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Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

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This homemade BBQ sauce recipe comes together quickly and packs a bold flavor. Ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard, and garlic simmer together. Blending the flavors to perfection. 

This post was originally published July 4, 2018. It has since been updated to include more helpful tips and info.

Homemade bbq sauce in a mason jar

Recipe Features

  • Perfect for BBQ Season- Keep a big batch on hand for a quick dinner solution.
  • Great for Gift Giving- Mason jars full of this makes the perfect gift.
  • Beginner Recipe- Easy as mix and cook.

This is arguably the BEST bbq sauce recipe. Quick, easy, and full of flavor that is oh-so delicious on sandwiches, ribs, and chicken! In fact, it has been voted our all-time favorite condiment for all of the things. It’s that good. We’d even go as far to say it’s the best barbeque sauce ever.

sauce in a mason jar with a spoon being dipped in

Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe Ingredients:

Like most barbecue sauce recipes, this one starts with ketchup as a base. The thick tomato sauce already has the perfect amount of sugar, vinegar, and spices which puts you on the path towards delicious flavor. The list of ingredients is fairly simple and most likely items you already have in your pantry! That means you could be well on your way to this delicious award winning bbq sauce recipe

  • Ketchup
  • Water 
  • Brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Seasonings- We have found the best blend is a combination of pepper, onion powder, dry mustard, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder.
  • Lemon juice
  • Worcestershire sauce

Thick, rich, and with just a slight tang. All of those ingredients combined make this a must-have for summer. We keep a jar on hand at all-times for a quick grilled dinner idea and are never disappointed. Toss it with some chicken, pulled pork, or even on top of your burgers!

bbq sauce recipe in a pot

How to Make the Best BBQ Sauce

While this is a very simple bbq sauce recipe, you need to give yourself about an hour and a half for the entire process. The secret is a low simmer to let the flavors really blend together. That’s key to making this better than store-bought!

  1. Combine all of the ingredients into a medium sized saucepan. Give it a good stir to get everything evenly mixed.  
  2. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low, bringing the sauce to a simmer. Cook, partially covered to help avoid any splatter, for 1 hour.
  3. Make sure to stir frequently, maybe every 15 minutes, to make sure the sauce doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Serve with your favorite recipes. 
easy bbq sauce recipe

Tips to help you make the best BBQ sauce:

  • This recipe is definitely a sweet sauce with a little spicy kick. I am a huge fan of Sweet Baby Ray’s (but really, who isn’t??) and decided this needed a sweet start with a good spicy finish just like their brand. The only problem is that I have a 9 year old that is NOT sold on the idea. I toned it down a notch or two and was left with a delicious sauce that pairs perfectly with so many things. If you want less sweetness I suggest adding less sugar.
  • Be brave with your spices. We have made this several times and a few game changing additions are: liquid smoke, smoked paprika, no garlic, lots of garlic, and less pepper. All have been absolutely delightful.
How Long Does Homemade BBQ Sauce Last?

If you have leftovers you can easily store in a mason jar. Tighten a lid on top and toss it into the refrigerator for about a week or so. This makes an excellent neighbor gift or a fun treat to share with your loved ones. Make sure to print your favorite barbecue recipe and tie to the jar!

How to Store Homemade BBQ Sauce

There are two different ways you can store this easy side recipe. First, in a mason jar in the refrigerator. This makes it super accessible and ready to use whenever you are.
You can also double the recipe and make an extra large batch to freeze! Freeze in an airtight container or freezer safe zip top bag for up to 3 months. When ready to use simple place in the refrigerator until thawed.

Favorite Ways to Use BBQ Sauce

Is there really a wrong way to use barbecue sauce?? Here are a few ways we like to use this recipe:
Dipping Sauce for Chicken Nuggets
BBQ Chicken Pizzas
Salad Dressing – Mix equal parts bbq sauce and ranch for a flavor so good you’ll be eating salads every day!
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
On a Burger (Like my pulled pork burgers)
As a topping for Nachos!
Meatball Sauce!

how to make bbq sauce from scratch

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The BEST Homemade BBQ Sauce

The BEST Homemade BBQ Sauce

Yield: 3 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

This homemade BBQ sauce comes together quickly and packs a bold flavor. Ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard, and garlic simmer together. Blending the flavors to perfection.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground dry mustard
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients into a medium sized saucepan. 
  2. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Serve with your favorite recipes. 

Notes

  • Be brave with your spices. We have made this several times and a few game changing additions are: liquid smoke, smoked paprika, no garlic, lots of garlic, and less pepper. All have been absolutely delightful.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 38Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 190mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 0g
This homemade BBQ sauce recipe comes together quickly and packs a bold flavor. Ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard, and garlic simmer together. Blending the flavors to perfection.
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