Food & Drink

The Best Homemade BBQ Sauce Ever!

The Best Homemade BBQ Sauce

Happy Thursday..most of your work weeks are almost over and mine will be starting As much as I enjoy the couple nights a week to get out of the house alone…and as much as I HATE leaving my little man for any reason, sometimes I wish the couple nights I left weren’t to go to work but to actually enjoy some alone time…shopping, dinner, even a drink haha (definitely the drink!) C’est la Vie! I wouldn’t trade this handsome little munchkin for ANYTHING!

This was the first time I’ve made homemade BBQ Sauce..and all I can say is what the hell was I waiting for?! This stuff is like liquid crack. I haven’t been able to stop eating it by the spoonful’s for two days…I’m not even joking! I’m obsessed with it! I made it initially for these crazy burgers..(more on that later!) and since then have used it on sandwiches, mini chicken bites, to spoon into my mouth…and the ideas popping into my head to just gobble it right up are endless! I will NEVER buy store-bought again, this was to easy and the end result is just far to amazing! You are welcome! 😉

The Best Homemade BBQ Sauce Ever!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: About 20 ounces

The Best Homemade BBQ Sauce Ever!

This is a sweet BBQ Sauce! If you're looking to make it spicy, (like Ill do on my next batch!), just cut back slightly on the sugar and add more cayenne!!


  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 8 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne


  1. Add all ingredients to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to simmer and allow to simmer for 45 minutes-1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat, allow to cool before storing it in the fridge! (That is if you don't eat it all first! 😉 )


Adapted from: The Neelys



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  • Reply Julie @ Table for Two

    bbq is liquid crack for me and i’m addicted to it. i put it on EVERY.THING. fries, tater tots, chicken, beef..omg i could go on forever. this looks so good and something i need to get on my stove to make!

    April 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm
    • Reply Alaina

      Hah oh my God! Me too!!! I made a huge bunch & it’s already almost gone!! Get to makin girl! 🙂

      April 15, 2012 at 2:54 am
    • Reply Joanne

      This is almost exactly what my mother’s delicious recipe was. She made it over 50 years ago but added a stick of butter. It’s even better with butter.

      October 31, 2016 at 1:15 pm
      • Reply Alaina

        I imagine its absolutely heavenly with a stick of butter, so rich!

        October 31, 2016 at 9:59 pm
      • Reply Paul

        I was looking for a BBQ sauce so I wouldn’t have to go buy some Head Country and came across this, so I made some with a few mods: I added a 1/2 stick of butter to enrich it and cut the brown sugar down to 6 TBLS to make it not so sweet> and since I like a little more spicey I Put in 2-3 TBLS Frank’s Red hot instead of cayenne (because I love Frank’s). After cooking the 45 min I tasted it and I noticed a slight chalky background aftertaste, Not much tho, so I added a 1/3 cup red Port wine no chalky background!!!! Perfect!

        June 14, 2018 at 4:07 pm
    • Reply Tony

      Certainly looks like something I’d like to try

      April 7, 2017 at 4:12 am
  • Reply hans baumgartel

    Let me first say no disrespect to you. I am a chef, and have a very open palate. This is the WORST sauce of any kind i have ever put in my mouth. I tastes like mold or something has gone sour. I purchased all the ingredients fresh today and just finished making it, and had to pour it down the drain. What a waste!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 14, 2013 at 6:14 pm
    • Reply Alaina

      Im sorry it didn’t work out for you, Ive made it several times and it has always been well received.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:44 pm
    • Reply Franz Himmler

      If you were a real chef, you would at least have an idea of what the recipe would taste like. “Open palate”, what a joke.

      February 14, 2014 at 1:37 am
      • Reply Franz Himmler

        May I also add that this is a standard base for Midwest American Barbecue. As a chef, you might think about expanding your limited palate.

        February 14, 2014 at 1:39 am
    • Reply Dana C

      Jeez, rude much? I’m glad the author of this blog has more tact than you and responded nicely to such a rude unnecessary comment.

      November 5, 2014 at 9:20 pm
    • Reply J.Smith

      Like mold… really. It’s not the best but I know it doesn’t taste like mold and I’m a chef too. Be more kind to people that make their own recipes.

