Home > Condiments > Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe (VIDEO)

Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe (VIDEO)

This sweet-and-savory Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe tastes so much better than store-bought, and it’s cheaper too. Best of all, you can make it with better ingredients and fewer preservatives. Watch the video tutorial and see how easy it is.

If you love homemade sauce recipes like Classic Pesto, and Tartar Sauce, this BBQ Sauce will be a new favorite.

Two jars of homemade BBQ sauce

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We’re always looking for ways to save money by making our own sauces and condiments, and when those money-saving recipes also end up tasting better than the original, it’s definitely a win. There’s just something so satisfying about making your own kitchen staples like BBQ sauce, hummus, and marinara.

Homemade BBQ Sauce Video

Watch Natasha make homemade barbecue sauce, then grab the ingredients below and give it a try.

Easy Barbecue Sauce Recipe

This homemade BBQ sauce is the best I’ve ever had, and I’d put it up against any store-bought BBQ sauce—it’s just that good. It’s perfectly seasoned, sweet without being too sweet, and it can be easily customized to your liking. Here’s why you will love this recipe:

  • Easy – Once you mix all the ingredients in a saucepan, this recipe is pretty hands-off. Just let it simmer until it’s nice and thick, stirring occasionally.
  • Delicious – It’s literally the best BBQ sauce, with the perfect balance of flavors.
  • Healthier – Okay, barbecue sauce isn’t exactly a health food, but when you make it from scratch, you can skip the preservatives, corn syrup, and artificial flavors.
  • Versatile – Whether you use it as a sauce for Instant Pot Ribs, a topping for a burger, or a marinade for grilled chicken, you’ll have plenty of ways to use this sauce.

We love making sauces and condiments from scratch, from Easy Hollandaise Sauce to Tzatziki Sauce. If you do too, then you’ll want to save this homemade BBQ sauce recipe.

Silicone brush dipping into jar of homemade barbecue sauce

Ingredients

Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Tomato ketchup – Use any brand you like.
  • Apple cider vinegar – Apple cider vinegar is the classic choice for homemade barbecue sauce, but white vinegar will work in a pinch.
  • Worcestershire sauce – This adds irresistible umami flavor to balance out the sweet, savory, and acidic flavors in the recipe. It’s a must.
  • Light brown sugar – Dark brown sugar has a more pronounced molasses flavor than light; you can use it in this recipe, but the flavor of the finished sauce will be different.
  • Yellow mustard – The kind you put on hot dogs is just fine here.
  • Paprika – Sweet or smoked paprika will work in this recipe.
  • Onion powder – Onion powder is a fantastic way to add lots of savory flavor to a recipe without loading it with actual pieces of onion.
  • Ground black pepper – Grind this fresh, if you can. 
  • Garlic cloves – We use 4 garlic cloves here to make the BBQ sauce extra delicious.
  • Water – You could use chicken stock if you happen to have some on hand.
Overhead view of ingredients for homemade BBQ sauce

How to Make Homemade BBQ Sauce

When I say this recipe is easy, I really mean it. There are only two steps involved:

  1. Simmer – Place all of the ingredients in a large saucepan. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce has thickened.
  2. Season – Taste the sauce and season to taste. You can add more sugar, spices, or salt at this point. Remove from heat and use the sauce right away or store it.
Two photos showing process of making barbecue sauce

Pro Tip: Right off the heat, the sauce will taste a little spicy and it will smell vinegary. Once you refrigerate it, the flavors will meld and mellow.

Common Questions

What is barbecue sauce?

Barbecue sauce is one of those kitchen staples that can be used in a number of ways, including marinating meat, dipping, topping, and basting. It typically has a tomato base and a flavor that’s sweet and a little bit spicy.

Is this a spicy BBQ sauce?

This is a mild sauce. It has a hint of spice when tasted right off the stove but mellows out even further when applied to grilled meats. 

Can I substitute the mustard?

You can use an equal amount of dijon mustard or substitute it with 1 tablespoon of mustard powder.

What is the best ketchup for barbecue sauce?

I recommend an everyday kind of ketchup. There’s no need to spend extra money on gourmet ketchup when you’re using it to make barbecue sauce since you’ll be adding so many of your own seasonings.

Can I double the recipe?

Yes, you can double the recipe. Keep in mind that it will need to simmer longer in order to thicken.

How can I make this sauce spicier?

Add cayenne pepper to taste if you want to make a spicy barbecue sauce.

Jar of homemade BBQ sauce with wooden spoon

Serve BBQ Sauce with

My family loves this homemade barbecue sauce in and with:

Brushing BBQ sauce onto chicken while it grills

Make-Ahead

You don’t need a fancy bottle for your BBQ sauce; a glass Mason jar is perfect (or empty jam jars, which is what I used), or you can even store it in an airtight plastic container.

  • To Refrigerate: Store homemade BBQ sauce in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  • Freezing: Transfer the sauce to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag; press out the excess air and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To Thaw: Frozen barbecue sauce can be thawed in the refrigerator overnight before using, or if you’re in a time crunch, you can place the sealed freezer bag in a bowl of warm water to thaw it faster.

