Homemade BBQ Sauce

Delicious homemade BBQ sauce ready in no time and is the perfect combo of sweet and tangy made from scratch. Let’s be real we all have our idea of the perfect BBQ sauce and we all have or favorites. There are so many variations out there. But nothing beats a traditional and delicious one made in minutes which can easily be customized to your taste.

Homemade BBQ Sauce

How to make BBQ sauce

It really could not be easier to make at home. Simply whisk all the ingredients together in a saucepan. Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes or until it has thickened slightly and the serve. That’s it — your BBQ sauce is ready to use in any of your favorite recipes. We love to use ours combined with our favorite homemade rub and on our no fail BBQ ribs.

Homemade BBQ Sauce

What goes into a BBQ sauce?

BBQ sauce is usually made up of a few flavour palettes. Sweet, tangy with some smokey spices. The sweet comes from the brown sugar, molasses and the ketchup. The ketchup acts like the backbone to the sauce. Choose one with the fewest added ingredients. The simpler the better. The delicious tang comes from the apple cider vinegar which helps to balance the sweetness perfectly. A touch of lemon juice can also add an extra bit of tang if you would like to use that instead or add a bit of it for extra flavour.

Homemade BBQ Sauce

The Worcestershire sauce also balances the sweetness with the savoury flavor in the sauce. The seasoning spice blend adds so much flavour to the sauce - and is the part that is so easily adjusted to suit your taste. I love to use dried mustard, and a combo of smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and salt plus a few pinches of cayenne, for some heat. Add more or less of each according to taste. This is a pretty mild sauce so if you like yours spicy definitely increase the amount of cayenne or even a splash or two of hot sauce.

Homemade BBQ Sauce

This BBQ sauce can be enjoyed in a variety of recipes along with the traditional grilled and bbqed meats. It’s also great on pizzas, burgers, baked beans, pulled pork, wings, as a dipping sauce, and the list goes on. It’s so easy to make and very versatile. I love to make this sauce and keep it in the fridge for several weeks. Depending on your family size you could double the recipe to make a bigger batch and use whenever you need it. Enjoy!


Makes approx 1-1½ cups

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 15-20 mins

Total time: 20-25 mins

For the sauce

  • 1 cup tomato ketchup
  • ½ cup of water or broth
  • ¼ cup Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar as an alternative
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp molasses (more brown sugar as a substitute)
  • 2 tsp mustard powder or prepared mustard
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne (optional for some smoky heat)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt


  1. Whisk all ingredients in a medium size saucepan until smooth.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool. The sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.
  4. Store in an air tight container or jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Alternative ingredients

  • Instead of using powdered onion and garlic you can use 1 small onion and two cloves of garlic. Just chop and simmer them in 1 tbsp of olive oil before whisking in the rest of the ingredients.
  • Feel free to substitute sugar for honey or maple syrup
  • You can use tomato Purée or sauce instead of ketchup but I would add 1 tsp of tomato paste and adjust sugar and molasses levels to taste.
  • Liquid smoke can also be added for a more authentic and smoky flavour. 1-2 tsp is usually enough

Homemade BBQ Sauce