Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce

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Homemade BBQ Sauce is so good, and really so easy.

You’ll probably have everything you need already in your pantry.  The taste is authentic and it literally comes together in only about 20 minutes! We use it on our BBQ ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, and BBQ brisket sandwiches!

A small glass pitcher pouring easy homemade BBQ sauce over cooked baby back ribs.


Preparing this amazing sauce could not be easier.

All you have to do is add all the ingredients into a medium saucepan over medium heat and then simmer for about 15 minutes.

And that’s all there is to it! It’s now ready to use immediately, or store for later use.

Homemade BBQ sauce being pour over a brisket in a Crock-Pot slow-cooker for BBQ brisket sandwiches.

We just love everything about barbecue. Including reading about its amazing origins.

This Homemade BBQ Sauce is the key to truly knock-out BBQ taste…right at home.

EXPERT TIP: Store the sauce in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks. You can freeze it for up to 3 months!

Slow Cooker Ribs recipe

We can’t rave enough about this Homemade BBQ Sauce. We use in on so many dishes, including Incredible Slow-Cooker Baby Back RibsBest-Ever BBQ Shrimp, and Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork!

This make-at-home recipe is so easy and wonderful in taste. You’ll never buy store-bought variety again! It’s that good!

And when you make an amazing dish using this incredible bbq sauce, take a photo, post it to Instagram, and tag @howtofeedaloon and #howotofeedaloon!

Easy BBQ sauce

Easy BBQ Sauce

This Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce is just that, easy...but really, really delicious. Perfect for slow cooker ribs and Southern Grilled BBQ Shrimp.  You'll never buy the store-bought variety again! It's really that good!
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: BBQ / Southern
Keyword: authentic BBQ sauce, Barbecue, Homemade BBQ Sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 117kcal


  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar dark
  • ½ cup yellow mustard
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup steak sauce A-1 is just fine
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp hot sauce like Tobasco, Franks, or Louisiana
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced


  • Mix the chili powder, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, steak sauce, molasses, honey, and hot sauce. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring often, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the chili mixture and stir until the onions are coated. Sauté for about 2 minutes.
  • Carefully pour the ketchup mixture into the skillet and stir to fully combine. Bring to a simmer. Allow the sauce to simmer for 15 minutes.
  • If desired, strain the sauce through a sieve or colander. Let cool and then transfer to vessel with lid. The sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.



NOTE: This recipe was updated in June, 2022.  Here is the previous recipe if you are looking for it:
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (ancho, or regular)
  • 1 tsp cumin (ground)1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp hot sauce (like Crystals, Tobasco, or Franks)
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (ground)
  • 2 tbsp bourbon (optional)
Whisk all ingredients together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool.
Cooked (and cooled) sauce can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and frozen for up to 3 months. 


Calories: 117kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 743mg | Potassium: 379mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 604IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!


  • 5 stars
    You guys are my favorite! This BBQ sauce is amazing! Made the updated version to a T! Oh my goodness, yum!

    Making your guy’s slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches with this BBQ and will turn it into your sauce with your amazing cole slaw!

    I cannot wait for dinner tonight. It has smelled devine, all day!

    Thanks for the beautiful recipes, guys!

    • Hi Amy! We usually serve it room temp or slightly warmed. If your serving it with hot food, the cold BBQ sauce could be unappealing, but not really bad. We hope you try it and let us know what you think! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • Hi there, I noticed that the BBQ sauce recipe has been updated. Would you be able to share the old one that you had on previously?

    • Hi there! We are so so sorry! We did recently update the recipe. It’s amazing, by the way, but we understand if you’re familiar (and prefer) the older version. We will get it and include it in the NOTES of the recipe card. Thank you!

    • Hi Mike! So sorry for the delayed response here. We find that all the flavors mellow after the sauce cools down and chills for a while. We think the cider vinegar adds just the right amount of zip to the BBQ sauce, and we’re really sorry the quantity didn’t work for you! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • Hi! Just made it and it has a very strong chili powder flavor to it. Plan on using it tomorrow for your slow cooker ribs.. any way I can dilute that flavor??

  • Hi Kris, Just wondering if this works for Beef Baby Back ribs as they are currently out defrosting and would there be any changes to the recipe. Cheers

    • Hi Di! Oh yes yes yes! We think our BBQ sauce is BEST on beef baby back ribs!!! I’d suggest preparing them the way you normally would, and then slather the sauce on in the last 30 minutes of cooking, and then serve more sauce on the side. You’re making me hungry!!!! Let us know how they turn out!!

  • 4 stars
    Excellent, made it today and really enjoyed it. Did not have molasses so replaced it with brown sugar.

    • That is a perfect substitution!! We are so glad you enjoyed our BBQ sauce recipe and thanks so much for letting us know! We really appreciate that!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

    • So sorry for the delayed response! Liquid smoke really doesn’t have a decent substitute. The sauce is so flavorful, you’ll still get a good BBQ sauce, even w/out the liquid smoke. We hope this helps and let us know if you make it and how it turns out!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Enjoyed reading through this, very good stuff, thankyou .

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