This homemade BBQ sauce is a blend of tomato, spices, cider vinegar and brown sugar, all simmered together to create a thick and rich condiment that’s perfect for any barbecue. Homemade barbecue sauce is SO much better than the store bought kind!
It’s so easy to go to the grocery store and grab a bottle of barbecue sauce. That being said, I find that so many store bought BBQ sauces are overly sweet and contain ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and preservatives. This homemade BBQ sauce tastes so much better than the store bought kind, that it’s really worth it to take the 15 minutes to make your own.
How do you make homemade BBQ sauce?
This barbecue sauce starts with ketchup as the base. Look for ketchup that is organic or conventional ketchup that is not sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. The ketchup is combined with apple cider vinegar, an array of spices, a dash of hot sauce and brown sugar to make up this intensely flavored condiment. All you have to do is throw everything in the pan, let it simmer for a bit, and you’re done!
Tips for homemade BBQ sauce
- Be sure to use smoked paprika, not regular paprika. Smoked paprika can be found in almost every grocery store and is not expensive.
- Store your BBQ sauce in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week. You can also freeze your sauce for later use.
- Your BBQ sauce needs to simmer on low heat; if the heat is too high it may splatter onto your stove!
- I use Frank’s Red Hot sauce for just a touch of spice in my sauce. If you’re heat adverse, you can easily omit it.
Homemade BBQ Sauce Variations
- Spicy BBQ Sauce: Add up to 1 tablespoon of hot sauce or 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.
- Maple BBQ Sauce: Substitute 1/4 cup maple syrup for the honey.
- Extra Smoky BBQ Sauce: Double the amount of smoked paprika.
- Coca Cola BBQ Sauce: Add 1/2 cup Coca Cola to the recipe.
Homemade barbecue sauce is delicious on any type of meat. It’s particularly good on smoked meats such as chicken and pork. It makes an amazing pulled pork sandwich and the best barbecued chicken wings you’ll ever eat.
I always keep this BBQ sauce in my freezer so that I have some on hand when the grilling mood strikes. It just can’t be beat!
More grilling recipes
- Steak Kabobs with Garlic Butter
- Grilled Chicken Kabobs
- Grilled Chicken Tenders
- Grilled Shrimp Skewers
- Grilled Potatoes in Foil
Homemade BBQ Sauce
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 5 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce or more to taste
- Place all the ingredients in a pan over medium low heat. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 8-10 minutes or until thickened.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week, or freeze for up to 3 months.