This lusciously thick BBQ sauce is sweet, smoky and tangy.
Using simple store cupboard ingredients, it’s ready in less than 10 minutes.
Use it as a basting sauce, dip or pouring sauce – perfect for chicken wings, hot dogs and burgers!

Spoonful being taken from a jar of homemade bbq sauce
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This is THE sauce.

The sauce that turned me from a barbecue sauce ‘meh’ person, to barbecue sauce lover.
It’s the first time in my life that I now reach for barbecue sauce rather than ketchup for my french fries and hot dogs.

Made of store cupboard ingredients, it’s got a lovely smoky, sweet and tangy flavour to it.
And this recipe makes 2 cups. So that’ll last at least a week right? ahem.

Ingredients for barbecue sauce

  • For sweetness – tomato ketchup, dark brown sugar, black treacle and honey
  • For tang – white wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce
  • For a bit of heat and smokiness – mustard powder, smoked paprika and black pepper
  • Plus a little vegetable oil to bring it all together and make it smooth and glossy.
Ingredients for BBQ on a wooden table

How to make barbecue sauce from scratch

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a saucepan and mix together.
  2. Heat over a medium-high heat, until boiling, then simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. That’s it!

You might notice that the sauce smells a little vinegary when bubbling in the pan, but the vinegar smell and taste mellows beautifully as the sauce cools

8 image collage showing how to make bbq sauce

What to serve it with

You can serve this tasty homemade bbq sauce with:

Or Pretty much anything on the BBQ

What would you serve it on or with?
Now I’m a BBQ sauce convert, I need more ideas!!

Jar of homemade bbq sauce with a basting brush on top, chicken wings in the background

How do you use barbecue sauce?

Use it as a dip for fries or veggies, as a basting sauce for wings, ribs and chicken pieces (brush on during cooking for the last 10 minutes of cooking), as a pouring sauce for hot dogs and burgers or even as a base sauce for pizzas.

You can also add a tablespoon or two to chilli con carne, casseroles, bolognese or shepherds pie for a nice flavour kick!

Want a bit of spice?

Add 2 tbsp of sriracha or 0.5 – 1 tsp hot chilli powder to the pan at the same time as the rest of the ingredients.

homemade bbq sauce in a jar. A basting brush being dipped in.

Watch how to make it

YouTube video

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4.88 from 32 votes

BBQ Sauce

This lusciously thick BBQ sauce is sweet, smoky and tangy.Using simple store cupboard ingredients, it's ready in less than 10 minutes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 30 servings (makes about 2 cups)
Course: Sauces, side dish
Cuisine: American


  • 300 ml (1 1/4 cups) tomato ketchup
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 5 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp black treacle or molasses
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp mustard powder or 1 tsp English mustard
  • 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper freshly ground
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  • Place all of the ingredients in a saucepan and mix together.
    300 ml (1 1/4 cups) tomato ketchup, 4 tbsp white wine vinegar, 5 tbsp dark brown sugar, 2 tbsp black treacle or molasses, 3 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tsp mustard powder, 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Heat over a medium-high heat, until boiling, then simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and allow to cool before serving or storing.


YouTube video


Can I make it ahead?
Yes, make the barbecue sauce, then cool cover and refrigerate. Reheat in a pan until it’s warm before tossing with the wings.
It should last at least 2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.
Can I freeze it?
Yes, make the sauce, cool it, then pour into a freezer-proof bag. Remove any air from the bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Defrost overnight in the refrigerator and give it a stir before using (you could warm it up in a pan if you like too).
How to scale up and scale down this recipe:
You can scale up and down the recipe without changing any of the ratios.
So if you only want to make 1 cup of sauce, halve the ingredients.
If you want to make 4 cups of sauce, double the ingredients.
It will take longer to come to the boil if you’re making more, but you will still only need 5 minutes simmering time.
Nutritional information is per serving – this recipe makes approx 2 cups – which is about 30 servings of 1 tablespoon.


Calories: 35kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 97mg | Potassium: 60mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 101IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

Welcome to Kitchen Sanctuary

Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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  1. Serafina w says:

    Fantastic recipes. Thank you, I’ve just prepared the bbq sauce, looks, tastes and smells delicious.

  2. Robin Aspden says:

    i have taken several of your recipes and been happy your barbeque sauce not so much im going to try adding finely chopped onion to it for me not enough substance to the sauce.

  3. Norman A says:

    4 stars
    Lovely very tasty

  4. adrian taylor says:

    5 stars
    Brilliant sauce, nice balance between sweetness and tang, didn’t have any Worcestershire sauce in the fridge so I substituted it with dark soy, next I will use Worcestershire sauce and see what difference it makes. Other than that it was great on the pork ribs I barbecued and as a dipping sauce for the wings as well. Will definitely be the go to sauce for me, so easy to make.

  5. Jackie Richardson says:

    5 stars
    I made Hunters Chicken for tea and used your homemade Bbq Sauce
    So easy to make and much nicer than shop bought 10/10 for me 😁

  6. Joseph MacDonald says:

    5 stars
    Looks great and easy to make

  7. Monica says:

    Very tasty and easy to follow recipe

  8. John says:

    5 stars
    The best BBQ sauce you will ever want to make