Homemade Barbecue Sauce Recipes

Category Sauces
Barbecue sauce is great for dipping and makes a great marinade. Making your own allows you to make it as spicy or sweet as you want. This page contains homemade barbecue sauce recipes.


Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these recipes. If you have made this recipe please submit a photo and let us know how it worked. Or, add your own recipe variation.


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. celery seeds
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. season salt


Mix ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, celery seeds, chili powder and seasoned salt in mixing bowl with wire whisk. Makes about 1 3/4 cups.

Use as baste when cooking meats.

Source: Newspaper clipping, no date

By Vi Johnson from Moorpark, CA

Comment Was this helpful? 3

This has just enough bite to be great without being overpowering. We have used this recipe for about 20 years.



Simmer all ingredients in a large pot for 30 minutes, covered, stirring a few times. Makes about 1 3/4 quarts.

Source: My cousin, although her version was quite a bit more spicy. If you like it spicy, go for more chili powder and Worcestershire sauce.


By ms. carmen

Comment Was this helpful? 1

Made with items right from your cupboard.



Mix all together after you have sauteed the onion, simmer to blend flavors. Cool and refrigerate.

By Ann Winberg from Loup City, NE

Comment Was this helpful? 2

A really good BBQ chicken dippin' sauce.


  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 and 1/2 cups apple juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • your favorite hot pepper sauce, to taste


Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Simmer in a pan over low heat. Stir to blend and melt the sugar. Use for both mopping and dipping barbeque sauce.


Note: I like to use the White House brand of apple juice and apple cider vinegar, Dixie Crystal light brown sugar, Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce, McCormick garlic and onion powder, and Trappey's Bull Sauce.

Servings: Depends on number of chicken
Prep Time: 4 -5 minutes
Cooking Time: 6 minutes

Source: Been using this for years!

By John Luse from Columbus, GA

Comment Was this helpful? 1

This is a wonderful thick sauce that I use with chicken tenders and it really makes them plump and juicy when baked. We like them better than fried tenders. Don't use this sauce for dipping because it may be too strong to do so.

Comment Was this helpful? 3

Excellent sauce!

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This is a delightful blend of flavors! If you're using it to cook in the oven or slower cooker instead of grilling, just add a drop or two of liquid smoke for a grill flavor.

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Cook your meat. Boil sauce 5 minutes before using on meat.

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Homemade is better and less expensive than store bought ;-) Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan and simmer over a low heat, uncovered for 20 minutes.

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Not sure if this is really an authentic Weight Watcher recipe, but it sure does taste good!

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Saute onion in hot oil until tender. Add remaining ingredients; simmer 15 minutes.

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Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Makes 1 3/4 cups.

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Recipe for Golden Ember Barbecue Sauce. Mix together and heat to boiling. Use hot on chicken!

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I have a son with colitis. He can't eat beef, so he eats a lot of chicken and turkey. Barbecue sauce is one of his favorite things to put on poultry, but almost all store bought bbq sauces have a base of vinegar, a big no-no for him. Too much spice is also bad. Id appreciate any bbq sauce recipes that don't use acids or a lot of spice. Garlic and onion are OK. He also loves peach mango salsa, so some fruit is OK. Molasses and teriyaki are OK, too. A small amount of mustard is fine, but not too much. Thank you.


By Di from Wilsonville, OR


May 13, 20090 found this helpful

I don't have a recipe, but try rolling your own.
Looking at the last few lines of your post, it seems that you have a pretty good start on the ingredient list. On the assumption you want a tomato based sauce, try subbing lemon or lime juice for the vinegar. Most tomato based sauces are heavy on the sweetener. Both molasses and brown sugar are popular. Add either to some tomato sauce along with sauteed onion, garlic, and bell pepper, (finely chopped) then simmer at a low heat. Don't even taste it for at least an hour. Don't be afraid to add water. Stuff to add at this point, a few red pepper flakes(?), a little mustard, a few drops of liquid smoke, the citrus juices. If teriyaki is OK, ( contains vinegar ) try that. Also maybe Worcestershire sauce (vinegar too). For my taste buds, I find adding a little tomato paste gives it a sweet tangy zing.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 13, 20090 found this helpful

Both of these recipes call for ketchup, but if he can't have ketchup, you can substitute tomato soup or tomato sauce.


Here is a recipe that only uses 2 ingredients, ketchup and a can of cola.

