This Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe is a constant around here. My guy is borderline obsessed, and I think it’s pretty darn tasty too.
Homemade condiments tend to taste so much better than store-bought, I think – plus, they’re super budget-friendly.
This bbq sauce starts with store-bought ketchup (I have yet to tackle the homemade version of that), but I figure that when I choose a ketchup with natural ingredients and no high-fructose corn syrup, I’m starting off with an advantage.
Tangy, just a little tingly, a tiny bit spicy, and so, so easy to make, our go-to homemade barbecue sauce comes together in less than 20 minutes – and most of that is just simmering time.
How Do You Make Homemade BBQ Sauce?
It’s so easy. Just …
- Grab a saucepan
- Add the ingredients: Ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire, apple cider vinegar, red pepper flakes, and garlic.
- Simmer until perfect
This BBQ sauce recipe is an adaptation from this Crock Pot southern barbecue recipe on About.com’s Southern Food Guide. We’ve been making this sauce for years now, and now that barbecue season is heating up (get it? heating up?! sorry), we can’t wait to break it out to brush on and mix into all sorts of good things.
If you try this recipe, please leave a rating! And, if you find it share-worthy – which I hope you do – please share. Tag #kitchentreaty on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, and don’t forget to check out my other recipes!
Our Very Favorite Homemade Barbecue Sauce
- 2 cups ketchup
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (use gluten-free, such as Tamari, for a gluten-free version)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (can sub vegan or vegetarian Worchestershire sauce)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- 2 medium cloves garlic (minced) (about 2 teaspoons)
- Add all ingredients to a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, and continue simmering for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place in an airtight container. Keeps refrigerated for up to one week.
Looks yummy! I love BBQ sauce on my veggie burgers. I’ve been meaning to try a homemade version. Cannot wait to give this a shot! 🙂
And I’ve been meaning to try homemade veggie burgers! I’m kicking myself for never going there … yet. 🙂
I love BBQ sauce. I’ll put that on anything. I’ve never made homemade ketchup either, but there is a book called 101 things to make at home and ketchup is one recipe. Looks good!
I need to check out that book! I have to admit, I’ve looked at recipes for homemade ketchup and I’m all, dang, THAT many tomatoes?! But my garden WILL be plentiful this year (dangit!) and I’ll have lots to work with. I have decreed it so! 😉
I love bbq sauce so much! This makes me crave summertime barbecues, flip flops, and sunglasses. Great recipe!
Ahh, summer … I can’t frickin’ wait!
how long until we have to throw it out
Brian Smith on I was in Raleigh visiting old fienrds. We had a decent dinner there during Raleigh’s Dining out week. The food is good, … on The Well at Five Points is re-opening on August 30th.deb in raleigh on North Raleigh really needed Sola Cafe! It’s clean and homey and get the TANGERINE AND GINGER ICED TEA.
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I always thought that I didn’t like barbecue sauce, but then a few years ago I tried it again and I was hooked. And it’s SO much better when you make it yourself!
I am glad you reintroduced yourself! Isn’t it funny how you can think you hate a food but then you try it again and are like, oh crap, I’ve been missing out on this?! Except for walnuts in baked goods. That should never, ever be.
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This looks exactly like what I need to make for my son’s graduation party barbecue shredded chicken sliders. Yum! The original recipe called for bottled sauce, but homemade is always so much better . . . and cheaper! I like your blog, by the way!
Thanks so much, Amy! Shredded chicken sliders are sure to be a huge hit. 🙂 Congrats on your son’s graduation!
I was out of bbq sauce and I made this for my bbq ribs ooo its soo good 🙂
i luv bbq sauce, it changes the whole dish to a different level. Whenever i make a sauce its always ketchup or soya base with lots of chilies. I would someday try out your bbq sauce and hope i will like it. Thank you for your recipe.
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Just tried it today for dinner with pulled pork and found it to be great! Used only 4 tablespoons of ketchup and completely skipped the brown sugar as my family doesn’t like things too sweet. Will definitely make again. Thanks for the recipe!
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YUM! I just put this in the crockpot with some chicken. I used your base recipe, then added 3 tbsp (ish) of honey, 1/2 tsp mustard, some onion powder, some oregano and some cinnamon to make a honey husband. Thanks for the recipe!
honey husband?? LOL It is suppose to say honey bbq sauce. LOL. Won’t let me edit, so had to clarify, haha
Hahaha – that is hysterical! 🙂 I hate how you can’t edit comments after you submit them. I have made a ton of crazy typos that way!
As a honey of a husband myself, I can relate 😉
I have bn in industry, but neva had this recipe,im moving out to try,now…..Love bbq sauce.give us mo
I’m thinking about making bbq sauce as christmas gifts for my clients, is there a recipe that can be made a cpl months ahead of time?
Sounds like a perfect weneked to me. :)We braved the horrible weather to go have dinner with a couple of friends and their little girl, and it was wonderful. Then we did lots of playing inside the house, because it’s still snowing around here……….. Happy Monday!
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Light or dark Soy sauce-without knowing that it will change the flavour enormously!
This is a really great, easy and flavorful recipe. Thank you. I also cannot wait to make the spaghetti squash sandwiches. I spiced it up a bit by adding some crushed chipotle peppers. I also started with my own ketchup. It is time consuming, but so worth it. I don’t use fresh from the garden tomatoes. I start with a can of organic tomatoes. It’s less intimidating.
Just a question, can you replace the chili flakes with smoked paprika for a more smokey rather than spicy sauce? Thanks 🙂
Sure, that sounds fabulous! You’ll definitely lose some of the heat (not that the chili flakes add a ton to begin with) but I bet it would be delicious.
