This easy homemade barbecue sauce strikes the perfect balance between sweet, tangy, smokey, and just the right amount of heat. Try it on just about everything from ribs, chicken, or even shrimp!
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Barbecue season is upon us and honestly barbecuing is one of the only things I like about summer. If I'm being even more honest here - pretty much every season is barbecue sauce season for me! I love it on just about everything.
Sure it's easy to buy a bottle of barbecue sauce, but it seems like they are never quite right. Most are way too sweet and very few have enough flavor to overcome all of the sugar.
That's exactly why I decided to make this recipe. I wanted to make a sauce the way I wanted it, and I totally encourage you to do the same! Try this recipe and then tweak it to suit your preferences.
How to make an easy homemade barbecue sauce
You are gonna be so mad when I tell you how easy it is to make your own delicious sauce. I mean seriously this may be the easiest recipe I have ever shared.
You just mix up all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Ingredients and variations for this easy barbecue sauce
Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste - You can omit or decrease the tomato paste if you prefer a thinner sauce, or increase it if you prefer a thicker sauce.
Apple Cider Vinegar - Swap this with other vinegar varieties to totally change up the flavor of this sauce. You can also easily increase or decrease the amount of vinegar to make the sauce more or less tangy.
Honey or Maple Syrup - I actually like to use a blend of both for a really delicious flavor! If you would like to reduce the sugar/carb content in this sauce you can also use sugar-free maple syrup or a brown sugar substitute such as Lakanto Golden.
Molasses adds so much richness and flavor I don't recommend omitting it or substituting, but you can add a bit more if you'd like!
Liquid Smoke adds the delicious smoky flavor that gives barbecue sauce it's signature flavor. If you don't have it, you can sub the regular paprika for smoked paprika.
Salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, onion powder, ground mustard, cinnamon, and cayenne are the seasonings that I love. The cinnamon increased the sweetness without adding extra sugar and the cayenne adds just a touch of heat (you can increase or decrease the cayenne to control the heat)
How to store homemade barbecue sauce:
After the sauce has cooled, you can store it in the fridge in a sealed container for a couple of weeks, beyond that it will keep in the freezer for up to six months.
Be sure to check out these other great recipes:
- Crispy Low Carb Chicken Tenders
- Homemade Pecan Pesto
- Easy Homemade Marinara
- Jambalaya Kabobs
- Chicken Pesto Skewers
- Foil Pack Shrimp Scampi
Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large sauce pan. Stir until smooth and well combined.
- Heat to a low boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently. Once it reaches a boil, reduce to low and simmer, covered for 20 minutes.
- You can serve it immediately or allow it to cool and store in a sealed jar in the fridge for later!
Be sure to read the entire post for tips, tricks, and help troubleshooting.
The nutrition information listed here is only an estimate and is simply provided as a courtesy. It nor any other information within this post should constitute medical or nutritional advice. Be sure to read all packaging and ingredient labels for potential allergens. Optional ingredients are not included unless otherwise specified.