Ditch the store-bought stuff and elevate your grilling game with this Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce! Packed with flavor, this sauce is made with simple ingredients like ketchup, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar.

Simmered to perfection, it offers a delightful balance of sweet, tangy, and smoky flavors. Whether you’re dipping chicken strips, basting burgers, or glazing ribs, this versatile sauce is sure to become a new favorite.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

This easy homemade barbecue sauce is a delicious and versatile option for dipping, grilling, or basting. Enjoy it with your air fryer chicken strips or any other dish you like!

Why You’ll Love These Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Ditch the Store-Bought Stuff and Fall in Love with This Incredible Sauce

This isn’t your average barbecue sauce. Here’s why you’ll love making your own at home:

  • Superior Flavor: Skip the artificial ingredients and one-note flavors of store-bought sauces. This homemade version is a symphony of tastes, bursting with tangy, sweet, and smoky notes in perfect balance.
  • Customizable to Your Cravings: Do you love it smoky? Spicy? Sweet with a hint of heat? Homemade barbecue sauce is your canvas! Adjust the seasonings to create a flavor profile that perfectly matches your taste buds.
  • Simple Ingredients, Big Impact: Don’t be fooled by the complex flavors. This sauce comes together with pantry staples you likely already have on hand. No need for hard-to-find ingredients!
  • Perfect for All Your Grilling Needs: Whether you’re basting burgers, dipping chicken wings, or glazing ribs, this versatile sauce elevates every grilled dish.
  • Fresher Than Fresh: Homemade sauce means using fresh ingredients, resulting in a brighter and more vibrant flavor compared to store-bought options that have been sitting on shelves.
  • A Sense of Accomplishment: There’s something incredibly satisfying about making your own delicious sauce from scratch. It adds a personal touch to your meals and allows you to boast about your culinary skills (or keep it a secret weapon!).

Homemade barbecue sauce is more than just a condiment, it’s an experience. So why not ditch the store-bought stuff and create your own flavor masterpiece?

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Tips For Making Homemade Barbecue Sauce:

Here are some tips for making your homemade barbecue sauce even more delicious, using the pointers you provided:

Smoke it Up!

  • Smoked Paprika Power: For a hint of smokiness without going overboard, reach for smoked paprika instead of regular paprika. Add a teaspoon while the sauce simmers, and adjust based on your preference.
  • Liquid Smoke in Moderation: Liquid smoke can add a powerful smoky flavor. Start with just a few drops while simmering, and taste as you go. A little goes a long way!

Thicken Up Your Sauce:

  • Simmering for Thickness: Patience is key! Let your sauce simmer for a longer time if you prefer a thicker consistency. As the water evaporates, the sauce will naturally thicken.
  • Cornstarch Slurry for Control: For more precise control over thickness, use a cornstarch slurry. Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water until smooth. Gradually whisk the slurry into the simmering sauce until it reaches your desired consistency.

Spice it Up and Customize:

  • Explore Chili Powder and Cumin: For a smoky and warm depth of flavor, try adding a teaspoon each of chili powder and cumin to the simmering sauce.
  • Garlic Lovers Rejoice: Minced garlic adds a pungent kick. Start with 1 clove and add more to taste for a garlicky punch.
  • Herbs for Freshness: Dried oregano or thyme can add a touch of freshness and complexity to your barbecue sauce. Experiment with 1/2 teaspoon each to begin.

Remember: These are just starting points! The beauty of homemade barbecue sauce is the endless customization possibilities. Taste your sauce as you go and adjust the seasonings and spices to create your perfect flavor profile.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce Uses

Here’s a delectable list of what you can put your homemade barbecue sauce on, taking advantage of its smoky, sweet, and tangy goodness:

Grilling Classics:

  • Burgers and Hot Dogs: A timeless pairing, barbecue sauce adds a burst of flavor to any burger or hot dog. Brush it on during the last few minutes of grilling for a caramelized and delicious topping.
  • Grilled Chicken: Whether you’re grilling chicken breasts, thighs, wings, or drumsticks, barbecue sauce is a perfect partner. Marinate the chicken beforehand, baste it while grilling, or use it as a dipping sauce for cooked chicken.
  • Grilled Ribs: Take your ribs to the next level with a good barbecue sauce. Use it as a marinade or glaze to infuse the ribs with flavor and create a sticky, finger-licking good caramelized crust.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Don’t just limit barbecue sauce to meats! Try brushing it on vegetables like corn on the cob, portobello mushrooms, bell peppers, or eggplant for a smoky and sweet twist.

