Basic technique, Building blocks, Grilling, Weeknight dinner
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Easy Barbecue Sauce

One of my original cooking jags was barbecue – real, low-and-slow barbecue. (See here. Or, more embarrassingly, here, 3rd picture down.*) Now, with the kids, I usually have to live with ribs every now and then, instead of overnight beef brisket. One of the things I learned was that store-bought barbecue sauce is not good. And what’s even worse is that you can make it yourself in no time at all! I can whisk up a batch of this no-cook barbecue sauce in about ten minutes, and it keeps in the fridge for just about forever.

*Aargh. Remember this picture if you ever think of putting something on the web that you might later regret. Black socks? What was I thinking? On the other hand (literally), I’ve got Ben in all his baby cuteness to distract you.

Recipe: Easy Barbecue Sauce



Easy Barbecue Sauce

  • Author:
  • Category: Accompaniment
  • Cuisine: American


Easy Barbecue Sauce recipe – make your own barbecue sauce from pantry ingredients.


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup molasses (or brown sugar, or honey)
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Franks Red Hot (optional)


  1. Put all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Whisk to combine.


Really – it’s that easy. Whisk and go.


Barbecue sauce ingredients, ready to go

Barbecue sauce ingredients, ready to go



  • Obviously, this recipe can vary quite a bit (see all the optional ingredients and variations)
  • When I have it on hand (almost always), I’ll add a tablespoon of barbecue rub to the sauce instead of the Frank’s red hot.
  • I usually make a 4x batch of this recipe – I buy a 32oz bottle of ketchup, and go from there. Voila – enough barbecue sauce to last for a couple of months!
  • In case you missed it in the original picture, check out my mad art skills on the label:
Whisked and ready

Whisked and ready

Inspired by
Cook’s Country magazine: Chicago Style Ribs (subscription required).
Questions? Comments? Other Ideas? Leave them in the comments, below.
Related posts:
Here’s my recipe for a homemade barbecue rub.
Use that barbecue sauce on some barbecued chicken.


  1. vinyjunkee says

    Dad: I liked this as very good basic barbecue recipe for ribs and chicken. I also smoke pork shoulder (“Boston Butt”) but I just haven’t found a sauce I Iike for it. I have been experimenting with the traditional North Carolina sauce (Western NC) with tomato and vinegar, and it is just too tart for our tastes. Do you use this sauce for that, or do you have a recommendation?



  2. Kathleen says

    If you have Bragg’s Liquid Smoke it works better than the soy sauce. Gives the BBQ that nice smoky flavor.

  3. Kelly Jones Todd says

    Made this tonight it was awesome!!!!I will always keep this.thanks

  4. Kelly says

    This is my go to barbecue sauce for the kids. They LOVE it! My husband doesn’t like that he can taste the ketchup (but he prefers store bought, so let’s not listen to him, mmkay?), but I keep making it to put on ribs for my kids. A+

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