Sweet and Smoky Homemade BBQ Sauce

Transform your barbecue experience with our quick, 20-minute Sweet and Smoky Homemade BBQ Sauce. Make extra for handy freezer storage and enjoy the homemade goodness anytime!

Smoky homemade BBQ sauce in a jar.

Are you tired of store-bought BBQ sauce that just doesn’t hit the mark? Well, get ready to elevate your grill game with the magic of homemade goodness! This Sweet and Smoky Homemade BBQ Sauce is not only easy to whip up but also packs a flavor punch that you’ll definitely love!

Say goodbye to the generic stuff and hello to a sauce that’s tailored to your taste buds. Plus, here’s a pro tip – make a double batch and stash some in the freezer. That way, whether it’s a last-minute backyard BBQ or a lazy Sunday dinner, you’ve got a jar of homemade deliciousness ready to turn any meal into a flavor fiesta. You can use this sauce to make a Tex-Mex-inspired Chicken Tamale Casserole, or succulent pulled pork sandwich. Use it in place of pizza sauce for a BBQ Chicken Pizza. Sounds yum, right?

Reasons to Love This BBQ Sauce

  • This BBQ sauce is free from artificial preservatives and chemicals, offering a healthier alternative.
  • Homemade Barbecue Sauce is super flexible! Drizzle it on grilled meats or sandwiches for a flavor boost.
  • It has a long shelf life. When properly stored, homemade sauce can last a long time in the fridge or freezer.
  • Achieve the perfect consistency for your desired thickness and texture for your sauce.

Recipe Ingredients

A mason jar with a spoon filled with homemade barbecue sauce.
  • Ketchup: It forms the base of the sauce and provides a rich tomato flavor and a smooth texture.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider adds tanginess and a slight fruity note. It also balances the sweetness.
  • Brown Sugar: This contributes to the sauce’s sweetness and helps to create a nice glaze when cooked.
  • Paprika: Offers a subtle, smoky flavor that enhances the overall depth of the sauce.
  • Chili Powder: Introduces a mild heat and complexity to the sauce’s flavor profile.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations

  • Honey for Brown Sugar: Substitute honey for a milder sweetness.
  • Ground Mustard for Chili Powder: Adds a tangy, less spicy kick.

How to Make Homemade BBQ Sauce

Step #1: Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Step #2: Once the oil is hot, add the minced garlic and sauté for two minutes.

Step #3: Add the remaining ingredients and cook for three minutes.

Step #4: Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until thickened.

Sweet and smoky homemade BBQ sauce in a jar.

Expert Tips

  • Balance Sweetness and Tang: Adjust the sugar and vinegar ratios to achieve the perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess.
  • Simmer Slowly: A slow simmer allows flavors to meld and deepen.
  • Add a Sweetener Twist: Experiment with different sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or molasses for unique flavor profiles.
  • Incorporate Umami: A tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce can add depth and umami.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use garlic powder and onion powder in my homemade BBQ sauce?

Absolutely! Garlic powder provides a consistent, mellow flavor compared to its fresh counterparts. Onion powder adds a concentrated, savory depth without the texture of fresh onions.

Can I add more spices to my barbecue sauce?

Absolutely! Adding more spices can enhance and personalize your barbecue sauce. Experiment with different amounts of cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt, and consider introducing other spices to suit your taste.

Can I use homemade BBQ sauce as a marinade?

Yes, homemade BBQ sauce makes an excellent marinade for meats. It infuses flavors deeply, especially if marinated overnight. Just ensure the meat is fully coated and refrigerated while marinating.

How do I thicken my homemade BBQ sauce?

Let the sauce simmer longer to reduce and thicken naturally. Alternatively, mix a small amount of cornstarch with water and stir it into the sauce for quicker thickening.

Can homemade BBQ sauce be used for dipping?

Homemade BBQ sauce is excellent as a dip for a variety of foods, including French fries, chicken wings, chicken nuggets, vegetable sticks, and even as a spread on burgers and sandwiches.

Storage Info

Store your homemade BBQ sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. For longer storage, you can freeze it for up to three months. To freeze, pour the sauce into freezer-safe mason jars, containers or bags, leaving some space for expansion. When you’re ready to use it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. You can reheat the sauce by warming it in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature.

Did you try this recipe? Leave a ⭐️ rating below and share it on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest!

Homemade BBQ sauce in a jar.

Sweet and Smoky Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

Transform your barbecue experience with our quick, 20-minute Sweet and Smoky Homemade BBQ Sauce. Make extra for handy freezer storage and enjoy the homemade goodness anytime!
4.5 from 550 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Condiments & Sauces
Cuisine: North American
Diet: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 216kcal
Author: Linda
Print Recipe

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the minced garlic and sauté for two minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and cook for three minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until thickened.

NOTES

Storage Info:
Store your homemade BBQ sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. For longer storage, you can freeze it for up to three months. To freeze, pour the sauce into freezer-safe mason jars, containers or bags, leaving some space for expansion. When you’re ready to use it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. You can reheat the sauce by warming it in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 559mg | Potassium: 240mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 988IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg

Please note that Smoky BBQ Sauce Recipe is often misspelled as Smokey BBQ Sauce Recipe.

Want more inspiration?

More Recipes You'll Love

About the Author

Linda

Hi, I'm Linda! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel adventures from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. Be adventurous and try a new recipe and travel somewhere you have never been before.  Bon Appétit! Bon Voyage!  

Join the Conversation

Rate and Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please click on the Stars below to share your Rating of this Recipe




Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    I made this to go with some bison ribs. Very good simple sauce. I used maple syrup instead of brown sugar, and I only put a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper in. It was hot enough for us and fabulous. I am thinking this would be awesome on Smokies or wieners cooked on the fire.

    k

    1. Hi Jordan, so glad you have a new favorite! Sounds like some summer BBQ is going to be happening! – Linda