Beyond the Grill:

  • Pulled Pork Sandwiches: Homemade barbecue sauce is a must-have for pulled pork sandwiches. Toss the shredded pork in your sauce for a flavorful and juicy filling.
  • Meatballs and Meatloaf: Elevate your comfort food classics by incorporating barbecue sauce. Add it to the meatball or meatloaf mixture for a smoky depth of flavor, or use it as a glaze during baking.
  • Baked Beans: For a delicious twist on traditional baked beans, add a few tablespoons of barbecue sauce to your baked bean recipe. The smoky sweetness complements the savory beans perfectly.
  • Chicken Wings: Barbecue sauce is a classic wing flavor for a reason! Toss baked or fried chicken wings in your homemade sauce for a finger-licking good appetizer or game-day snack.
  • Pizza Topping: Feeling adventurous? Drizzle a little barbecue sauce over your homemade pizza for a smoky and tangy twist. It pairs particularly well with pulled pork or chicken toppings.
  • Dipping Sauce: Of course, your homemade barbecue sauce can be enjoyed as a dipping sauce for everything from chicken strips and fries to onion rings and even grilled cheese sandwiches.

Get Creative!

This is just a starting point! The beauty of homemade barbecue sauce is its versatility. Experiment and see what other dishes you can elevate with its unique flavor profile.

Storing Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Here are some storage tips to ensure your homemade barbecue sauce stays delicious and flavorful for as long as possible:

Proper Cooling:

  • Cool Completely: Before storing your homemade barbecue sauce, it’s crucial to let it cool completely to room temperature. This prevents trapped heat and moisture from causing bacterial growth that can spoil the sauce or compromise its safety.

Airtight Containers:

  • Seal it Up Tight: Once the sauce has cooled, transfer it to an airtight container. This will prevent air exposure, which can lead to spoilage and affect the flavor. Glass jars with lids or airtight plastic containers are ideal choices.

Refrigeration is Key:

  • Cold Storage: Homemade barbecue sauce is best stored in the refrigerator. The cold temperature inhibits bacterial growth and helps maintain the sauce’s quality.

Labeling for Organization:

  • Label It!: Consider labeling your container with the date it was made. This helps you keep track of how long it’s been stored and ensures you use the oldest jars first.

How Long Does It Last?

  • Freshness Window: Properly stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, your homemade barbecue sauce can last for up to a week. Remember, since it doesn’t contain preservatives like store-bought varieties, it won’t stay good indefinitely.

Freezing Option (Optional):

  • Freeze for Later: While freezing can slightly alter the texture, you can freeze leftover barbecue sauce for up to 3 months. Let it cool completely, then portion it out into freezer-safe containers or zip-lock bags, leaving some headspace for expansion during freezing. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

Signs of Spoilage:

  • Discard When Needed: Always check your barbecue sauce before using it. If you notice any mold growth, off smells, or unusual discoloration, discard it for safety reasons.

By following these storage tips, you can enjoy your delicious homemade barbecue sauce for days or even weeks to come!

Make Your Own Sauces and Condiments

Condiments and Sauces (tons of recipes to make your own)
Easy Strawberry Sauce (external link)

Making the Recipe

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Nicole Cook
Ditch the store-bought stuff and elevate your grilling game with this Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce! Packed with flavor, this sauce is made with simple ingredients like ketchup, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Condiments Sauces and Dips
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 67 kcal


  • 1 ½ cups ketchup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard can use dijon mustard for a kick
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 dashes hot sauce optional – more or less to taste
  • 1 garlic clove minced, optional


  • In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, paprika, onion powder, and black pepper.
  • Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the sauce thickens slightly.
  • Once the sauce has thickened, remove it from the heat and taste it. Adjust the seasonings to your preference. You can add more brown sugar for sweetness, more vinegar for tang, or a pinch of cayenne pepper for a kick.
  • You can serve the sauce warm or at room temperature. If you're not using it right away, let it cool completely and then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.


Calories: 67kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 1gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 452mgPotassium: 181mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 291IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 1mg
Keyword easy homemade recipes, easy sauce recipes
Tried this recipe?Please leave us a rating and then share a photo on Pinterest or Instagram and tag us @dailydishrecipes or #dailydishrecipes — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

Share this Recipe!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.