how to make quick and easy bbq sauce | Family Cuisine

This sauce is quick and easy to make, but it's also full of flavor. It's a great way to use up leftover chicken or beef while still keeping your meal budget in check.

This BBQ Sauce Recipe is easy to throw together and absolutely delicious! Fast to make and with ingredients you already have on hand, you are going to make this homemade bbq sauce all the time.

Pair this BBQ sauce recipe with my Chicken Rub for the perfect grilled bbq chicken.

up close of bbq sauce recipe in a wide mouth ball jar with it dripping down the side and grilled bbq chicken in the background

The other day, I shared with my my Chicken Rub recipe, which is a great dry rub that makes chicken on the grill so flavorful. And if you wanted to stop with just that, you absolutely could. But! If you don’t, I have for you this amazing homemade bbq sauce that compliments the rub perfectly. Made with ingredients that I bet you already have, this sauce comes together in under 30 minutes and is perfect for all your summer grilling!

How to Make BBQ Sauce

  1. Combine Ingredients: Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a boil: After being over medium heat for a few minutes, large bubbles will start to appear.
  3. Reduce to a simmer: You should turn the heat down after it boils and allow it to simmer, seeing only intermittent bubbles.
  4. Simmer for 15 minutes: This allows the sauce to thicken and the flavors to develop.

For the full instructions and measurements be sure to see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

BBQ Sauce Ingredients

  • brown sugar
  • ketchup
  • apple cider vinegar (see note)
  • paprika
  • onion powder
  • black pepper
  • worcestershire sauce
  • kosher salt
brushing homemade bbq sauce recipe onto a chicken drumstick with an orange brush

How to Use This Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

Traditionally, bbq sauce is meant to go on the meat after it has been completely cooked. It isn’t really meant to be part of the cooking process. You can see this in the making of my Honey BBQ Ribs.

That said, I do have two recipes in which I use BBQ sauce as the part of the liquid for cooking, and they did in fact turn out amazing.


Can you guys tell that I have a thing for honey bbq?

Can You Use this BBQ Sauce as a Marinade?

You guys, I’m all about breaking rules. Especially when it comes to cooking. It should be a fun creative process that makes you really happy.

Generally speaking, no. You don’t use BBQ Sauce as a marinade. It goes on after the cooking has happened.

If you do want to use this bbq sauce recipe as a marinade, don’t allow the meat to sit for more than a half hour. There is quite a bit of vinegar in this recipe, which acts as an acid and will break down the meat. If you let it sit too long it will break down the meat too much.

rectangular white plate piled with chicken drumsticks covered in easy homemade bbq sauce recipe

Apple Cider Vinegar in BBQ Sauce

Speaking of vinegar, lets talk about it. The tang in this recipe comes from apple cider vinegar. In fact, in the 2 1/2 cups that this recipe makes, 1/2 a cup is vinegar. Plus you have the acidity of the ketchup.

That’s a lot of tang guys. I love the flavor of it. I think it balances the the sweetness and the smokiness of the other flavors perfectly. That said, if you are worried it will be too acidic, I would start with 1/4 cup, taste it and add more vinegar until you get to taste you want or 1/2 cup, whichever comes first.

How Long Can You Store BBQ Sauce

The vinegar and sugar in this recipe both act as natural preservatives, so this easy homemade bbq sauce recipe should keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Things to keep in mind:

  • It should be stored in an air tight container.
  • Keep it in the refrigerator.
  • If the sauce looks as though it has separated, it should be tossed.
  • Obviously if there are signs of mold it should be discarded.
  • When using this homemade bbq sauce avoid brushing cooked meat, and then dipping the brush back in the container, introducing bacteria to the sauce. Rather, pour some from the jar into a bowl and brush from there.

Can this Recipe be Canned?

This recipe has a high acidity level and has not been tested with canning.

spoon dipping into a mason jar full of easy homemade bbq sauce

Other Great Homemade Recipes

  • Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Chick Fil A Sauce

If you try this recipe, come back and let me know what you think! I love hearing from you!

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