10 Great Barbecue Sauce Recipes

Updated on May 13, 2017
Recipes for Barbecue Sauce. Check 'em out!
Recipes for Barbecue Sauce. Check 'em out! | Source

Barbecue Sauces

How much do you know about barbecue sauces? Go down the condiments aisle of any large supermarket, and you’ll be faced with all types of barbecue sauce. You’ll find sweet, hot and spicy, sweet heat, mustard sauces, vinegar sauces, honey barbecue sauce, brisket sauce, sauce for barbecue ribs, and more. You’ll probably find BBQ sauces that contain special ingredients like Vidalia onions, raspberries, chipotle peppers, whiskey, bourbon, peaches, or apples, too. Without opening all the bottles and sampling the sauces, how do you know which one you’ll like best? And, by the way, don’t try this – the store management frowns upon such practices. Seriously, even reading the list of BBQ sauce ingredients on the labels might not be a lot of help. How much of each was used? The best solution to the barbecue sauces dilemma is to make your own homemade BBQ sauce!

Homemade BBQ Sauce - on pulled pork
Homemade BBQ Sauce - on pulled pork | Source

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Homemade BBQ sauce is extremely popular here in the Deep South. When we folks get together for an outdoor barbecue, it usually involves pork, and several of the guests are bound to bring their own sauce creations. These cooks usually encourage – or insist that – the party guests try their own special recipe for BBQ sauce. Of course, each one is totally convinced that his is the best BBQ sauce the world has ever known. Yep, I said “his” because most of these good natured braggarts are men. A casual cookout can quickly escalate into a serious battle of the BBQ sauces, with the guests caught in the middle.

As you can probably tell, homemade BBQ sauce is serious business in my neck of the woods, and the most popular type around here is the tomato-based BBQ sauces. In the South, barbecue sauce is often a regional thing, and in fact, some states might have several different signature sauces for different areas of the state. Of course, it doesn’t matter what everyone else likes. What’s important is what you like. There isn’t one best BBQ sauce that everyone can agree on. With homemade BBQ sauce, however, you can create the best sauce for you by using your favorite ingredients.

I have lots of Recipes for Barbecue Sauce!
I have lots of Recipes for Barbecue Sauce! | Source

Recipes for Barbecue Sauce

I have lots of recipes for barbecue sauce, and I use different sauces for different meats. I also use different BBQ sauces for different circumstances. For example, if kids are going to be eating, I won’t make a super fiery sauce, or if I do, I’ll also make a milder sauce as a choice for the kids and for wimpy adults. Okay, that was a joke, but I think you understand what I’m trying to say here. I have sort of a generic sauce that I often use when we’re feeding a crowd, one that doesn’t go too far in any direction – not too sweet, not too spicy, and not too hot.

Recipes for barbecue sauce can include a whole world of different ingredients. And the great thing about homemade BBQ sauce is that you can taste it as you make it and adjust the ingredients accordingly. If you’ve never made your own sauce before, you might not be sure how to begin. Allow me to explain. You’ll need a base or main ingredient, spices, and other ingredients. If you prefer a sweet sauce, you’ll need to add sugar or other sweeteners. The same goes for heat. I created a table of BBQ sauce ingredients to give you some ideas.

BBQ Sauce Ingredients
BBQ Sauce Ingredients | Source

BBQ Sauce Ingredients:

Bases/Liquids
Sweeteners
Seasonings
ketchup
white sugar
onion
tomato sauce
brown sugar
garlic
spaghetti sauce
Splenda
chili powder
chili sauce
brown sugar substitute
cayenne
vinegar
molasses
chipotle
soy sauce
Karo syrup
cumin
Worcestershire sauce
maple syrup
paprika
teriyaki sauce
cane syrup
black pepper
fruit juices
jams/jellies/preserves
mustard powder
Liquid Smoke
fruit syrups
ginger
Dale's steak seasoning
Stevia
cinnamon

Easy Barbecue Sauce

This easy barbecue sauce requires no cooking, so you can mix it up in just a couple of minutes. Of course, you can always add your favorite spices, too. By slightly altering this easy barbecue sauce recipe, you can make your own special version.

Easy Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients:

2 cups ketchup

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup prepared mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

Salt, to taste

Directions: Combine ingredients and stir until brown sugar is dissolved. For a “twangier” sauce, add one tablespoon vinegar. Store covered, in fridge, until ready to use.

Honey Barbecue Sauce
Honey Barbecue Sauce | Source

Honey Barbecue Sauce

I really like honey barbecue sauce because it’s sweet and sticky, so it adheres well to the meat. This is a good sauce for barbecue ribs, pork chops, and chicken.

Honey Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup honey

½ cup ketchup

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon minced garlic

½ teaspoon ground ginger

Salt, to taste

Brown sugar, optional

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high for one minute. Stir. Cook for one more minute. Taste the sauce. If it’s not sweet enough, add brown sugar, to taste.

Carolina BBQ Sauce
Carolina BBQ Sauce | Source

Carolina Barbecue Sauce

Carolina barbecue sauce can get confusing. Different parts of the Carolinas prefer different types of barbecue sauces. My husband is from North Carolina, and he likes a mustard-based sauce, so that’s what I included here.

Carolina Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups prepared mustard

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon Lawry’s garlic salt

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Simmer on low for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When cool, store in refrigerator in a covered container.

