This easy homemade BBQ sauce recipe is packed with flavor and made with simple ingredients you have in your pantry. Serve it up with all your favorite foods.
While I love a great BBQ sauce from the store, this homemade version is great if you’re in a pinch. As I developed this homemade BBQ sauce, I realized that it actually isn’t very hard to make it from scratch.
All of the ingredients are cooked and simmered together to bring out their best natural flavors before being blended to a smooth consistency that you can easily spread over your cooked meats. (If you like your sauce chunky, you don’t have to blend it).
Why This Easy BBQ Sauce Recipe Works
- There’s no ketchup. I wanted to try it truly from scratch, so I opted to leave out ketchup and make my own tomato and vinegar base. Using ketchup would have been fine but making this homemade BBQ sauce without ketchup makes it feel more authentic.
- The steps are simple and basic. All you do is add the ingredients into a saucepot and let them simmer low and slow. Once the sauce has simmered and reduced, all you have to do is blend it until it’s smooth. This homemade bbq sauce easy recipe will have you coming back for more.
- It goes great on anything. Serve this tasty BBQ sauce over your favorite pork, chicken, or beef recipes and it’s sure to be a hit either way. It even makes for a great sauce on your homemade BBQ pizzas.
Ingredients for Homemade BBQ Sauce
- Cooking oil
- Dried mustard
- Cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
- Crushed pineapple
- Tomato sauce
- Brown sugar
- Liquid smoke
For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
How to Make Homemade BBQ Sauce
- Heat your cooking oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Add in the onions and cook until they are translucent.
- Add in the garlic, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Now add in the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Let the sauce simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce is darker and has been reduced.
- Blend in a food processor o blender for a smoother texture if desired.
- Keep your sauce in an airtight container in the fridge.
How to Store Easy BBQ Sauce
Once you have made your homemade BBQ sauce, you can easily store it in a jar in the fridge. I find it lasts for quite a while, but the recommended food safety guidelines suggest no more than 7 days.
Ways to Use Easy BBQ Sauce
If you’re looking for some creative ways to use up your latest batch of homemade sauce, here are a few tasty suggestions:
- Adding it to baked beans
- Smothering a rack of ribs
- Glazing the top of your next meatloaf
- Making a BBQ chicken pizza
- Use as a burger sauce
- Make BBQ beef sliders
- Enjoy some Instant Pot BBQ chicken
- Package it up nicely in small mason jars and give them out as gifts
With so many different options you’ll never be bored. There’s always something fun and creative you can do with barbecue sauce.
Yes, absolutely! This sauce goes great with anything from chicken wings to chicken thighs, breasts, or even whole chicken. Grilled, oven-baked, or air-fried, you’ll find a great excuse to serve up this sauce with your next chicken dinner.
Yes, if you keep your sauce stored in an airtight container you can freeze it for up to 3 months. To use it simply place the container in the fridge to defrost overnight and you’re good to go! I freeze it in 1 cup portions in Ziplock bags. Check out this post for tons of more freezer meal ideas!
The four different types are Kansas City (a tomato base sweetened with molasses), Carolina (vinegar-based and usually served on the side), Memphis (a mixture of dry rubs and sauces, usually with a tomato tangy base), and Texas (a low and slow-cooked meat with dry rub instead of sauces).
Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe
- 2 teaspoons oil vegetable or canola
- 1/2 cup onions chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1/4 cup crushed pineapple use pineapple and the juice
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke optional
- 1/4 cup water
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Add onions and cook until translucent.
- Add garlic, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes longer.
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sauce is darker and reduced.
- Blend, if desired.
- Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.