Here is a recipe with just a few ingredients, only 1 tbsp. vinegar, you could leave that out.

I hope these are the type of recipes you are looking for. Best of luck in your search.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 15, 20090 found this helpful

I haven't tried this personally, but it might help. 1 10 3/4 ounce of condensed Tomato Soup, 2 Tablespoons of honey, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder. Stir together and use when you grill your chicken.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

I want to make a homemade barbeque type sauce, but not super sweet. I have ketchup without corn syrup, Dijon mustard, garlic and onion powders, hot sauce, and a few other things that might work. I don't want to waste the ingredients just mixing things.


By jules from San Juan, PR


April 6, 20110 found this helpful

Start with one cup catsup. Put in bowl. Add 2 tablespoons brown sugar, or white sugar and a 1/2
teaspoon molasses if you don't have brown sugar. Add 1 tablespoon cider vinegar. Add very tiny dab
of dijon if you don't have dry mustard. Like less than a teaspoon. If you have dry mustard, add 1/2 teaspoon.
Use 1/2 teaspoon or less onion powder. Stir and let sit 15 minutes. Taste. You can add a tiny
bit more brown sugar, or a tiny bit more vinegar. If you happen to have liquid smoke you could add one drop.

I am suggesting the smallest amounts so that if you don't get it the way you want, it's not a waste of ingredients.
But barbeque sauce is catsup, brown sugar, vinegar, onions or onion powder, dry mustard or some other kind.

Tinker with it; it should come out acceptable.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 7, 20110 found this helpful

I've made this recipe before and it was a delightful blend! You can reduce the recipe by half the first time you make it, so as to not be wasteful if you don't like it, and you can substitute the cayenne with your hot sauce. You don't have to refrigerate for a day before using but it does taste much better if you do. ;-)

Missouri Barbecue Sauce

2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, until sauce has slightly thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool before storing in an airtight container and refrigerate for a day to let the flavors blend.

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Answer this Question...

August 13, 2016

Try making this delicious barbecue sauce using rhubarb. This is a page about rhubarbecue sauce.

Rhubarb leaves stuffed with meat and topped with a rhubarb sauce

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January 30, 2013

This page contains southern barbeque sauce recipes. Generally this kind is a bit hotter and spicier than regular BBQ sauce.

Southern Barbecue Sauce

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January 29, 2013

When the sauce you need isn't on hand, you may have the ingredients you need to make some. This page contains quick barbecue sauce recipes.

Quick Barbeque Sauce

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January 29, 2013

This page contains white barbecue sauce recipes. Try mayonnaise based barbecue sauce, popular in Alabama, as an alternative to the familiar tomato base types

White Barbecue Sauce

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

May 11, 2009

My husband and I make an easy barbecue sauce (a thin brush-on type, not the thick kind) that is great for summer cookouts. It works good on chicken and pork (esp. ribs!), and you can even use it on steaks. Use the cheapest brands for all the ingredients. Believe me, it tastes better than the store-bought BBQ sauces! Here's how to make it:

In a stainless steel pot, combine:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup mustard
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • a liberal dash of hot pepper sauce
  • 2 cups water

Mix and cook all the ingredients about an hr. over low heat. BBQ sauce will be thin, not thick, and can be brushed over grilling meats. Store in refrigerator in a container. Should last at least a month.

OR you can parboil ribs, chicken, etc. IN the sauce, then use the remainder to brush on the cooking meat. However, if you par-cook any meat in the sauce, use it all up immediately on whatever you are cooking . . . once it is "contaminated" by the meat, do not save it.


Ness - Lakeview, NY


Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Sounds good I think I will try it let you know soon. (08/06/2004)

By jlbbryant

An Easy BBQ sauce Just for You

Ketchup and cola mixed together. More or less cola as needed.
Yes it really tastes just like BBQ sauce.

By Ardis Ilene Barnes (05/19/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Yes! I have used coke and ketchup for years and it does work in a pinch! I also add brown sugar, onions, and seasoning like onion powder, etc., whatever you perfer. Honey can also be added if you really like it sweet! (07/03/2005)

By Kathy

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

With the amount of vinegar in the recipe, it should keep almost indefinitely. I make my own sauce and i keep it from fall into spring when I grill again. I've never had a problem with it.
My recipe only has 6 ingredients, but it keeps very well. (05/23/2007)

By Marty

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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