Sweet, Spicy, Smoky BBQ Sauce Recipe

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • 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!


Units Scale
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • Pinch of ground cloves*
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Combine everything except the salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add salt to taste and set aside to cool.

Love this recipe? I’d appreciate it if you could scroll down and add a *5 star rating* to help others know they’ll love it as well!


*The original recipe that I posted here called for 1 teaspoon of cloves. I had feedback in the comments below that the cloves were way too prominent. I agree and believe that 1 teaspoon was a typo. I have changed it to a pinch, which gives a subtle hint of spicy clove, and definitely not the overpowering flavor others have experienced. My sincerest apologies for this mistake. Thank you to those who let me know about it. Your comments help so much!