Once you realize how easy it is to make really good smoky BBQ sauce at home, you might never buy bottled again!
I know. It’s super easy to just grab a bottle of barbecue sauce at the store.
But do you know how easy it is to make your own? And from ingredients you probably already have on hand? And in about 15 minutes?
I do, and I’m sharing the recipe with you. And maybe best of all, this recipe isn’t just good—it’s really good. It’s everything you want in a barbecue sauce. It’s sweet, spicy, and smoky. And you can even adjust it to make it more or less so—if you like a sauce that’s sweeter, or spicier.
Homemade BBQ Sauces
You might remember when I shared a recipe for a Basic Homemade BBQ Sauce—with only three ingredients!—and that’s still my go-to when I’m short on ingredients and time. Or when I just want something super simple. But when I want my barbecued foods to have more depth, more flavor—more oomph—this is the recipe I use.
Like I said earlier, you can easily adjust the recipe to your taste. If you like it sweeter, just add some more brown sugar. If you like it spicier, just add more cayenne. If you want it totally mild, cut down on the cayenne, or leave it out altogether. And if you want it more or less smoky, just adjust the smoked paprika. You can also add a little liquid smoke if you want it smokier. But beware—a little of that goes a long way.
Can’t get enough BBQ sauces? Check out TheCookful for a whole series with BBQ sauces of all kinds!
Using This Smoky BBQ Sauce
Some of my favorite ways to use this sauce are on grilled chicken, grilled pork chops, grilled pork tenderloin, and ribs. But it’s also great as a burger topping, a sauce for pulled pork sandwiches, a dipping sauce for french fries, or even a pizza sauce for barbecued chicken pizza!
If you do a lot of grilling, you might want to make a double batch. Then stash it in a jar or bottle in your fridge—perhaps in the spot where you used to keep the store bought stuff?—and enjoy amazing homemade sauce again and again.
Yum! – Christine :)Print
Sweet, Spicy, Smoky BBQ Sauce
- Prep Time: 8 minutes
- Cook Time: 7 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups 1x
- Category: Sauce
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Once you realize how easy it is to make really good barbecue sauce at home, you might never buy bottled again!
- 1 cup ketchup
- ½ cup cider vinegar
- ½ cup molasses
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp. smoked paprika
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tsp. hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- ⅛ to ¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
- Salt, to taste
- Combine everything except the salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add salt to taste and set aside to cool.
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