Homemade BBQ Sauce – Super Easy! (VIDEO)

5 from 1 vote
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Sweet and savory, with the perfect bit of smoky flavor – this homemade BBQ Sauce is so much better than the store bought versions and easily the best BBQ Sauce I’ve ever had! It’s so easy to make and customize exactly to your liking – you’re going to love this one!

Homemade BBQ sauce in a jar with a spoon.

Watch the Homemade Barbecue Sauce Recipe Video Below!

Making homemade sauces is the best – you can customize them exactly to your liking, and avoid all of the preservatives and additives that store bought versions have. Homemade Barbecue Sauce is so easy to make it – all you have to do is simmer the ingredients together until it’s thick enough to your liking. I always encourage readers to customize any recipe to their exact preferences – if you want your BBQ Sauce sweeter or spicier, go for it!

What Ingredients do I need for Homemade BBQ Sauce?

Raw ingredients for homemade BBQ sauce on a table.
  • 1 ½ cup ketchup – any brand of store bought ketchup will work!
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar – add more if you prefer a sweeter Barbecue Sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey – add more if you prefer a sweeter Barbecue Sauce
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard – if you want a spicier Barbecue Sauce, you can substitute with dijon mustard.
  • 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper – I highly recommend using freshly ground black pepper. Ground black pepper will lose a lot of flavor during storage and due to oxidation; you won’t get the same bold, peppery flavor.

Refer to the recipe card for the full list of ingredients and measurements!

My Other Favorite Homemade Sauces & Condiments

How to Make Homemade BBQ Sauce

Making homemade Barbecue Sauce is super easy – all you have to do is cook it!

1. Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan

Take a small saucepan and add all of the ingredients – over medium heat, mix well until all ingredients are incorporated and the mixture starts to bubble.

2. Reduce the BBQ sauce over a simmer until thickened

Once bubbling, bring the heat down to a low simmer until it’s thickened to your liking (about 20 minutes).

A spatula mixing BBQ sauce in a small saucepan as it boils.

3. Let the BBQ sauce cool and add to a jar

Turn off the heat and let the Barbecue Sauce cool completely in the saucepan before transferring to an airtight container.

Note: if you are double or tripling this recipe, you may need to simmer for longer for the sauce to reduce and thicken to your liking!

BBQ sauce reducing in a small saucepan.

Key Tip

Customize the Sweetness Level

When doing research and recipe testing for my homemade BBQ Sauce, I noticed that other recipes called for a significant amount of sugar – more than what I use in my own recipe. I personally find most store bought ketchup to be on the sweeter side, so I only used 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of honey. The combination of the three makes my BBQ Sauce the perfect level of smoky, tangy, and sweet!

However, the beauty of making homemade sauces is that you can customize it to your exact liking! Therefore, if you prefer your BBQ Sauce to be sweeter, feel free to add more brown sugar or honey (or both!) I always want every recipe of mine to be adjusted to your preference – you are the one eating it, not me!

Storage Tips

You can store homemade BBQ Sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Here are some storage tips for your homemade BBQ Sauce:

  • Make sure your container is well sealed to prevent your BBQ Sauce from spoiling.
  • Avoid dipping directly into the jar and only use clean utensils – any bacteria from food or used utensils will make your BBQ Sauce go bad faster.
  • Don’t leave your BBQ Sauce out – put it back in the refrigerator after opening or using to avoid spoilage.
Homemade BBQ sauce in a jar.

What Should I Serve with Homemade BBQ Sauce?

My homemade BBQ Sauce is so good, I slather it over everything! The most classic way to use BBQ Sauce is brushing it on Baked Ribs or having it as sauce for Fried Chicken – it’s so good! You can’t go wrong with BBQ Sauce over Grilled Wings or Grilled Chicken Thighs. The smokey flavors of grilled meat go perfectly! If you’re not in the mood to grill, try BBQ Sauce with Air Fryer Chicken Wings, Air Fryer Chicken Thighs, or Air Fryer Chicken Tenders!

PRO TIPS

Why I love Making Homemade Sauces

I love making as many Sauces and Condiments at home as possible! It allows me to:

  • control the quality of my ingredients
  • avoid unnecessary additives or preservatives
  • I can customize it to my taste (I usually prefer sauces on the less sweet and more spicy side)

If you tried this Barbecue Sauce Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below!

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5 from 1 vote

Homemade BBQ Sauce – SO EASY!

Servings: 20 (2 TBSP per serving)
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Homemade BBQ sauce in a jar with a spoon.
This homemade BBQ sauce will be your new go to BBQ sauce recipe! It's sweet, smoky, and tangy – everything you want in a great barbecue sauce! (Makes about 2 1/2 cups)

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Add all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Mix well and heat over medium heat until bubbling.
  • Once the BBQ sauce is bubbling, reduce the heat to medium low and let simmer for 20 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally to prevent the sauce from burning. Let cool completely.
  • Place in an airtight container and store any leftover in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Notes

Storage Tips
You can store homemade Barbecue Sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Here are some storage tips for your homemade Barbecue Sauce:
  • Make sure your container is well sealed to prevent your Barbecue Sauce from spoiling.
  • Avoid dipping directly into the jar and only use clean utensils – any bacteria from food or used utensils will make your Barbecue Sauce go bad faster.
  • Don’t leave your Barbecue Sauce out – put it back in the refrigerator after opening or using to avoid spoilage.

Nutrition

Calories: 40kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 0.3gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.04gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.05gSodium: 261mgPotassium: 83mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 179IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 0.3mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @cj.eats_ or tag #cjeatsrecipes!

About CJ

I’m a third generation Chinese-American home cook who has always loved cooking & eating! Welcome to my food blog, where you can find trusted, tested, easy & approachable recipes for the everyday home cook that taste delicious! I am so glad you're here!

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