6 Unique and Delicious BBQ Sauce Recipes

Updated on January 3, 2020
habee profile image

Holle loves to cook. BBQ and BBQ sauce is something she and others in the Deep South take seriously.

I usually make my own BBQ sauce.
I usually make my own BBQ sauce. | Source

Why Make Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipes

I make my own homemade BBQ sauce all the time. Rarely does a week pass without my family members cooking some type of meat on the grill or meat smoker. Actually, it’s not unusual for us to grill two or three times a week, weather permitting. We’re a family of grillers and smokers, and we almost always use homemade sauces. I’m not saying we never use commercially bottled sauce—we do sometimes when we’re especially pressed for time. Otherwise, we make our own, and some of them are pretty unique. In other words, they’re not usually ones you’d find in supermarkets or even in specialty grocery stores.

Sometimes, some of our taste combinations might seem a little strange to some individuals, but sounds, like looks, can be deceiving. In fact, some of our strangest-sounding sauces have been real crowd-pleasers! Yep, we do a lot of entertaining, and some type of BBQ is often the star of the events. Now, after reading this article, I hope you’re inspired enough to try making your own homemade BBQ sauce!

With a good basic BBQ sauce recipe, you can make scores of different versions.
With a good basic BBQ sauce recipe, you can make scores of different versions. | Source

1. Basic Barbecue Sauce

Everyone needs a good basic BBQ sauce recipe, in my opinion. I’m talking about a go-to sauce you can mix up in a hurry by memory whenever you crave BBQ chicken, beef, pork, venison, or some other meat. Also in my opinion, a barbecue sauce should be thick enough to cling to the meat. Thin, runny sauces don’t stick, so what’s the point in using them?

Speaking of thick sauces, you might want to consider cooking your BBQ sauce before using it on the meat. Some recipes don’t require cooking, but when you take the time to simmer the sauce, it gets thicker, and the flavors become more enhanced. It’s not like you have to cook it all day. In most cases, just a few minutes on the stove will suffice.

Another good thing about having a good basic barbecue sauce recipe is that you can tweak it to make lots of different versions. With that in mind, you probably want to keep your basic sauce…basic. You don’t want it to be too sweet, too spicy, or too overpowering. You can easily turn a bland sauce into something fiery, exotic, or sweet. Below is a good recipe for basic BBQ sauce.


  • 1 cup Heinz ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke hickory flavor
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt, to taste


Combine all ingredients and add to a saucepan. Bring to a slow boil and immediately lower heat. Simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Store leftover sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator. The sauce will keep for 10 days to two weeks.

My tangerine-orange sauce is amazing on pork, and it's just as good on chicken.
My tangerine-orange sauce is amazing on pork, and it's just as good on chicken. | Source

2. Orange-Tangerine BBQ Sauce

I sort of created this BBQ sauce recipe by accident. By that, I mean I didn’t plan it in advance. My son-in-law was going to grill some chicken one Sunday afternoon, and we were out of store-bought sauce. We had just received a big box of oranges and tangerines as a Christmas gift, and I knew there was no way we’d eat all the fruit before it spoiled. I decided to incorporate some of the citrus fruits in a homemade barbecue sauce.

It was awesome! My son-in-law is an expert on the grill, and he proclaimed this the best BBQ sauce he’d ever eaten. My husband agreed. I loved it, too, but I still think my candy applesauce is my favorite. This one is a very close second, however, and it might be my favorite for BBQ chicken, and it's a great wing sauce. The candy apple sauce is better suited for ribs.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: Makes 6 - 8 servings


  • 2 large navel oranges
  • 4 tangerines
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup Heinz ketcup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's garlic salt
  • hot sauce, to taste


  1. Peel fruits and remove seeds. Break into sections. Place flesh in blender and add cider vinegar. Pulse until pulp is smooth, and then liquefy.
  2. While blending slowly, add remaining ingredients. Process until smooth.
  3. Pour contents of blender into heavy saucepan. Bring to a slow boil, while stirring.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.

Rate My Homemade BBQ Sauce!

3.3 stars from 16 ratings of Orange-Tangerine BBQ Sauce
Peach BBQ Sauce is wonderful on chicken.
Peach BBQ Sauce is wonderful on chicken. | Source

3. Teriyaki-Peach BBQ Sauce

We love making this sauce when we have juicy fresh peaches on hand. It's great as a grilling sauce, and it also makes a wonderful dipping sauce. I think the grandkids would eat it on just about anything. Whenever they have chicken nuggets, for example, they always hope to find some leftover sauce in the fridge to dip their nuggets in.


  • 1 recipe for Basic BBQ Sauce
  • 2 ripe peaches
  • 1 cup peach nectar
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce (thin kind)
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger


  1. Make a batch of Basic BBQ sauce using the recipe in this article, but do not cook it yet.
  2. Peel, pit, and chop the peaches.
  3. Place peaches, peach nectar, teriyaki sauce, and ginger in a blender and puree. Blend in the basic sauce until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Bring to a slow boil and reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

It's great on chicken and pork, and adds a wonderful component to grilled shrimp, scallops, and fish!