Could I prepare this recipe and can it? Would it stay good in pantry if I do the water bath process to seal in sterile jars? Thanks
So easy and great taste. Being diabetic I used tomato purée and sweetener to reduce sugar levels works a treat
So easy and great taste. Being diabetic I used tomato purée and sweetener to reduce sugar levels works a treat
What kind of Soy sauce are you using for the recipe please? I have light soy sauce (often used for the table) and a much stronger,slightly thicker Dark Soy sauce.Which one I use will definitely affect the flavour significantly!
That is a really great question, Krista! I am no soy sauce aficionado … I just use plain old Kikkoman’s. It’s labeled “naturally brewed all-purpose soy sauce” on the front of the bottle. My guess is it’s a lighter soy sauce.
I actually misread the recipe (I noticed that after simmering the sauce) I thought it was 2 spoons of ketchup.. But it still tasted great! I will surely make it again! Next time I will use the right proportions 🙂 Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Ha, I am glad you still liked it! 🙂 Sometimes little mistakes result in the best recipes!
my name is Chuck, i like to smoke meats on my smoker. i think the drippings will make a good tasting base. of cource i will experiment for a good recipe by adding extra ingredients.
i also want to smoke fish. i live in n. Tx
i really need to know how long i can keep this stuff
This is very simple and hits all the right notes. The fresh garlic is worth it! We live overseas and sometimes pay an arm and a leg for not-so-great imported sauce, but I see that coming to an end now. Thanks!
I added a little extra of everything but ketsup. Also added some Keepow syrup it don’t taste so ketsupy.
You mentioned the barbecue chicken recipe in this post, Have you made a write up for it? It sounds great! 🙂
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This sounds pretty easy to make. I’ve been using Sweet Baby Ray’s (like many people) for quite some time, but it’s about time I put together my own homemade sauce and this looks like a potential winner. I think I want to create a variation though, something with a bit more punch in regards to the heat. Any suggestions for spicey things up a bit?
I like to increase the crushed red pepper flakes for more heat, or add a bit of powdered cayenne pepper. Or good ol’ Tabasco! I’m sure there are all kinds of awesomely crazy stuff you could do to it to make it super spicy like steeping hot peppers or some such but I’m kind of a wimp. 😉
I found your recipe and made it. Its sooo good!! It was easy to make and tasty. I pinned it of course! Thank you.
Is there a to not use the worchire sauce even if it’s vegan, I don’t have that on hand and the closest vegan carring place is at from were live
Excellent! I followed the recipe exactly, and it was just right. I used to make a BBQ sauce like this when I was younger, but I forgot how. Thanks!!!
I made this with my dad (we are big on sauces and dips) and it tasted amazing, although we aren’t vegetarian or vegan so we had it on buffalo chicken wings. But to all those people on this website who are like me and want a more meaty flavour – I would recommend adding bay leafs, smoked paprika, smoked Tabasco and (this is the main one, you can leave the rest out) Bisto chicken gravy powder. I really recommend this so try it out when you have the chance. For all the veggies reading this, I gave a veggie version to my best friend and she said it tasted amazing, give it a shot! ??
Thanks so much for your comment and ideas! 🙂
Ps my friend is vegetarian.
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I just made this sauce 10 minutes ago. I didn’t have Worcestershire sauce or red pepper flakes, but it turned out fine. Better than making a Kroger run for just BBQ sauce. I have made this recipe several times over the years. Thanks!
What quantities/measures will I need for a lesser amount? Say enough for a couple of b-b-ques? And could you replace white wine vinegar for cider vinegar?
I would just half the recipe. You can also freeze what you don’t use if you’d like to go for the full amount. Cider vinegar is a bit more tangy and complex-tasting but white wine vinegar would work in a pinch!
I have tried several other homemade bbq sauce recipes. As a fan of quality control I always end up adding little bits of things over and over again only to end up with a sauce we ultimately don’t really like. Sad.
However, I am in the middle of the 15 min simmer of yours as I type. In true type A form, I just HAD to lick the spatula to get an idea of what I’m working with…. and am DELIGHTED to tell you that as of this very moment, my life-long (several year) search for a delicious sweet/tangy/spicy homemade bbq sauce is officially over! Thank you for saving my home-chef life Kare! I’m also a vegetarian (part-time vegan) in a house of almost vegetarian kiddos and a Wisconsin raised carnivore, so I’ll be following your amazing blog from here on out!
Hi Laura! I’m so glad you like this recipe! It might be my husband’s all-time favorite (and I love it too). Glad to meet another vegetarian/part-time vegan. Your family dynamic, diet-wise, certainly does sound an awful lot like ours!
Love this recipe
I have made quite a few bbq sauces, this one is simple and delicious. Thank you for sharing.
Darn good recipe! I did make a couple of tweaks that I thought I would like and BABAM!
No more bottled stuff for me. This recipe was easy and I had all the ingredients on hand. I added a tbsp of smoked paprika. I subbed a tbsp of garlic powder for fresh and I subbed a tbsp of Cholula Chipotle flavored hot sauce for the pepper flakes. I used ketchup with no HFCS.
Man oh man. I made this recipe for some smoked ribs I was making. Thanks Kara cool blog.
Great recipe- quick, easy and delicious! My husband isn’t a big fan of bbq sauce but he really enjoyed this one! Thank you!
I have made this bbq sauce a number of times. I split the recipe in half, and it works just fine!
Thank you so much for the review!