide saltiness that matches meaty dishes
  • smoked paprika: do not swap with the regular one as this will provide the smokiness
  • dry mustard: as is, it has no flavor, so you combine it with the rest of the liquid ingredients to release the tangy flavor
  • garlic and onion powder: make it savory
  • salt and pepper: balance out and tie everything together
  • hot sauce: you can add more or less of this depending on your tolerance to heat

Photo of Easy Barbecue Sauce

How to make Barbecue Sauce?

All you need to do is put everything in a saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat. When it starts to simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook until thickened for about 8 to 10 minutes more.

That’s it! You can use it right away or store it in the fridge or freezer for future use.

Recipe Variations

  • Use red wine vinegar in place of the apple cider vinegar.
  • You can lemon juice for a fresh acidic taste that is slightly sweet, too.
  • Instead of ketchup, you may use a combination of tomato paste and sauce.

How do you use Barbecue Sauce?

  • Use it as a dip to your grilled or fried entrees.
  • Spread it in sandwiches or wraps.
  • Incorporate it in nachos or tacos.
  • Dress salads with it!
  • Use it in other dishes as an ingredient for the sauce or as the marinade for meat.

Photo of Barbecue Sauce Recipe

How to store Barbecue Sauce?

Simply refrigerate it for up to a week or freeze it for up to 3 months!

Recipe Tips

  • You can add fruits like berries and dates to give this recipe a fresh twist.
  • If you want to thicken it some more, you will need to add a slurry of cornstarch and water. Or, just simmer it longer to evaporate much of the liquid.
  • Want it smokier? Add liquid smoke.
Barbecue Sauce
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins

Barbecue Sauce from scratch is just what you need for cookouts this summer! Learn this
recipe and never rely on the store-bought kind ever again.

Course: Sauces
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Barbecue Sauce
Servings: 4 cups
Author: Marionela Tiron
  • 3 cups ketchup
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce or to taste
  1. Place all the ingredients in a pan over medium-low heat and stir to combine.
  2. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Let the sauce cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to one week.

Photo of Barbecue Sauce pin


Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.