Sweet & Smoky Barbecue Sauce – Homemade BBQ Sauce

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Sharing is caring!

Homemade Barbecue Sauce is easy to make and gives you control over ingredients. Barbecue season is finally here and it’s time to get grilling. It’s a treat to have your own homemade barbecue sauce on hand for slathering on ribs, chicken, and steaks.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Homemade = All Real Ingredients

In a homemade sauce, every ingredient is real and pronounceable, which is important. Many commercial sauces contain high fructose corn syrup, as well as artificial colouring and flavouring, along with starches, stabilizers, and preservatives. On top of that, add excessive amounts of sugar and sodium. One brand, which is one of the better ones, contains 17% of the Daily Value for sodium and 12 grams of sugar in just 2 teaspoons! I don’t know about you, but after reading those labels, an easy from-scratch sauce sounds pretty attractive.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce is Keeps Well

This is a basic barbecue sauce recipe, and once you’ve made it, you can customize it to your liking. You can make this sauce ahead and store it in the fridge, ready to use for your next grilling session. Thanks to the vinegar in the recipe, the sauce will keep in the fridge for several weeks. This recipe makes about 5 cups of sweet & smoky sauce for slathering on your grilled ribs or chicken.

About Liquid Smoke

I use organic natural ketchup or make my own, which also cuts down on the sugar. If you are unfamiliar with liquid smoke, it is simply smoke particles, from wood fire, which have been suspended in water. It’s used in many foods, such as smoked cheeses, fish, and meats, to get that smoky flavour, and is safe to use in small amounts. You can find liquid smoke in the spice section of the grocery store.

Making your own barbecue sauce is so easy and tasty, you’ll wonder why you ever bought it from the store. Use it on chicken, burgers, steaks and delicious barbecue recipes like Saucy Barbecued Baby Back Ribs.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Two jars of sauce and a basting brush on a cutting board

Sweet & Smoky Barbecue Sauce

Homemade barbecue sauce is easy to make and allows you to control the sugar and sodium. This sweet and smoky sauce will become your new favourite.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauces, Dips & Toppings
Cuisine: Barbecue
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 cups
Calories: 39kcal
Author: Colleen


  • 6 tbsp packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp dark rum
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 4 cups ketchup
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • In a large, deep, non-reactive saucepan, combine all ingredients except for the ketchup. 
  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until all ingredients are dissolved, about 5 minutes. 
  • Stir in the ketchup and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, as the ketchup may spatter. 
  • Reduce heat slightly and allow to simmer, uncovered, until thickened, stirring often, for about 30 minutes.
  • Use right away or transfer to jars, storing in the fridge once cooled. 


Serving: 2tbsp | Calories: 39kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.4g | Protein: 0.4g | Sodium: 247mg | Potassium: 112mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 8.4g | Calcium: 100mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @TheFoodBlog or tag #thefoodblog!
  • Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.