Basic technique, Building blocks, Grilling, Weeknight dinner
comments 29

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


clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Easy Barbecue Sauce


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.

  • Category: Accompaniment
  • Cuisine: American


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.

Sharing is caring!


  1. Ed Martinez says

    Thank you for your receipt! One of my Great Grandson’s thinks I’m the best cook under the sun.


  2. Tammy says

    Thank you! Quick, easy and delicious. I found out at the last minute that I didn’t have barbecue sauce and found your recipe. Yummy!

  3. Tanya Mihkelson says

    Was that easy. Good to go with our marinated pork chops for dinner tonight. Thx for the recipe!

  4. James D Jordan says

    This is great! Thanks for making a simple recipe. Now that I have the basic recipe down, I can experiment with adding garlic powder etc. Can’t go wrong with simple!

  5. Valerie Manuel says

    I love simple.and taste great.a great add in recipe.

  6. Thanks “Dad”! Don’t know if you still check here but I really do appreciate your recipe. I was googling the ingredients that my mom put in her simple homemade sauce and this is very similar. Oddly enough she would put half of a lemon in it but I tried that and it gets a bit funky after a while. She also would just simmer the sauce. I really want to replicate that very pleasant however small memory of my mom.
    Love your sense of humor btw! Take care.

  7. Chris says

    My picky family loved this recipe!!! I’m allergic to black pepper and haven’t had BBQ sauce in a long time because most store bought sauces have black pepper. This is a perfect homemade sauce. I actually didn’t have a lot of Catsup, so I subbed tomato sauce, but I’m sure the swap didn’t change the result too much. It was delicious! Thank you!!!

  8. Mary says

    I just made the rib rub and bbq sauce – husband recently had quad bypass surgery and on low sodium diet. They smell amazing – keepers for sure!

  9. Gina G says

    This is a great recipe for when you run out if your store bought bbq sauce.

  10. Sarah B. says

    I varied this sauce with a little more worcestershire sauce, honey, a touch of prepared mustard (maybe 1/8 tsp), and a splash of lime juice. Came out better than store-bought!

  11. I love this recipe, my sisters and brothers love it too! I will be making this recipe very time I make stake. Thank you!

  12. ellie says

    this recipe is convenient because it is quick and easy. I chose it because my dad was cooking things on the stove and I didn’t want another thing on the stove.

  13. Christine Keen says

    I used a jalapeno ketchup we must have purchased by accident and omitted the hot sauce and it was great.

  14. 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+

  15. Kelly Jones Todd says

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

  16. Kathleen says

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

  17. 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?



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.