The Best Homemade BBQ Sauce


This sweet, tangy and smoky barbecue sauce is easy to make and delicious slathered on grilled chicken or ribs.

You can buy a tasty barbecue sauce at the supermarket, but it really is so easy to make your own. My kids put this sweet, tangy, smoky homemade BBQ sauce on just about everything. It’s a classic Kansas City-style BBQ sauce made from ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, cider vinegar, and spices, and it’s delicious slathered on grilled chicken or ribs. Because of the high sugar content in the sauce, it’s best to use brush it on the meat towards the very end of the cooking time so that it doesn’t burn. Feel free to double the recipe if you’d like to make extra; the sauce keeps well in the refrigerator for up to one week.

What You’ll Need To Make Homemade BBQ Sauce

homemade bbq sauce ingredients

Step-by-step Instructions

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-low heat and add the onion.

cooking onions

Cook, stirring frequently until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

adding garlic to onions

Add the ketchup, water, brown sugar, molasses, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin; stir to combine and bring to a simmer.

simmering bbq sauce

Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. At this point, the sauce is ready to serve, but if you’d like to make it completely smooth, transfer it to a blender and blend until smooth.

finished bbq sauce

Store the BBQ sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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Homemade BBQ Sauce

This sweet, tangy and smoky barbecue sauce is easy to make and delicious slathered on grilled chicken or ribs.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add the ketchup, water, brown sugar, molasses, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin; stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. At this point, the sauce is ready to serve, but if you’d like to make it completely smooth, transfer it to a blender and blend until smooth.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you’re following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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