Tangy and Sweet Barbecue Sauce
Indulge in the mouthwatering flavors of this homemade sweet and spicy BBQ sauce. With just the right amount of heat to leave a tantalizing sensation, I’ve been generously slathering this sauce on practically everything in my kitchen lately!
This delectable barbecue sauce strikes the perfect balance between tanginess and sweetness. It pairs perfectly with chicken, makes a delightful dip for potato wedges, adds zest to steak bites, and can even be mixed into ranch dressing for an extra kick.
What sets this sauce apart is not just its taste but also the ease with which you can whip it up right in your own kitchen. In fact, you can make it in less time than it takes to check out at the grocery store. Plus, you’ll appreciate that all the ingredients are easily recognizable and pronounceable.
I’m a huge fan of homemade barbecue sauces, and whenever I stumble upon a winning recipe like this one, it’s only fair to share it with all of you.
This barbecue sauce is a slight modification of Half-Baked Harvest’s Sweet Baby Ray’s Copycat Recipe. And let me tell you, many have attested that this Sweet and Spicy Homemade Barbecue Sauce is on par with Sweet Baby Ray’s. But, in all honesty, I believe this sauce surpasses the store-bought version in terms of flavor and depth.
Curious to compare, I purchased a bottle of the original Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce. While it was undeniably delicious, the homemade flavors in this sauce run deeper, making it my preferred choice. (Frankly, I struggle to find many instances where a homemade version doesn’t outshine a store-bought one!)
Ketchup serves as the base for this barbecue sauce, and it’s elevated by the combination of brown sugar, molasses, and apple cider vinegar, which contribute to its delightful sweetness. Meanwhile, Hungarian paprika adds a mild and pleasant depth without overpowering the sauce’s overall sweetness.
The Perfect Balance of Spice
My family, including those who aren’t particularly fond of spicy food, thoroughly enjoys the spicy kick this sweet barbecue sauce delivers. Of course, I add the optional cayenne pepper for that extra zing. Surprisingly, even my non-spice-loving folks relish this sauce to the fullest.
If you’re a bit apprehensive about the heat, I recommend giving the sauce a taste test before adding any cayenne. Then, if you’d like to incorporate some heat, add the cayenne gradually, tasting as you go.
Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce Recipe
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan. Whisk until smooth, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer for approximately 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Allow the sauce to cool for a few minutes before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate until needed. Enjoy!
More Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipes to Explore
For additional homemade BBQ sauce recipes, check out some of our favorites:
- Sriracha Bourbon Barbecue Sauce: This fiery, flavorsome barbecue sauce boasts a hint of smoke and pairs exquisitely with beef, chicken, or pork.
- Peach Barbecue Sauce: A tangy-sweet sauce with a subtle peach essence. Despite the significant peach portion, the flavor remains delicately in the background, creating a delightful combination.
- Tangy Memphis BBQ Sauce: Thinner and tangier than most store-bought barbecue sauces, this version wonderfully balances tanginess and spice.
- Korean BBQ Sauce: A game-changing sauce that is sweet, tangy, garlicky, and slightly spicy. It can accompany traditional barbecue fare or elevate the flavors of stir-fries, lettuce wraps, and fried rice.
- Spicy Barbecue Sauce: Designed for spice enthusiasts, this sauce features the perfect balance of heat and subtle sweetness. It’s sure to tingle the back of your throat.
- Easy Ribs: This sauce complements these Easy Ribs to perfection. Making your own barbecue sauces is incredibly simple, allowing you to adjust the sweetness and heat to suit your preferences.
Give this delightful homemade BBQ sauce a try. Its sweet and spicy flavors are perfect for grilling and will undoubtedly elevate your culinary adventures!
Originally published on 10/30/14. Recipe notes and photos updated on 10/14/22.