This homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe is so easy to make and has the perfect combination of sweet, savory, and tangy.
Out of BBQ sauce? Or want to adjust the flavorings to suit your taste? Look no further! There are so many possibilities for this sauce and it can be customized to suit any dish!
Homemade BBQ Sauce
- There are so many BBQ sauces on the market but homemade is always best and you can skip the high-fructose corn syrup!
- Sweet, zesty, and tangy is the best description of this sauce.
- It’s so flavorful and easy to make using pantry staples.
- Make a double (or triple) batch, it keeps well in the fridge or freezer.
- It’s great on so many dishes! Bbq chicken, pulled pork sandwiches, and ribs all taste great doused in this homemade sauce.
Ingredients for BBQ Sauce
The Base of this bbq sauce recipe contains:
- ketchup makes up most of the base
- molasses adds a rich sweetness
- apple cider vinegar brings zesty tang
- brown sugar sweetens the mixture use dark or light brown sugar, we find dark brown sugar to have more flavor
- Worcestershire sauce is adds umami
The seasonings in this homemade sauce include minced onions and garlic (or onion powder and garlic powder for a smoother sauce) with a bit of paprika and dry mustard. Adjust to suit your preferences!
- Sweet – Substitute honey or maple syrup for the brown sugar.
- Spicy – To make it a little spicy add some cayenne pepper, chili flakes, diced jalapeno or hot peppers.
- Other – Try a splash of bourbon, whiskey, a splash of liquid smoke or even orange or pineapple juice. Try a bit of yellow mustard or soy sauce.
- Add spices or herbs to your liking. Try chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, or oregano.
How to Make Homemade BBQ Sauce
This recipe is so easy, with just a few steps and only 30 minutes to create a custom barbecue sauce.
- Cook finely diced onion & minced garlic with olive oil in a small saucepan
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Stir occasionally while the sauce simmers until it’s thick (as per the recipe below).
This is the easy part! Just keep it in a tightly sealed container like a glass mason jar or a clean salad dressing bottle.
Store it in the freezer for about 3 months.
BBQ sauce makes a great marinade, a perfect dipping sauce for chicken tenders, or mix 50/50 with pizza sauce (or tomato sauce) to make a bbq chicken pizza!
Fave BBQ Recipes
BBQ sause makes a great dipping sauce for chicken tenders, perfect on most meats or good to mix 50/50 with pizza sauce (or tomato sauce) for bbq chicken pizza.
- Slather it on burgers, pork or beef ribs, and more.
- Dr. Pepper Crock Pot Pulled Pork Recipe – five-star favorite
- Air Fryer Chicken Tenders – perfect to dip
Did you make this homemade BBQ sauce? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ⅔ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- In a small saucepan on medium low heat, cook onion and garlic in oil until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and simmer 20 minutes or until thickened.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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this took some homemade ketchup that was so vinegar it was unpalatable and made an outstanding BBQ sauce. I omitted the vinegar and the brown sugar since the ketchup already and honey and too much vinegar and left the rest as written and fantastic. thanks for saving 12 hours of crappy ketchup into 30 minutes of awesome BBQ.
I am so glad it worked out and that you enjoyed this recipe Sheri!
This is a really simple BBQ sauce that tastes incredible!!
A couple drops of liquid smoke makes this perfect!!
I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe!
I made your homemade BBQ sauce because I didn’t have enough of my own for the pork tenderloin recipe. It tasted delicious, but I only ended up with one cup, I didn’t even have to boil it for only two minutes because it was already thick. I couldn’t see where I had left anything out. I just added the BBQ sauce I had left to get the almost 2 cups I needed. Any ideas what I could have done wrong?
I can’t say for sure why you would have ended up with only one cup Brenda. If following the recipe as written it should make close to two cups.
I make a lot of different BBQ sauces and this one is excellent, thanks so much for the recipe!
I am so happy to hear you loved this recipe Monica!
I have used a variation of this recipe for over 60 years!! Instead of ketchup I use Heinz Chili sauce – it adds a whole new dimension of flavor. They now have the chunky Heinz and that is fantastic too. Thank you for posting your recipe as, over the years, I have tried so many variations I forgot the original ingredients – great to get back on track with the original, which not only fabulous and tasty, it is also quick and easy.
Loved it! Will definitely make it again! And again!
When I need a good recipe, your site is the first one I go to. I’ve tried many of your recipes and had great success with the majority of them. Well I have to get back to your homemade Barbecue Sauce now cooking and it smell so good. THANKS
Thank you Susan, you made my day! Enjoy the BBQ – I too love the smell of my kitchen when I make it!
I like adding some chipotle peppers or just the liquid to give it an extra punch. Homemade BBQ is much better than store bought and I dislike it a lot!
Adding chipotle peppers is a great idea, Diane!
Hi Holly your recipies are so simple and easy to make I use them a lot Thank You
Thanks Sandra! So glad you are enjoying them!
First off let me tell you my family loves your recipies. For this barbecue sauce recipe I had one question..
I don’t have any molasses.. can I use brown sugar in place of the molasses or would you recommend using dark corn syrup instead? And how much just a couple tablespoons? Please help :) fellow lover of cooking <3 -Sky
Sky, thank you, I’m so glad to hear you enjoy my recipes! I’ve only made the recipe as written. The molasses adds a nice flavor. Try omitting it and see how it tastes before adding anything else in its place.
I also couldn’t find molasses in the store, so used treacle syrup instead, not sure how it changed the flavour though, but it was still lovely! Will definitely make it again. Most recipes these days I first come to your website and I usually find what I am looking for! Thank you for sharing all of these wonderful recipes.
So happy that worked well for you, Narina! Thanks for sharing.