Homemade Barbecue Sauce
Dressings and Sauces
Barbecue sauce is like the unsung hero of backyard cookouts. It has the power to transform plain old grilled meats into a flavor explosion. While there are countless store-bought options available, there's something incredibly satisfying about whipping up your own batch from scratch.
This is our favorite homemade BBQ sauce recipe because it is so versatile! With that perfect blend of smokiness, tanginess, and a hint of sweetness, this ketchup-based sauce is ready to enjoy as-is, or it can be tweaked by adjusting the ingredients or adding new ones for a custom taste.
1 cup ketchup
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon mustard, (yellow or Dijon)
¼ cup honey or brown sugar, (light or dark)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoons liquid smoke, can adjust to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika, sweet or smoked
½ teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
¼ teaspoon black pepper, adjust to taste
In a medium saucepan, add the ketchup, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, honey, mustard, and liquid smoke. Mix to combine.
Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
Stir in the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper, until incorporated.
Allow the barbecue sauce to simmer for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to prevent it from burning.
Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if desired. If you prefer a spicier sauce, add hot sauce or cayenne pepper to taste.
After the sauce has reduced a bit and thickened, remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool (I like to test the consistency by dipping a teaspoon into the sauce. It’s done when it coats the back of the spoon).
Once cooled, the sauce can be used immediately or transferred into an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Perfect for marinating, dipping, topping, and basting.
- Easy to double the recipe, but you may need to simmer a bit longer.
- Don't splurge on fancy ketchup! Everyday ketchup is fine since you're adding seasonings.
- You can sub prepared mustard with 1 tablespoon mustard powder, though it may amp up the heat a little.
- Here's some optional ingredients to customize your sauce; soy sauce, molasses, cumin, curry powder, Chipotle pepper, or bourbon!