Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce (Recipe)

A BBQ just isn’t the same without some BBQ sauce. While there may be dozens of BBQ sauces on the market, most of them are made from the same basic ingredients. So, why not use one of our homemade BBQ sauce recipes to make your own?

homemade bbq sauce with basting brush

Homemade BBQ sauce recipes are actually quite simple to make. You do not need any special skills and most of the ingredients are common kitchen items.

The best part is that you can add whatever you like to it and customize it to your own taste. Below are a couple of homemade BBQ sauce recipes that are simple to make and taste great.

Also try our chipotle BBQ sauce recipe

The recipe I’ve outlined here is just for an easy, simple BBQ sauce. If you prefer your BBQ sauce a touch on the smokier side, then I recommend adding a couple of teaspoons of liquid smoke to it.

Try not to go overboard with it because it’ll just overpower the taste of your sauce.

homemade bbq sauce recipe served in pot

While this sauce tastes great just the way it is, you can look at this recipe as a base and add your own flavors to it. You may find that you end up with a unique homemade BBQ sauce which everyone is going to want the recipe for.

You can experiment with it by adding a little bit more of the ingredients you like or by adding additional seasoning like garlic or ginger. You might also try replacing the mustard with dijon mustard or adding some hot sauce to spice things up a bit.

Use the water to rinse all of chili sauce out of the bottle. After that, simply mix all the ingredients into a bowl and you are done. You can use the BBQ sauce right away but the flavors will mix together better if you prepare it the night before and let the BBQ sauce stand in the refrigerator overnight.

If you are not familiar with liquid smoke, you should be able to find it in most grocery stores in the BBQ sauce section. It is almost always used in smoky flavored BBQ sauces and many restaurants use it to give their food a smoky flavor.

homemade bbq recipe served next to chicken fingers

This recipe is just great as it is but don’t be afraid to make some changes to it, as well. Try using less liquid smoke if you want less smoky flavor or you could try adding additional some spices, like thyme. Another idea would be to use cider vinegar or perhaps soy sauce instead of worcestershire.

You can also try adding honey to either of these recipes to make them sweet. This is especially good if you are going to BBQ pork.

When it comes to making homemade BBQ sauces, you should not be afraid to experiment a little. They are so easy to make that you can simply toss out a bad batch and make a brand new in about 5 minutes.

You can use the BBQ sauce right away but the flavors will mix together better if you the prepare it the night before and let the BBQ sauce stand in the refrigerator over night.

Also if you need to thicken your BBQ sauce at all, try adding some heavy cream or cornstarch.

Best ways to use BBQ sauce

Here are some of our favorite recipes to use our homemade barbecue sauce on!

Pork ribs

Sweet flavors go perfectly with pork, so BBQ sauce is a natural fit for slow smoked baby back ribs. We use a cup of sauce on our 3-2-1 ribs to coat the pork cut for its final hour of smoking. It gives them a beautiful color and finish, and the sugar in the sauce cuts through for an unbelievable flavor.

Dipping sauce

Good barbecue is as much about the platters and sides as it is massive slabs of prize meats. Put a few dollops of sauce in a little pot and use it as a dipping sauce for grilled homemade potato wedges, chicken wings, or use it to top pulled pork nachos.


The classics never go out of style. Swap it in place of ketchup and give your favorite beef or chicken burger a kick of flavor.

How to store homemade BBQ sauce

After you have combined the ingredients over heat, remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for about 20 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a 16 or 32-ounce mason jar, depending on how much you have made. Make sure your jar has an airtight lid (I use these jars on Amazon). Leave the jars in the refrigerator for at least two hours, or overnight. Enjoy the same evening or the next day.

homemade bbq sauce recipe served in pot
4.75 from 4 votes

Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

The best easy homemade BBQ sauce. Made in just 10 minutes, this simple recipe is sweet, tangy and downright delicious.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine BBQ
Prep Time 10 minutes


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp black pepper


  • Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool
  • Pour mixture into mason jar or airtight container. Transfer to refrigerator and leave to rest overnight before using.

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