      September 8, 2017 at 9:57 pm
    • Reply Desi

      What a pompous ass, chef or no, there is such a thing as tact and common decency. And I find it ironic that you start out your post “no offense” then proceed to do your level best to do exactly that. Luckily the woman who posted this recipe had much more grace and class than you and answered kindly. I would have said if you didn’t think it was fit to put in your mouth, then you could shove it up your other orrifice.

      November 19, 2017 at 4:10 pm
    • Reply Notmychef

      If you are a chef why are you using someone else’s recipe to make BBQ sauce? Wouldn’t you already know what the base ingredients were and make your own? 🤔

      January 16, 2018 at 6:28 pm
      • Reply Wendy Warunkiewicz


        September 23, 2018 at 11:02 am
    • Reply Jason

      In this case “chef” should be spelled “douchebag”….

      January 26, 2018 at 5:47 pm
    • Reply Dustin

      You’re a chef and didn’t have almost every basic ingredient already?

      February 26, 2018 at 8:28 pm
    • Reply Natalie

      If you’re a chef why are you getting recipes off the internet for BBQ sauce?? Seems like a basic for a “pro”.

      March 4, 2018 at 4:55 pm
      • Reply Wendy Warunkiewicz

        Lol, so true!

        September 23, 2018 at 11:03 am
    • Reply Kim

      I mean no disrespect, but… if you’re a chef then it seems like you should be able to whip something up yourself without having to use a blogger’s recipe. And then for you to go on and criticize it in such a rude manner… wow. Alaina definitely showed you a lot more respect than you showed her. Even after you insulted her. I’ll be trying this recipe out soon! 🙂

      March 13, 2018 at 6:19 pm
  • Reply Nikki

    This recipe sounds great! Cant wait to try it. Bet it will be tasty and lovely in flavor 🙂

    February 6, 2013 at 5:01 pm
  • Reply lisamawson

    I can’t wait to try this. And your son had the same color hair as i get with henna. My father in law used to say how cute my kids would be wIth red hair. I hated telling him it wasn’t real. He is adorable. Thanks for the recipe And i Will now look fOr more ur website. Lately all my fave brands are now adding hfcs.

    May 26, 2013 at 3:56 am
    • Reply Alaina

      Thank you so much! Its funny how kids hair changes as they grow! My sons went from jet black, to red, and now its blonde! So cute though!

      May 26, 2013 at 2:52 pm
  • Reply lisamawson

    Ps sorry for any miss spellings I am new to a smart phone

    May 26, 2013 at 3:58 am
  • Reply Michele Knight

    Needs some hot sauce, also might need some more vinegar.

    June 24, 2013 at 6:15 am
    • Reply Alaina

      Ill try that next time 🙂

      June 24, 2013 at 11:06 pm
  • Reply Today we barbeque | But Could We Add Bacon?

    […] sauce.  Pinterest to the rescue.  I found this pin leading to what the author claims to be “The Best Homemade BBQ Sauce Ever“.  Now I don’t know about that claim since this is the first time I’ve ever made […]

    July 14, 2013 at 8:26 pm
  • Reply Nana Mack

    Found this recipe through Pinterest and it’s currently cooking on the stove. I halved the recipe since it’s just two of us but so far liking the results. Thanks for the post!

    July 14, 2013 at 8:31 pm
    • Reply Alaina

      Youre welcome!!I hope you guys enjoyed it!!

      July 15, 2013 at 12:29 pm
  • Reply shawn

    I agree good sauce is ‘liquid crack’. I have one for u. E mail me at and ill give it too u. U wont be sorry. Didnt mean to offend u, like ur site. Im a foodie well before being a chef.

    July 24, 2013 at 3:27 am
    • Reply Alaina

      Thank you for your insight!

      July 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm
  • Reply Mike

    Looks great sounds great, will give it a bash, p.s. everyone seems to think they are experts…. you keep up the great posts 🙂 great pic of your child 🙂 I have 4 kids lol not as cute… they have all grown up! and surprisingly survived my cooking hahahaha

    February 26, 2014 at 7:55 am
    • Reply Alaina

      hahahah I’m sure you’re a great cook and your kids are super cute too! Thank you so much 🙂

      February 26, 2014 at 12:37 pm
      • Reply Wendy Warunkiewicz

        I doubled the recipe & froze the extra, & I also used cranberry vinegar instead, I use this sauce on everything,

        September 23, 2018 at 11:08 am
  • Reply VALERIE

    This sounds yummy! Have it cooking for some chops for supper tonight. Thank you! =)

    March 27, 2014 at 4:49 pm
    • Reply Alaina

      oh you’re welcome! I hope you enjoyed!!

