Homemade BBQ Sauce

By Maria Lichty

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Homemade BBQ Sauce is easy to make at home with ingredients you already have on hand. You will never buy store bought BBQ sauce after you try this sweet, tangy, and delicious BBQ sauce!

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Did you know you can make BBQ Sauce at home? Yep, and it is SO easy! Josh has been making his own BBQ sauce for years and the other day he asked me why his special homemade BBQ sauce hasn’t made it to the blog. I didn’t have an answer, I guess we have been too busy sharing other delicious recipes, no real reason. I promise I wasn’t trying to hide his easy BBQ sauce recipe:)

So today is the day, we are going to teach you how to make BBQ sauce in your own kitchen. You will never buy store bought sauce again!

How to Make BBQ Sauce

  • Josh’s BBQ sauce is simple to make and made with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and refrigerator. A lot of BBQ sauces start with ketchup, but Josh uses tomato sauce and tomato paste to avoid added sugars. This homemade BBQ sauce without ketchup is just as easy as using ketchup but even BETTER!
  • Josh’s BBQ sauce does have a secret ingredient, pineapple juice. Josh’s favorite BBQ Chicken Pizza has pineapple on it so Josh decided to try adding pineapple juice to his BBQ sauce and it was the perfect addition. It adds a nice sweetness and flavor.
  • Josh likes his BBQ sauce to have a little kick so he uses jalapeño and cayenne pepper. If you want the sauce to be on the milder side you could leave out one or both. But note-even with both it isn’t super spicy, they just add a nice little kick, so don’t be too afraid:)
  • To make the BBQ sauce, put all of the ingredients in a large skillet and heat until the flavors come together and it reduces just a little bit.

The BBQ sauce is sweet, tangy, with a little bit of spice, it is the perfect BBQ sauce and so easy to make at home! This easy BBQ sauce is perfect for marinating, grilling, and dipping. It is great for ribs, chicken, pulled pork, pizza, salads, and more!

The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. You will never buy store bought barbecue sauce again!

And Josh insists you try his BBQ Chicken Pizza or his easy BBQ French Bread Pizza.

And stay tuned because we have a great game day recipe that uses this BBQ sauce coming your way on Wednesday. You don’t want to miss it!

Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce

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Homemade BBQ Sauce

This easy homemade BBQ sauce is sweet, tangy, with a little spice. It is great for grilling, marinating, and dipping. You will never buy store bought BBQ sauce again. Homemade is the way to go!
4.88 from 8 votes


  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 jalapeño seeds removed and minced
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • In a large skillet, whisk together the tomato sauce, jalapeño, brown sugar, molasses, pineapple juice, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, smoked paprika, dried mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil over medium high heat and reduce to low heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the sauce slightly thickens.
  • Use the sauce immediately or store in the refrigerator in a jar or container for up to 2 weeks.

Have you tried this recipe?

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Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce-the BEST BBQ sauce and it's so easy to make at home!
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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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4.88 from 8 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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  1. Yes! I love making it at home, because it’s so fun to customize and change up the flavors! I need to try adding pineapple juice to mine next time!

    1. Ha! Pete can come cook with Josh anytime…and we can just hangout while they make us dinner:)

  2. mine is very similar but use grape juice instead of pineapple and I use habanero peppers for extra spicy … works great on wings

  3. I have a bottle of coconut/pineapple Carolina Reaper hot sauce, I could put a splash of that in it eh?

  4. 5 stars
    I made this the other day and it was outstanding! Things I did differently were that I made it in a pan instead of a skillet, and I omitted the jalapeño and cayenne. We just don’t care for spicy BBQ sauce. Other than that I followed everything else in the recipe and it turned out fabulous. Let’s just say we are no longer going to buy sauce at the store. I tried this recipe because it was really close to the ingredients in Sweet Baby Ray’s. In my opinion this is better than theirs 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    I always used Sweet Baby Ray….until I tried this. No more Rays!!!!! This is now my go-to Q!

    SWEET HEAT!!!!!

  6. Made this sauce this morning for the game day bbq chicken sandwiches! So easy and SOOOOO good! Thank you!! You’ll be my go to from now on for great family recipes!

  7. Love the recipe! I make something very similar, but add a touch of liquid smoke(a little goes a long way), and use crushed pineapple with it’s juice. The crushed. pineapple just adds another dimension to the texture and browns nicely. Thanks for the recipe!!

  8. This recipe was delicious! I used this sauce to make both pulled pork sandwiches and grilled wings and both turned out amazing. The sauce has a nice spicy kick but wasn’t overpowering. It was perfect!

  9. This sounds delicious and different from another one I make so I’m excited to try it! One question…we have mustard allergies in our house. Can I just omit it or do you think the flavor needs to be replaced with something? Thank you for all the great recipes!

  10. I’m going to try this recipe today minus the spicy stuff. Question, I would like to add some honey to it. Recommendations on how much to add, should I decrease how much molasses and brown sugar I add?

    1. I guess it depends on how sweet you want it. You can reduce the brown sugar a little and add honey…taste and adjust to your liking.

  11. How many cups does this recipe make? Is it at least enough to make your slow cooker bbq chicken recipe?

    1. You will have enough for the slow cooker BBQ chicken. You can always double it if you want extra!

  12. 5 stars
    This has become my go-to BBQ sauce recipe. Such a great recipe!! Also, I’ve learned to keep from wasting, I started using the little cans of pineapple juice so I can use a little at a time for smoothies, your sheetpan chicken fajitas (OMG so good, too!) and cocktails. This is such a great pantry staple recipe!

  13. 5 stars
    Used on bbq chicken recipe. Was worried it would be too spicy. Made as written and it was perfect – not too spicy but flavor kick. I want ten more ideas of how to use this sauce. The bbq chicken with this sauce was restaurant quality good.