Sweet and Smoky Homemade BBQ Sauce

An easy, 20-minute Sweet and Smoky Homemade BBQ Sauce recipe. Make a double batch and keep leftovers in the freezer for ease and convenience!

Sweet and Smoky Homemade BBQ Sauce. Smoky Barbecue Sauce Recipe.

This Sweet and Smoky BBQ Sauce is what dreams are made of.

With summertime here, it’s time to roll up your sleeves, bust out your basting brush, and get down to some serious grilling business.

Sweet and Smoky Homemade BBQ Sauce. It is a great smoky sauce.

My secret ingredient for homemade barbecue sauce is a touch of smoked paprika. It adds just enough of that earthy, smoky flavor without overwhelming the sweetness of the sauce.

Here’s a few ideas on ways to use this BBQ sauce:

Baste it on some pork ribs during the last thirty minutes on the smoker

Serve it as a dip for french fries or onion rings

Toss it with leftover chicken and make Southern-fusion tacos

Add some smoky flavor to your regular pulled pork recipe

Make a Tex-Mex inspired Tamale Pie (check out the recipe here and see the photo below)

Tex Mex BBQ Chicken Tamale Pie

Use it as a smoky BBQ marinade

Sweet and Smoky Homemade BBQ Sauce. It is a great smoked sauce.

This smoked BBQ sauce will keep in your fridge for about two weeks, but feel free to make a larger batch and freeze it in mason jars for convenient homemade deliciousness throughout the year.

I buy these half pint mason jars like they are going out of style. Some mason jars are labeled specifically for freezer use (like these ones), but I’ve had great success using the regular old canning ones, too.

I also use the half pint jars as drinking glasses when we have people over during the summer. They are so easy to store when not in use!

Sweet and Smoky Homemade Barbecue Sauce. It is a great homemade smoky bbq sauce!

Spend 20 minutes making this homemade BBQ sauce this week and report back on all of the fun ways you used it!

Here’s the Recipe!

Sweet and Smoky Homemade BBQ Sauce

Sweet and Smoky Homemade BBQ Sauce

An easy, 20-minute Sweet and Smoky Homemade BBQ Sauce recipe. Make a double batch and keep leftovers in the freezer for ease and convenience!

Yield: 4
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 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


  1. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the minced garlic and saute two minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and let cook for three minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes until thickened.




Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207|Total Fat: 11g|Saturated Fat: 1g|Trans Fat: 0g|Unsaturated Fat: 9g|Cholesterol: 0mg|Sodium: 570mg|Carbohydrates: 30g|Fiber: 1g|Sugar: 24g|Protein: 1g|

Nutrition information has been auto-calculated for your convenience.

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Did you make this recipe?

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


July 7, 2014 | Last Updated on April 12, 2021 by Linda

16 thoughts on “Sweet and Smoky Homemade BBQ Sauce”

  1. I’m sure the creator of good recipes doesn’t like people messing with the original but, I made this once and it was very good but not quite to my taste. Just like Baskin Robbins says, not everyone likes the same flavor. I doubled the Brown Sugar, used half as much of the Cayenne and Chili powder, A teaspoon of Liquid Smoke and added a Jigger of Kentucky Bourbon. { Just because I like Bourbon }.
    My wife said that we will never buy store bought sauce again.
    Just my take on it. Great recipe.

  2. I made this on Saturday for some chicken & pineapple kebabs, and my god was it amazing. I doubled the batch but did not double the cayenne (I’m a baby when it comes to spice) and it was absolutely perfect. I will be making this again and again, probably forever.

    • Vinnie,

      All The Wanderlust Kitchen recipes are available for you to make. Enjoy this BBQ sauce.

      – Linda

  3. I found that the teaspoon of Cayenne was a tad to much. I suggest people start with a 1/2 teaspoon and increase it if they feel they can handle it. To much kind of blanks out your taste buds to the food you are putting it on. A sauce should enhance flavours not dominate.

  4. I like the recipe, I have been making a similar sauce for years now, but I add crushed pineapple(2-3 table spoons), and a pinch of cumin, and lastly I add a little bit of butter, to smooth the flavors out.keep recipes coming.

    • Made this for the first time last night for Hunters Chicken – just written it out in the ‘keepers’ recipe folder! I will enjoy playing with the spices to get our household’s sweet spot. If others aren’t keen on oil, i’d suggest care with the amount of olive oil, 3 tblspoons seemed too much and it floated… i’m wondering if a US tablespoon is what we’d call a dessert spoon in Ùk? Thanks for the great recipe, my eye is caught by the tex mex tamale now!

  5. This looks absolutely delicious and simple to make! I may give it a try, since I’m almost out of my favourite store-bought BBQ sauce!

  6. Oooh, this looks delish! 🙂

    I’ve always disliked the processed flavours of most BBQ sauce so I’m looking forward to putting this into my fridge – especially since I make my own bad-ass ketchup anyway 😀


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