Once you try this homemade BBQ sauce recipe, you’ll never buy store-bought again.

More Homemade Condiments and Sauces 

If you love this Homemade BBQ Sauce, then you won’t want to miss these sauce recipes.

Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

4.85 from 59 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Closeup of barbecue sauce in jar with wooden spoon

Homemade barbecue sauce is cheaper and tastier than store-bought BBQ sauce and you can use better ingredients with less preservatives. (Yields 2 1/4 cups)

Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Skill Level: Easy Peasy
Keyword: barbecue sauce, easy bbq sauce, homemade barbecue sauce
Cuisine: American
Course: Condiments
Calories: 56
Servings: 20 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbsp paprika or to taste
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
  2. Add more sugar or seasonings to taste if desired, then remove from heat. Cool completely to room temperature then cover and store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.*

Recipe Notes

*Right off the heat, you will still be able to smell some vinegar and it will taste a little spicy but the sauce will mellow out in flavor as it melds in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts
Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 56 Calories from Fat 1
% Daily Value*
Fat 0.1g0%
Saturated Fat 0.02g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.05g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.05g
Sodium 228mg10%
Potassium 107mg3%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 0.3g1%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 0.3g1%
Vitamin A 269IU5%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 17mg2%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Bob S
    November 10, 2022

    I read through the comments before I tried this and used half the amount of vinegar thinking I could add more toward the end. It was perfect with half.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 10, 2022

      Glad to hear that you like the result, Bob!

      Reply

  • Patti
    October 18, 2022

    You are so energetic! I love your site! My go to for cooking and baking.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 18, 2022

      Thank you, Patti! So glad you love my recipes.

      Reply

  • JoEllen
    October 8, 2022

    Hi! 👋 I’ve made this receipe several times now and it’s really good! The only thing is the vinegar is STRONG! I use about 1/2 of what’s called for…
    Thanks for the great sauce

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 8, 2022

      Thank you for sharing your experience, JoEllen! 🙂

      Reply

  • Wendy
    September 16, 2022

    This is the best bbq sauce recipe I’ve ever had. It beats all bottled sauces. My whole family loves it. The only chance I made was to use real onion instead of powder. Thanks for sharing this recipe

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      September 16, 2022

      Hi Wendy! Thank you for sharing that with us. So glad your family loves this recipe. 🙂

      Reply

  • Kaitlyn Huff
    September 5, 2022

    This is literally the best BBQ sauce I’ve ever had! I might had some orange zest to it to give it a little zest

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 5, 2022

      Love the awesome feedback, thank you so much!

      Reply

  • Janet Arnez
    September 5, 2022

    I love this recipe. Much better then store brands. I have made this many times.Thank
    You

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 5, 2022

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Janet!

      Reply

  • Alison
    August 21, 2022

    All we could taste was the Apple cider vinegar… might try it again with significantly less ACV, or we might omit all together.

    Reply

  • Jcs
    August 15, 2022

    This sauce was excellent!
    A thought in the sauce department: have you heard of fry sauce? My husband is a Utah boy and would love to have a recipe for some since we’re no longer living in that area.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 15, 2022

      Glad you liked it! I have not tried that yet but thanks for the suggestion.

      Reply

    • Janelle
      October 17, 2022

      Fry sauce is basically equal parts Mayo and ketchup. Some add a pinch of paprika as well

      Reply

  • Kinipele
    August 2, 2022

    Sorry but I just didnot like this. Followed the recipe exactly and all I could taste was the sharpness of the cider vinegar. Just not for me

    Reply

  • Maria
    July 31, 2022

    Hi Natasha, Greetings from Australia 👋
    This BBQ sauce is amazing! So easy and very delicious with the perfect amount of spice. Whole family loved it.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 31, 2022

      Great to hear that your family enjoyed this recipe!

      Reply

  • Bronia Pyott
    July 30, 2022

    Hi Natasha – I’ve been following your recipes for a some while now and haven’t had a bad one! The family love them, too. Haven’t made the BBQ sauce yet, but hope to in the next few weeks – Bronia, Kent UK

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 30, 2022

      Hi Bronia! I’m so glad you’re enjoying my recipes! This homemade BBQ sauce is a game changer! I hope you love it!

      Reply

  • J. Porter
    July 25, 2022

    Hi Natasha,

    Thanks for providing this recipe. I was looking for a base as a guide to create some barbecue sauce for some baby back pork ribs and was limited on ingredients.
    I used the following: organic
    ketchup, maple syrup, garlic powder, turmeric, red hot chili pepper flakes, curry powder, apple cider vinegar, and worchester sauce. I like how the sauce came out. Thanks again for sharing. Have a Great Day!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 25, 2022

      Thanks for sharing, I’m glad you liked the result!

      Reply

  • Megan
    July 24, 2022

    This looks delicious. Could this recipe be preserved/canned? What would the recommendations be?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      July 25, 2022

      No, I have not tested canning this recipe.

      Reply

      • Kathryn
        October 24, 2022

        I think you can preserve anything as long as you follow proper canning procedures.

        Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 25, 2022

      Hi Megan, you can make this recipe ahead and put it in a mason jar, but not sure about canning it. You may check the Make-Ahead portion in the recipe for more info and tips.

      Reply

  • Debbie Stokes
    July 24, 2022

    Loved,loved,loved this BBQ sauce. I put it on my chicken legs and Turkey garlic sausages on the BBQ. Excellant! Also I put the left over sauce on my mash potatoe/sweet potatoes.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 24, 2022

      Awesome! I’m so glad you loved this recipe, Debbie.

      Reply

  • Kasia Otterbein
    July 24, 2022

    This was easy and perfectly balanced. I added a few red pepper flakes but kept everything as printed. Big hit on my July 4 baby back ribs (slathered and extra sauce for dipping)

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 24, 2022

      Lovely to hear that! Thanks so much for sharing your experience trying out this recipe.

      Reply

  • DeAnn
    July 16, 2022

    I am making this today. If it is as good as the reviews say I may try to can it so I always have it on hand.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 16, 2022

      I hope you love it DeAnn!

      Reply

  • Rebecca Hasse
    July 11, 2022

    Even using substitutions, this turned out great! I used an equal amount of soy sauce instead of Worcestershire, and dijon instead of yellow mustard. It made my over-baked chicken thighs taste good tonight for dinner lol.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 12, 2022

      Hi Rebecca, thank you for the good review. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe!

      Reply

  • Aaron
    July 5, 2022

    This is a great recipe that you can adjust to your taste – sweeter or hotter.

    Everyone REALLY liked this one!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 5, 2022

      I’m so glad it was a hit, Aaron!

      Reply

  • Virginia Foster
    July 3, 2022

    I made this bbq sauce yesterday and it is absolutely delicious. I’ve been using the same recipe for over thirty years…not anymore. I just found my new go to favorite. Thanks so much for sharing this simple but wonderful recipe.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 3, 2022

      Hi Virginia, that really makes me feel so happy! Thank you for sharing, I’m glad you found your new go-to recipe!

      Reply

  • Laura
    July 2, 2022

    I made this BBQ sauce today to use on baby back ribs tomorrow and it is SO GOOD!! I followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfectly. No more bottled stuff for me! Thank you!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      July 2, 2022

      Yay! That’s great, Laura! Thank you for the wonderful review.

      Reply

  • Maryanne
    June 30, 2022

    How would it turn out if I omitted the mustard as I’m very allergic.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 30, 2022

      Hi Maryanne. I have not tested this without mustard but I think it would be ok to leave it out.

      Reply

  • Anneyye
    June 28, 2022

    Made this today. So good. I will never have to buy BBQ sauce agian.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 28, 2022

      Happy to know that you love it!

      Reply

  • Jen
    June 27, 2022

    LOVE this homemade sauce!! So good, I definitely won’t be needing to get store bought anymore!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 27, 2022

      Yay, love that because homemade is always better in my opinion!

      Reply

  • Becky D
    June 26, 2022

    Without all the preservatives, how long does this last in the fridge? It looks yummy.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 27, 2022

      Hi Becky, please see the “Make-Ahead” section of the recipe. I provide two different methods of storage that will allow it to keep for two weeks or three months. I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Alex
    June 26, 2022

    Sounds like a good recipe but I think I’ll omit the brown sugar. The ketchup should bring enough sweetness to the party.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 26, 2022

      Hi Alex, let us know how it goes if you decide to try that. Hope you’ll like it!

      Reply

  • Peggy
    June 25, 2022

    Enjoy your recipes so much. ❤️I also enjoy watching you cook. And what a beautiful family

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 25, 2022

      Thank you for your wonderful compliment, Peggy! I hope you try more of our recipes soon!

      Reply

  • Clarence
    June 25, 2022

    How can you make Barbecues sauce sugar free. I would love to make mine on sauce to use. Is there another sweetener I can use instead of sugar?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 25, 2022

      Hi Clarence, I havne’t tried it myself, but you will need to find a sugar-free ketchup & a brown sugar replacement.

      Reply

      • Ryann
        July 14, 2022

        Brown swerve is a great brown sugar replacement and there’s a few different brands that carry a sugar free ketchup now

        Reply

    • Steven
      June 29, 2022

      Use a ketchup without high fructose corn syrup, and use monkfruit in place of the brown sugar.

      Reply

  • Jessica
    June 24, 2022

    YUM!! This turned out DELISH! We made it to put on bratwursts and everyone loved it. Thank you!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 24, 2022

      So happy to hear it was enjoyed! Thank you for the review, Jessica.

      Reply

  • Steven
    June 24, 2022

    Who doesn’t love a great BBQ sauce! This recipe is a Winner! Winner! Winner! Love it! My only recommendation is a ketchup (or catsup 😄) without high fructose corn syrup. I will make this and slather it all over my BBQ pork ribs! Mmmmm! I can taste it now! 😋 Thanks Natasha!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 24, 2022

      Thank you for the wonderful review, Steven!

      Reply

  • April
    June 24, 2022

    This BBQ sauce is the BEST! And so easy to make! Never buying bottled sauce again.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 24, 2022

      So glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply

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