Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

5 from 9 reviews

A sweet and spicy Homemade Barbecue Sauce made with common pantry staples in less than 20 minutes. Use it on smoked ribs, pulled pork, or grilled chicken.


  • 2 cups ketchup 
  • ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ½¾ cup water (to reach desired consistency)


  1. Add the ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and fresh ground black pepper to a medium saucepan.
  2. Place the pan over medium-low heat and add about 1/2-3/4 cup water in several increments until desired consistency is reached.
  3.  If desired, add a few pinches of crushed red pepper. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring several times.


  • Smoked paprika is the way to go with BBQ sauce. You can use regular sweet paprika, but you will not get that rich smoky flavor. Trust me on this.
  • Simmer for at least 10 minutes but preferably 20 minutes, to let all the flavors meld together.
  • To spice it up a little more, add a little hot sauce, adobo sauce, minced chipotle peppers, or ground cayenne pepper.
  • If watching your sugar intake cut it back to 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar and add more to taste if desired.
  • Cool fully and store in an airtight container or a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • To freeze, first fully cool. Then transfer to a freezer container or freezer zipper bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Keywords: how to make barbecue sauce, how to make homemade barbecue sauce, bbq sauce recipe homemade

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