Cherry-Chipotle Sauce on pork loin
Cherry-Chipotle Sauce on pork loin | Source

4. Cherry-Chipotle BBQ Sauce

This is often my go-to recipe for bone-in pork loin, and for visual effect, I leave a few of the cherries whole. It's also good on chicken, lean ribs, pork chops, and ham. If you're using it on a cured ham, I recommend that you don't include salt in the recipe.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion (white part only)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups Heinz ketchup
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) pitted cherries
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup prepared mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle powder
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Melt butter is a small pan. Add onion and sauté until almost soft. Add minced garlic and cook for one minute longer. Pour contents of the pan into a blender. Add remaining ingredients and puree until smooth. Pour contents into a saucepan and bring to a slow boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 40 minutes, until desired consistency is reached. Stir occasionally.

White BBQ Sauce - try it with wings!
White BBQ Sauce - try it with wings! | Source

5. White BBQ Sauce

The first time I was served white barbecue sauce, I wasn't sure what to expect. After all, I was used to red or brown sauce, so I wasn't at all convinced I'd like the white version. That very first time, I had it on Cornish hens, and it was delicious! Since then, we often use it on grilled chicken, and it's a tasty dipping sauce for wings. Give it a try!


  • 1 jar (10 ounces) Durkee Famous Sandwich and Salad Sauce
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated white onion
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt to taste


Blend all ingredients until smooth. Store in fridge until ready to use. This is a great sauce for chicken, turkey, quail, doves, and Cornish hens. Believe it or not, it’s tasty on prime rib, too!

Try my Mesquite BBQ Sauce on roast beef!
Try my Mesquite BBQ Sauce on roast beef! | Source

6. Mesquite BBQ Sauce for Beef

My gang and I usually prefer a sweet-hot BBQ sauce for chicken and pork, but for beef, we prefer a more savory sauce. One with the smoky flavor of mesquite is even better. In my opinion, mesquite and grilled or smoked beef go hand in hand.


  • 1 batch of Basic BBQ Sauce Recipe (reduce brown sugar to ¼ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke, mesquite flavor
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme


Make basic barbecue sauce, with reduced amount of brown sugar. Set aside. Melt butter and sauté onion until tender. Add to blender and puree. Add remaining ingredients and liquefy. Pour mixture into saucepan and bring to a slow boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use on steaks, brisket, beef ribs, roast beef, or hamburgers.

Make your own BBQ Sauce - it's easy!
Make your own BBQ Sauce - it's easy! | Source

Have Fun Making Your Own BBQ Sauce

There’s no reason in the world you can’t make your own homemade BBQ sauce that’s tasty and inexpensive. Furthermore, nothing could be much easier—seriously! There’s really no way to mess up. Just taste frequently as you go. If the sauce gets too sweet, too tangy, or too spicy, you can always adjust the ingredients. If it gets too thick, you can thin it with some water, fruit juice, soft drink, or vinegar. If the sauce needs to be thicker, you can simmer it on the stove until it reaches the consistency you’re trying to achieve.

If the sauce tastes delicious to you, that’s all that matters, so don’t get the idea that a barbecue sauce recipe you made or created is a total disaster. In almost every case, the concoction can be saved, so don’t be afraid to do some experiments on your own. It’s easy to make your own BBQ sauce. Feel free to borrow the BBQ sauce recipes I’ve included here, and don’t be scared to add some of your own favorite ingredients to create your own signature homemade BBQ sauce!


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    • profile image


      4 months ago

      No one should use Heinz ketchup. It is filled with preservatives. Use ONLY HUNTS.....no preservatives 100% pure ketchup.

    • profile image

      John White 

      5 months ago

      Love the article, gonna put it to work.

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      3 years ago from Georgia

      Chris, that recipe is on bestamericanfood.net

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Where can I find the candy apple sauce recipe??

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 

      4 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Hollee, Your pictures are mouth watering and look so good. I make my own barbecue sauce also and it is similar to yours. I am going to pin your so I can refer back to them. Thanks for sharing. I gave it 4 stars because the 5th one didn't show up.

      Blessings to you.

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      5 years ago from Georgia

      Mary, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Happy New Year!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      5 years ago from Florida

      All of your recipes for BBQ sauce sounds great to me! We Barbecue a lot at my place, with my SIL doing the honors. I never heard of a white BBQ sauce, but it sounds pretty good.

      I have bookmarked your recipes for future use!

      Voted UP, etc. and shared.

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      5 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, pals! If you're going to try just one of these sauces, I strongly recommend the orange-tangerine sauce. It is truly an amazing BBQ sauce!!

      Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting!

    • mbwalz profile image

      MaryBeth Walz 

      5 years ago from Maine

      Wow, they all look awesome, but I think I like the sound of the Cherry - Chipotle BBQ Sauce the best!!

    • Bidd Waxx profile image

      Barb Schindel 

      5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Everyone of the recipes sounds great. We use the sauce on the ribs most of the time, occasionally chicken. But surely these are good ones to try to use. Thanks for sharing

    • prasetio30 profile image


      5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Wow...I have several choices of barbeque sauce now. Great hub, Habee. Thanks for writing and sharing with us. Just looking at the pictures makes me hungry. Voted up and have a good day!


    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Would you please just drop on by anytime and make me a bottle of each. Fantastic recipes. I really appreciate how well you write these recipes up. Each has a story and I like that a lot. Thank you.

    • rebekahELLE profile image


      5 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Thanks Habee. These look and sound delicious. We also love to grill and try different sauces. I'll pass these on! I hope all is well with you and your family. Enjoy the holiday season!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      Vespa Woolf 

      5 years ago from Peru, South America

      I also make my own BBQ sauce, but these really are unique and sound delicious. I like the idea of the citrus sauce with chicken. Thank you for sharing!

    • Joyfulcrown profile image


      5 years ago

      I'm going to have to try these recipes!


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