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The Most Amazing Homemade BBQ Sauce!

This homemade BBQ sauce is delicious recipe that tantalizes the taste buds with its rich aroma and complex flavors. Imagine the comforting scent wafting through your kitchen as you carefully blend together savory spices and tangy ingredients. I love making my own condiment recipes, they are so easy to do!

Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

Mason Jar with Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe
Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

Making your own barbecue sauce allows you to infuse every batch with love and intention, transforming a simple condiment into a cherished family tradition. By crafting your own sauce, you have control over the quality and freshness of the ingredients, ensuring a sauce your entire family will love.

The inclusion of ketchup in barbecue sauces is a quintessential aspect of many modern barbecue sauce recipes, particularly in the United States. The history of barbecue sauce with ketchup traces back to the early 20th century when ketchup became a popular condiment in American households.

As barbecue culture evolved across different regions of the United States, cooks began incorporating ketchup into their homemade barbecue sauce recipes, blending it with traditional ingredients.

This sauce is for ketchup lovers. If you don’t like ketchup, you probably won’t like this sauce. But if you do, you will love this recipe!

I found the original recipe from The Neely’s cookbook and tweaked the recipe a bit to make it even more tasty. I reduced the black pepper by a 1/2 teaspoon because I thought it was a little too peppery. Taste the recipe halfway through cooking and see what you think.

Simple Barbecue Sauce Recipe
Simple Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Ingredients for Best Barbecue Sauce

  • Ketchup – adds a tangy sweetness and rich tomato flavor to the base of any homemade BBQ sauce.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – enhances the flavor with tangy acidity. It also tenderizes the meat and balances the richness of the sauce.
  • Light Brown Sugar – adds a subtle caramel sweetness that complements the smoky flavors.
  • Ground Mustard – infuses the BBQ sauce with a zesty depth of flavor and a hint of spice.
  • Onion Powder – imparts a savory, aromatic essence that enhances the complexity of flavors.
  • Ground Black Pepper – adds a bold, earthy flavor with subtle heat to your BBQ sauce recipe.
  • Lemon Juice – imparts a vibrant acidity and citrusy brightness, balancing the richness of the sauce and adding a refreshing zing to the sauce.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – enriches the sauce with a savory depth of flavor, adding complexity and umami notes that perfectly compliment the smokiness of the barbecue.
The Best Barbecue Sauce Recipe
The Best Barbecue Recipe

Creating a Cozy Life Group

Since you found this recipe for making Homemade BBQ Sauce, I’m guessing you love all things cozy living. I created a Facebook group called Creating a Cozy Life with over 184,000 like-minded souls.

It’s a group where we share recipes, photos of things that leave you in awe, and ideas on how to make your life just a little bit more snug. Join here to be part of the virtual cozy cottage.

Here’s How to Make BBQ Sauce

Simple Ingredients

Ingredients for Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe
Ingredients for Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

2 cups ketchup

1 cup water

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

5 tablespoons light brown sugar

5 tablespoons white sugar

1/2 tablespoon ground mustard

1/2 tablespoon onion powder

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.

Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer.

Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes uncovered, stirring frequently. Let the BBQ sauce cool down before using to allow the flavors to fully develop.

Easy BBQ Sauce Recipe in a Mason Jar
Easy BBQ Sauce Recipe


  • Always be sure to use a long-handled spoon when stirring the sauce. The BBQ sauce can easily splatter and burn your hand.
  • This barbecue sauce makes the perfect gift.
  • Use high-quality ingredients for best flavor. Fresh spices and good quality ketchup will make a big difference in the final taste of your sauce. I recently replaced most of my spices to ensure I had fresh ingredients.
  • You should always use apple cider vinegar with the mother in all your cooking.
  • Dijon mustard can replace ground mustard.
  • Honey can replace the white sugar.

How to Use This Barbecue Sauce Recipe

  • Marinade: Use it as a marinade for meats like beef, chicken, and pork before grilling or baking.
  • Glaze: Brush the bbq sauce onto grilled meats or vegetables during the last few minutes of cooking for a colorful glaze.
  • Dipping Sauce: Serve it as a dipping sauce for chicken tenders, nuggets, or fries.
  • Sandwich Spread: Spread it on sandwiches or burgers for extra flavor.
  • Pizza Sauce: Use this barbecue sauce as a base for BBQ chicken pizza.
  • Meatball Sauce: In your slow cooker, add this sauce and frozen meatballs. Serve the BBQ meatballs over rice or noodles.
  • Stir-fry Sauce: Add it to stir-fried dishes for a sweet and tangy flavor.
  • BBQ Pulled Pork: Use it as a sauce for making classic BBQ pulled pork sandwiches.
  • Barbecue Tofu: Coat tofu cubes in BBQ sauce before baking or frying for a vegetarian option.
  • BBQ Quesadillas: Spread barbecue sauce on tortillas along with cheese and your choice of fillings for a tasty quesadilla.
  • Barbecue Meatloaf: Use the sauce as a glaze for meatloaf for a twist on a classic dish.
  • Barbecue Nachos: Drizzle BBQ sauce over nachos along with cheese, beans, and other toppings.
  • BBQ Cauliflower: Roast cauliflower florets coated in BBQ sauce for a flavorful side dish.
  • Barbecue Salad Dressing: Mix the sauce with ranch or vinaigrette for a unique salad dressing.
  • BBQ Shrimp: Grill or sauté shrimp with BBQ sauce for a quick and tasty seafood dish.
The Most Amazing BBQ Sauce Recipe

Can I adjust the sweetness or tanginess of the BBQ Sauce?

Absolutely! One of the great things about making your own barbecue sauce is that you have full control over the flavors. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, you can add more brown sugar. For a tangier sauce, increase the amount of vinegar or add some lemon juice.

How long does homemade barbecue sauce last?

This sauce will typically last for about two weeks when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. In the freezer it will last up to 3 months when properly stored.

Can I make BBQ sauce ahead of time?

Yes, you can definitely make BBQ sauce ahead of time. You will find that that flavors develop even more after the sauce has been allow to sit for a day or two in the refrigerator.

How spicy can I make homemade barbecue sauce?

The level of spiciness in homemade BBQ sauce is entirely up to you and your preference. You can add as much or as little hot sauce, chili powder, or crushed red pepper flakes as you like to adjust the heat level to your taste.

How can I thicken the sauce?

You can add a cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with a small amount of water) to the barbecue sauce to thicken. Make sure to cook this recipe for the full 1 hour and 15 minutes to create the desired thickness.

We’ve reached the end of this delicious barbecue sauce recipe. I hope you enjoyed it!

If you tried the recipe, let me know in the comments what you thought.

Be sure to join the Creating a Cozy Life group. You’re not going to believe how amazing it is!

I created a pin for you above to add to your condiment board on Pinterest so you can refer back to the recipe.

You can follow me here on PINTEREST. If you make this recipe and take a photo, be sure to tag me here on INSTAGRAM.

Thanks for stopping by! I’m so happy you found us.

More Sauce Recipes You’ll Love!

Printable Recipe for The Best Barbecue Sauce with Nutritional Information

Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe in Mason Jar
Yield: 3 1/2 cups

The Best BBQ Sauce Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Indulge your taste buds in the tangy goodness of our Homemade BBQ Sauce recipe, a culinary delight that will elevate any grilled or baked dish to new heights.


  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer.
  3. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes uncovered, stirring frequently. Let the BBQ sauce cool to allow the flavors to fully develop.

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