Homemade BBQ Sauce


This recipe has a lot of sweetness and spice, so if you're looking for a classic homemade BBQ sauce that's easy to make, look no further. It is very popular with users of 'ceramic' type smokers and grills, (i.e. Primo, Kamado, Big Green Egg, etc.)

Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
10 mins
4 cups

Skip the store-bought stuff! Homemade barbecue sauce is delicious, incredibly versatile, and oh-so easy to make with pantry staples. Trust us — you're going to want to bookmark this top-rated recipe for classic barbecue sauce.

What Is Barbecue Sauce Made Of?

Here's what you'll need to make the homemade BBQ sauce of your dreams:

Every red barbecue sauce starts with a tomato base. In this recipe, ketchup makes a fantastic foundation.

Brown Sugar
Classic barbecue sauce gets its signature sweetness from brown sugar.

Acidic red wine vinegar balances out the sweet brown sugar.

This recipe calls for a ½ cup of water, but you can use more or less to reach the consistency you desire.

Spices and Seasonings
Create the perfect flavor with Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, paprika, salt, and black pepper.

Hot Sauce
Turn up the heat with a few dashes of hot pepper sauce, such as Frank's or Crystal.

How to Make Barbecue Sauce

Making homemade barbecue sauce is as simple as blending all the ingredients until smooth. You don't have to cook this barbecue sauce. However, if the uncooked sauce is runnier than you'd like, recipe creator JRNEUMILLER suggests bringing it to a boil and cooking for about a minute. This will thicken the sauce and create a more intense flavor.

Find the full recipe with step-by-step directions below.

What Can You Do With Barbecue Sauce?

The better question: What can't you do with barbecue sauce? Slather it on ribs, toss it with pulled pork, spread it on your sandwich or burger, or use it as a dipping sauce for fries or chicken fingers.

If you're in need of some mouthwatering inspiration, try one of these recipes that put barbecue sauce to good use:

Slow Cooker Barbecue
BBQ Meatballs
Baby Back Ribs
Busy Day Barbecue Brisket
Creamy Pulled Pork Soup

Get more recipes: 15 Ways to Use BBQ Sauce

How to Store Barbecue Sauce

Store (completely cooled) barbecue sauce in an airtight container, such as a Mason jar, in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Can You Freeze Barbecue Sauce?

Yes! You can definitely freeze barbecue sauce — and you should if you're not going to use it within two weeks. To freeze homemade barbecue sauce, transfer it to a freezer bag labeled with the date. Squeeze out all the excess air, secure the bag, and lay flat in the freezer. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"My family's go-to BBQ sauce," according to Janet West. "I took a couple of previous reviewers' suggestions and added a teaspoon of liquid smoke per 12 servings, and also brought it to a boil when I used it as a dipping sauce (gives it an even deeper color and thickens it a bit more). Other than that, I follow the recipe to a T. Wonderful!"

"Whole family loved it and, best of all, it was QUICK to make," says Karla. "And I had all the ingredients in my pantry already!!"

"Wow," raves Grady Sullivan. "I will never purchase BBQ sauce again. I added a Tablespoon of Molasses and brought to a slow boil. Continued to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Thick, rich and delicious. Perfection!"

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar

  • 1 ½ cups ketchup

  • ½ cup red wine vinegar

  • ½ cup water

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 ½ tablespoons dry mustard

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper

  • 2 dashes hot pepper sauce


  1. Combine brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, water, and Worcestershire sauce in a blender. Season with mustard, paprika, salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce. Blend until smooth.

    a close up view of barbecue sauce with a brush sitting in the sauce.
    Dotdash Meredith Food Studio

Cook's Notes:

For a more intense flavor and better texture, pour sauce into a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 1 minute. Allow to cool before filling into a resealable container (it will fit exactly into a 32 ounce ketchup bottle). Store in the refrigerator.

Cut back on the brown sugar to make it less sweet, or add more Worcestershire for more 'steak sauce' appeal.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

43 Calories
0g Fat
10g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 32
Calories 43
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 278mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 11mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 65mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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