      March 30, 2014 at 1:19 pm
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  • Reply Tiffany

    Love this sauce! I’ve made it several times and my family and friends love it! Best Recipe! Thank You So Much! If you don’t like it then the problem is you not the recipe because it’s AMAZING!!!!

    May 5, 2014 at 5:34 pm
    • Reply Alaina

      Thank you SO much! Im so glad that you’re all enjoying it! 🙂

      May 6, 2014 at 3:24 pm
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    May 12, 2014 at 10:01 am
  • Reply Helen

    This was the best as promised. I love chipotle heat and wonder how you could add this heat to the sauce. I made my third batch today. Tomorrow oatmeal toasted coconut chocolate chip cookies.
    Thank you for sharing.


    May 14, 2014 at 8:08 pm
    • Reply Alaina

      oh I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’m working on a new Spicier BBQ Sauce, so keep an eye out! Hope you enjoy the cookies as well!!

      May 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm
      • Reply William

        I’m wondering if it could be made without the spiciness?

        November 14, 2018 at 11:25 pm
  • Reply Chloe

    Made this recipe tonight as I ran out of BBQ sauce and it was amazing, hubby loves it and I added a grilled nectarine blended in there and it was amazing!

    May 21, 2014 at 3:55 pm
    • Reply Alaina

      oh Im SO glad that you guys enjoyed it! LOVE the addition of the nectarine–I bet that was amazing!

      May 21, 2014 at 10:46 pm
  • Reply Kay

    OMG this baby is so cute !!!!!! I will try that amazing recipe very soon. Bonne journée.

    June 22, 2014 at 6:37 am
    • Reply Alaina

      Thank you 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

      June 23, 2014 at 10:27 pm
  • Reply Martina

    Hi! I’m an italian girl, just wanted you to know that today is the second time I’m making this, ’cause it is SO AWESOME. I bought worcestershire sauce mistaken it for bbq, then I found out I could make my own and tried your recipe. It looked so easier than other recipes, and in fact it is. I just used “datterini tomato sauce” instead of ketchup, but it turned out soooo good, so THANK YOU! 🙂

    July 21, 2014 at 4:28 am
  • Reply Cooking: Barbecue Sauce Experiment, First Four |

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    August 22, 2014 at 9:47 am
  • Reply TGIF v.1 | She Writes Words

    […] mild Italian sausages with steamed carrots & broccoli and rice. I topped the sausages with this homemade barbecue sauce, which adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the spicy sausage! I didn’t take a photo of […]

    August 29, 2014 at 7:25 am
  • Reply Debra

    I wanted so much to love this sauce, but it came iut so cloyingly sweet it’s virtually in edible. I don’t have time to go buy bottled sauce and have no clue how to save this! I simply can’t fathom how anyone could like this sauce 🙁 what a waste…

    August 31, 2014 at 1:23 pm
    • Reply Alaina

      I’m sorry it didn’t turn out for you, is there anything I can do to help you figure out where you may have gone wrong?

      September 2, 2014 at 11:20 am
  • Reply DeAnna

    OMG!!!! I just added 2 1/2 TBS to the pot with all the other perfectly measured ingredients!!!! What so I do without having to throw out my other ingredients???!!!!???!!! Help me please!!!

    September 11, 2014 at 6:10 pm
    • Reply DeAnna

      I meant to put that I added lemon juice!

      September 11, 2014 at 6:11 pm
  • Reply Robin

    We loved this…only one problem… I walked out of the room and my wonderful hubby was concerned that I left out the Cayenne so he added more…it was a little spicier than I like but still really yummy!!! Thank you for the recipe!

    November 28, 2014 at 9:54 pm
    • Reply Alaina

      so glad you enjoyed it! a little extra heat is good sometimes! 😉 thanks!

      December 3, 2014 at 11:44 am
  • Reply Meals of the Week v.1 | She Writes Words

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    February 27, 2015 at 1:19 pm
  • Reply lorrie

    My turned out watery what can I do to thicken it

    March 20, 2015 at 2:20 pm
  • Reply Cheri

    This is my go to recipe now. Thank you for it! I have found I can also add all the ingedients to a small crockpot and whisk together. Put on low and in the morning I have delicious BBQ sauce.

