Make Your Own Homemade BBQ Sauce

Although bottled BBQ sauce is very delicious, it is easy to make your own from scratch. The best thing about homemade sauce is you can control what goes in it. Generally, the BBQ sauce you buy has a high sodium and sugar content. Most sauce recipes call for some sugar and sodium, but it is actually healthier when you control the amount that is used.

Although homemade BBQ sauce calls for several ingredients, most are readily available. Traditional recipes require tomatoes, ketchup, vinegar, molasses, spices, sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. On occasion, jelly, jam, and even mustard are used. The main ingredients are sweet and salty so if you taste the sauce as you mix it, you oftentimes can cut back on certain ingredients.

Following are two BBQ sauce recipes with different tastes. Try both and pick your favorite one.

Recipe 1 – Traditional BBQ Sauce

Ingredients needed:

• 2 cups – Ketchup
• 1/2 cup – Apple Cider Vinegar
• 1 cup – Water
• 5 tablespoons – Brown Sugar
• 5 tablespoons – Sugar
• 1 tablespoon – Worcestershire Sauce
• 1 tablespoon – Lemon Juice
• 1/2 tablespoon – Ground Mustard
• 1/2 tablespoon – Ground Black Pepper
• 1/2 tablespoon – Onion Powder


Combine ketchup, vinegar, and water in a medium saucepan and mix well. Add brown sugar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, mustard, pepper, and onion powder, mixing well. Bring sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for an hour and 15 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally. Sauce is done when it thickens. Let cool and transfer to a reusable container. Sauce can be used immediately.

Recipe 2 – KC Special (Kansas City) BBQ Sauce

Ingredients needed:

• 2 tablespoons – Vegetable Oil
• 6 cloves – Smashed Garlic
• 2 tablespoons – Tomato Paste
• 1 tablespoon – Paprika
• 1 teaspoon – Crushed Red Pepper
• 1 heaping tablespoon – Chili Powder
• 1/4 teaspoon – Ground Allspice
• 1 pinch – Ground Cloves
• 2 cups – Water
• 2 cups – Ketchup
• 1/2 cup – Apple Cider Vinegar
• 1/4 cup – Dark Brown Sugar
• 1/4 cup – Dark Molasses
• 1 tablespoon – Soy Sauce
• 1 tablespoon – Worcestershire Sauce
• 1 tablespoon – Kosher Salt
• 2 teaspoons – Dried Mustard
• 1 teaspoon – Ground Black Pepper
• 1 – Bay Leaf


Add oil to a medium saucepan and heat over medium. Slowly stir in the garlic, tomato paste, paprika, red pepper, chili powder, allspice and cloves. Cook until the sauce turns a dark red color, approximately three minutes.

Add the ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt, mustard, pepper, and bay leaf. Maintain a gentle simmer and cook for approximately 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf, let cool and transfer to a reusable container. Sauce can be used immediately.

Feel free to make these recipes your own. You can experiment by adding other ingredients like honey, cayenne pepper, cumin, or even liquid smoke. The key to making your own sauce is be creative and have fun!