Full of flavor and seasonings, this easy bbq sauce recipe is a stand-out condiment that knows how to make a meal special.
You can go to any grocery store and pick up one of a vast array of bottled barbecue sauces if you like. Some are better than others and they’re all pretty good, but few stand out from the crowd as really unique.
So a couple of years back, I spent a few weeks developing my own homemade bbq sauce recipe (this is it). I made a different recipe each day for about a week until I came up with the base flavor I liked. Then I spent another week or so tweaking it to get the flavors just right. In the end, I think I made the perfect bbq sauce, with a hint of sweet, the right cider vinegar tang, a slight underlayer of heat, and an overall flavor that was entirely different from anything I had found on the shelves.
This version of bbq sauce stands out and makes a meal special. I’ve never served it that I wasn’t asked where I got it after a guest took the first bite.
I so wish I could give you a taste of this sauce but you’re gonna have to make it yourself. I shared this recipe in my first book, published by Harper Collins, Southern Plate: Classic Comfort Food That Makes Everyone Feel Like Family. The recipe in my book makes 3 cups but today I’m sharing my larger quantity recipe with ya, which makes about a gallon – just enough to last you through numerous summer barbecues.
Do me a favor and make this easy bbq sauce recipe soon!
- Golden Eagle or Yellow Label syrup
- Dark brown sugar
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Chili powder
- Black pepper
- Apple cider vinegar
- Worcestershire sauce
- White vinegar
How to Make My Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe
Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Stir those together until well blended.
Combine all of the wet ingredients in your cooking pot.
Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
Place on stovetop and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a low boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Oh if only you could taste this now!
Now at this point, you can allow it to cool slightly and then ladle it into Rubbermaid-type refrigerator containers or jars and store it in your fridge for up to two months. It will last you all summer!
I’m going to can mine, though, so I can keep it in my pantry. Canning is really simple, much easier than you imagine. To see the method I’m using for my barbecue sauce, click here to visit my canning tutorial.
Canning BBQ sauce
So I got to use my canning ladle (click here for information on how to get one) again for this post! The hook you see allows it to hang on the side of the pot so it won’t fall in, it scoops the exact amount you need to fill an 8-ounce mason jar, and it is even shaped so it can scrape the bottom of the pot clean.
Truly, you need one.
Dips a perfect 8 ounces…
Into your canning jars.
If you do decide to put it in canning jars (whether to can it or just to store it in the fridge), make sure you use a canning funnel for ease. I am using mostly eight-ounce jars so one scoop for each jar gives me enough to fill it.
This recipe makes almost one complete gallon or 15 cups.
See? My ladle gets the last little bit out of the pot.
This divinely distinct barbecue sauce is perfect on pretty much anything.
Chicken, ribs, burgers, pulled pork, and shredded beef. Sometimes I even just smear a little bit on some wheat bread!
- Store homemade barbecue sauce in the fridge for up to 2 months.
- When canned, this bbq sauce will last for several months in a cool dark place like the pantry.
- To make this recipe safe for canning, make sure you use Clear Gel Brand cornstarch specifically made for canning.
- If you can’t find Golden Eagle or Yellow Label syrup where you are, you can substitute it for 2 cups of light corn syrup and 1 cup of honey.
- Here are some variations to make this easy bbq sauce recipe suit you and what you have on hand:
- Swap the chili powder for smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, or simply a dash of hot sauce for that touch of heat.
- Substitute the white vinegar for white wine vinegar.
- Use light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar.
How do you serve homemade bbq sauce?
My homemade barbecue sauce tastes delicious on so many different meals:
- Spread it on burgers like meatloaf burgers and smoked burgers.
- Serve it with barbecue meat, such as pulled chicken, a pulled pork sandwich, beef brisket, and crockpot beef ribs.
- Enjoy it as a dipping sauce with fries, sweet potato wedges, or grilled chicken tenders (also see my recipes for ranch fried chicken tenders and chicken planks).
- Spread it on a pizza for the most delicious BBQ chicken pizza.
You may also enjoy these sensational homemade sauce recipes:
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 3 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 8 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 cups ketchup
- 4 cups water
- 3 cups Golden Eagle or Yellow Label syrup
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- In a small bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. It is very important that you mix all of the dry ingredients together at once before adding them to the wet. If you don't add your cornstarch during this step, it will not dissolve later.2 cups dark brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 3 tablespoons ground black pepper, 8 tablespoons cornstarch
- In the pot you are going to cook in (I prefer a heavy dutch oven so it doesn't scorch), mix together all the wet ingredients. Then whisk in the dry mixture.4 cups ketchup, 4 cups water, 3 cups Golden Eagle or Yellow Label syrup, 2 cups apple cider vinegar, 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- Place over medium-high heat and stir constantly until it comes to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Allow to cool slightly and place in containers to store in the refrigerator until ready to use, or can in mason jars using the canning method mentioned in the post.
When faced with a situation (in the Army) that made me very angry but I couldn’t say anything, a dear friend said these wise words to me. “So compared to World War II, how important is this?” I try to keep this one in mind many times.
Submitted by Sara. Click here to share your wisdom.