    March 27, 2015 at 3:00 pm
    • Reply Alaina

      Thats a great idea! Ill have to remember that! so glad you enjoy it!

      April 6, 2015 at 10:19 am
  • Reply Victor

    Alaina, your BBQ sauce looks boss. I think I’m going to have bump up the cayenne, but otherwise, this sounds like it just might replace my store-bought sauce (the infamous Sweet Baby Ray’s) and hopefully it does.

    May 15, 2015 at 3:23 pm
  • Reply TGIF v.17 | She Writes Words

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    May 21, 2015 at 11:20 am
  • Reply Christopher Scharff

    I love the recipe, used it a few times now. I reduce the ketchup by 1/4 and replace the difference with chili paste. I reduce the water by 3/4 and replace with whisky or spiced rum. Then I add a couple cloves of crushed garlic and a teaspoon of ground celery seed.

    July 17, 2015 at 9:34 am
    • Reply Alaina

      Love the liquor substitution! so glad you’re enjoying this!

      July 20, 2015 at 12:17 am
  • Reply TGIF v.23 | She Writes Words

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    October 30, 2015 at 4:02 am
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  • Reply Karen Richter

    Have you ever canned this recipe ? I would like to can for gifts . Hot water bath and for how long ?

    March 31, 2016 at 7:19 pm
    • Reply Alaina

      oh gosh, I never have. I usually just make a single batch and store it in the fridge, but I imagine if you do a little research there are ways to do it for sure. I hope it works out for you!

      April 10, 2016 at 8:44 pm
    • Reply Bev

      I hot water bath for 30 minuets. Love this bbq sauce too!

      July 14, 2018 at 11:19 am
  • Reply Michelle A.

    This is almost similar to what I make, however I don’t use vinegar, water, Cayenne, or dried mustard. I do add Brown sugar, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and red-hot hot sauce. I have no measurements (just taste test) as I usually make it right before adding it to or on my food. No boiling of anything!! It definitely is the only BBQ sauce my family and I will use and have others addicted to it as well. Great minds think alike😜

    October 26, 2016 at 1:30 pm
    • Reply Alaina

      that sounds tasty too! love that you can whip it up anytime too!

      October 29, 2016 at 8:41 am
  • Reply Doug Miller

    Making this right now and noticing that the cook time is taking a bit longer to thicken up the sause. Other than that it’s tasty! I would say play with the cook time if it still seems watery.

    April 16, 2017 at 2:21 pm
  • Reply VTMomof5

    Made this today for BBQ Chicken, Wow soooo Goooood!!!!!! I let it simmer for 1 hour and it thickened up nicely.

    June 1, 2017 at 2:10 pm
  • Reply Sid

    batch on the stove as I type…..YUM….smells incredible

    June 28, 2017 at 3:42 pm
  • Reply Andrea

    What could I substitute Worchester sauce for as I can’t have soy?

    August 20, 2017 at 5:25 am
  • Reply Fawn Lewis

    THIS IS MY SON’S FAVORITE!! No longer buy BBQ sauce. I am only allowed to make it.

    August 28, 2017 at 3:37 pm
  • Reply Frank Pepper

    I would like to use your recipe, but I have one question, can you omit the ketchup and use tomatoe paste would that work as well.

    January 15, 2018 at 2:18 am
  • Reply Jamie

    I made it today, and I really liked it. Has anyone tried canning this, and if so, how did it turn out.

    January 28, 2018 at 1:00 pm
  • Reply Andrea

    Just wondering how long this will keep in the fridge for.

    March 10, 2018 at 7:50 am
  • Reply Torey

    So I am on a low carb diet so this was tweaked for my tastes and it was fantastic! I used Heinz no sugar added ketchup which is only 1 carb per serving and used erithritol instead of brown sugar and it came out amazing! Thanks for the recipe

    May 22, 2018 at 7:28 pm
  • Reply Bev

    Making it again absolutely love it on pulled pork my family loves it also!
    Thanks for the recipe!

    July 14, 2018 at 11:12 am
  • Reply angela cupelli

    I added some liquid smoke as a preference. very easy recipe and easy to find ingredients, thanks for sharing

    October 5, 2018 at 12:37 am
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