Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce

5 from 5 votes
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This homemade BBQ sauce will be a life-saver recipe this summer. It’s perfect for barbecues, cookouts, and parties – or just for drizzling over your favorite dish for a boost of flavor.

Pouring homemade BBQ sauce over brisket

It seems like everyone and their grandmother’s got a homemade BBQ sauce recipe that they claim is the best one. Some say it’s a secret ingredient, some say it’s the love that families pour into these recipes. Whatever the secret is to great barbecue sauce, I’m more than happy to join in on the trend and bring you my go-to quick BBQ sauce.

It’s a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and one of the most versatile sauces in my repertoire. Not to mention, it’s such an easy sauce to make at home, you’ll wonder why you ever spent so much money buying it at a grocery store. It’s also super pantry-friendly, so you can make it in a pinch if you need.

Made in just a few minutes, I’ll be breaking out my homemade barbeque sauce as soon as the weather’s warm enough for everything from burgers to pulled jackfruit to a classic hot dog to be cooked on the grill – and I think you should too!

A burger served with homemade BBQ sauce

Homemade BBQ Sauce Ingredients

This homemade barbecue sauce requires just a few simple ingredients.

  • Ketchup: The foundation of any good barbecue sauce recipe. You can use store-bought or homemade.
  • For sweetness: To offset the tart tomato taste, sweetness is key. My recipe combines brown sugar, honey, and extra molasses for a richer depth of flavor – but you can use any combination of ingredients, or just brown sugar if you prefer (though the flavor will be different).
  • Worcestershire sauce: Perfect for tomato-based dishes, this brings umami, tangy depth to the homemade sauce. You should be able to find this in any grocery store – and it’s a great staple for your pantry (you’d be amazed how much flavor it can give to your sauces and mixes!).
  • Vinegar: I prefer using white wine vinegar, but you can use also regular white vinegar or even apple cider vinegar.
  • Seasonings: For more depth, I use a simple combo of smoked paprika, mustard powder, and black pepper – all staples already in your pantry. You can add other spices like cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt to your taste.
  • Oil: You’ll want a neutral cooking oil for this – I like vegetable or canola, but you could also use grapeseed oil or sunflower oil.
Ingredients for BBQ sauce

How to Make Homemade BBQ Sauce

Combine all of the ingredients in a small or medium-sized saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring the sauce occasionally, until the sugar completely dissolves, and the sauce is smooth.

If you prefer a thicker homemade BBQ sauce, let it simmer gently for a few more minutes until it reaches your desired consistency. Taste and adjust any of the flavors until it’s perfectly matched to your taste.

Steps for making BBQ sauce

How Long Does Homemade BBQ Sauce Last

If you’re making this easy homemade BBQ sauce in advance, you’ll want to let it cool completely before transferring it into a jar or bottle. Once it’s at room temperature, transfer the sauce to a mason jar or any other airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.

The sauce will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge when kept properly sealed – but, in my experience, it never lasts that long anyway!

Homemade BBQ sauce in a pot

How to Use BBQ Sauce

  • Obviously, the best homemade bbq sauce (in my opinion) is perfect for any classic barbecue food. I always recommend pouring it liberally over burgers, hot dogs, or ribs, or just using it as a dipping sauce for your favorite veggies.
  • Pair it with my Slow Cooker Beef Brisket for a cozy, warming dish that’s packed full of rich flavor and best served with creamy mashed potatoes – great for adding a taste of summer to a fall/winter dish.
  • This sauce is a great way to add easy flavor to chicken recipes, whether it’s for dipping fried chicken or pouring over drumsticks, thighs, or breasts. Or use it as a pizza sauce for your favorite BBQ chicken pizza.
  • You can also use it as a flavoring for easy lunches and dinners, like pulled jackfruit – a surprisingly great vegan alternative to pulled pork – an easy donburi bowl or a classic veggie burrito.
  • If you’re just in the mood for snacking, this homemade BBQ sauce is also great for dipping. Try adding it to your dip rotation with chicken wings, chopped veggies, corn ribs, or a bowl of your favorite chips.
Pouring BBQ sauce over a brisket

More Homemade Sauce Recipes

If you try this barbecue sauce recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce

5 from 5 votes
By: Samira
This homemade BBQ sauce will be a life-saver recipe this summer. It's perfect for barbecues, cookouts, and parties – or just for drizzling over your favorite dish for a boost of flavor.
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 10

Ingredients 
 

  • 14 oz ketchup 1.5 cups
  • 1.8 oz brown sugar 1/3 cup
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar or white vinegar
  • 2.15 oz honey 3 Tbsp
  • 1.1 oz molasses 2 Tbsp
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seed powder
  • 1/2 Tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

This will yield about 2.5 cups of sauce

    Instructions 

    • Combine all of the ingredients in a small or medium-sized saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring the sauce occasionally, until the sugar completely dissolves, and the sauce is smooth.
    • Taste and adjust any of the flavors until it's perfectly matched to your taste.
      If you prefer a thicker sauce, let it simmer gently for a few more minutes until it reaches your desired consistency.

    Notes

    Store in an airtight container or jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Or freeze in a freezer-safe bag or container (labeled) for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. 
     
    Check the blog post for serving recommendations!
    Course: Condiment, DIYs
    Cuisine: American
    Freezer friendly: 3 Months
    Shelf life: 2 Weeks

    Nutrition

    Serving: 0.25cup, Calories: 116kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 0.4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Sodium: 386mg, Potassium: 194mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 21g, Vitamin A: 380IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 1mg

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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