Sugar Free BBQ Sauce
Sugar Free BBQ Sauce | Source

Sugar Free BBQ Sauce Recipe

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last year, but I was able to reverse it through diet, exercise, and weight loss. Because we eat so much barbecue, I had to come up with a sugar free BBQ sauce. Honestly, this low carb BBQ sauce recipe is really good! If you can find Ideal Brown brown sugar substitute, use it instead of the Splenda in the recipe, as it provides a better flavor. It’s the best brown sugar substitute I’ve found. Unfortunately, I can no longer find it in stores, so I have to order it online.

Sugar Free BBQ Sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup Heinz reduced sugar Ketchup

1/3 cup brown sugar substitute OR Splenda

2 tablespoons prepared mustard

1 tablespoon Liquid Smoke

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon cayenne

Pinch ground cloves

Directions: Combine all ingredients and microwave until very hot. Stir well. Cover and store in fridge until ready to use.

Honey Mustard BBQ Sauce
Honey Mustard BBQ Sauce | Source

Honey Mustard BBQ Sauce

If you like the taste of honey mustard, you’ll probably like honey mustard BBQ sauce. It’s sweet and tangy, and I think it’s great on chicken. Some people really like it on pork, too.

Honey Mustard BBQ Sauce

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons chopped yellow onion

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon minced garlic

½ cup prepared mustard

1/3 cup honey

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon black pepper

Hot sauce, to taste

Directions: Place butter and onion in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cook until onion is almost soft. Add garlic and microwave for one minute on high.

Add remaining ingredients and return to microwave. Heat for one minute. Liquefy sauce in blender or food processor.


Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce
Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce | Source

Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce

As the name implies, Jack Daniels BBQ sauce contains whiskey. You can buy this as a ready made commercially bottled sauce, but you can make your own at home, too. Try this recipe:

Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoons chopped onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 cup ketchup

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup Jack Daniels

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon mustard powder

½ teaspoon cayenne

Salt, to taste

Directions: Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Cook onion over medium heat until soft. Add garlic and cook for one minute longer. Add remaining ingredients and lower heat. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. For a smoother BBQ sauce, run the mixture through the blender or food processor.

Apple BBQ Sauce
Apple BBQ Sauce | Source

Apple BBQ Sauce

I love, love, love apple BBQ sauce with pork, especially with barbecue ribs! My homemade BBQ sauce contains apple butter, so you don’t have to peel and dice apples. I use this on my baby back ribs that I call Candy Apple Ribs. Click the link for that recipe – it’s awesome!

Apple BBQ Sauce

Ingredients:

2/3 cup ketchup

2/3 cup apple butter

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons hot sauce

1 tablespoon butter

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Salt, to taste

Directions: Combine all ingredients and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes. For a sweeter sauce, use more brown sugar.

Jamaican Jerk Sauce - spices
Jamaican Jerk Sauce - spices | Source
Jerk Sauce - on a pork shoulder
Jerk Sauce - on a pork shoulder | Source

Jamaican Jerk Sauce

Jamaican jerk sauce brings the taste of the islands right to your kitchen! This sauce is hot and spicy, but if you like less heat, you can tweak the recipe. We like Jamaican jerk sauce on chicken and on all cuts of pork, and many southerners like it on barbecue goat, too. Wear plastic gloves when handling these peppers!

Jamaican Jerk Sauce

Rate my jerk BBQ sauce! Thanks!

4 stars from 1 rating of Jamaican Jerk Sauce

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: about 2 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped Scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a heavy saucepan. Cook onion, garlic, and pepper until soft.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until thick, stirring frequently.
  3. When sauce has cooled enough. Process it in the food processor or blender.
Barbecue Ribs
Barbecue Ribs | Source
Baby Back Ribs
Baby Back Ribs | Source
Rib Sauce
Rib Sauce | Source

Barbecue Ribs

In the South, there’s an old adage that says eating barbecue ribs is just a great excuse to eat barbecue sauce. This, of course, is based on the small amount of flesh on spareribs. Baby back ribs are meatier, but you’ll still need a great rib sauce.

Rib Sauce

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 cup ketchup

1/3 cup brown sugar

¼ cup vinegar

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne

Directions: Heat cooking oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Add remaining ingredients and reduce heat to simmer. Cook until desired thickness is reached.

Brisket BBQ Sauce
Brisket BBQ Sauce | Source

Beef Brisket

We don’t eat a lot of beef brisket, but when we do, I usually prefer a thinner brisket sauce to use on the meat. Also, I don’t like a too-sweet brisket BBQ sauce, so I came up with the following recipe. Instead of ketchup as the base, I use spaghetti sauce. It might sound strange, but it’s really good on beef brisket!

Brisket BBQ Sauce

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter

¼ cup chopped onion

1 cup spaghetti sauce

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons Dale’s liquid steak seasoning

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke

2 teaspoons chipotle powder

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions: In a heavy sauce pot, cook butter and onion until onion is soft. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce has reached desired thickness.

Questions & Answers

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      • habee profile imageAUTHOR

        Holle Abee 

        5 years ago from Georgia

        Hi, Carol. Glad you enjoyed the hub!

      • profile image

        naniesmam 

        5 years ago

        I tried the easy bbq sauce. Took only 5 minutes to make however I modified a little I used half the mustard as I detest highly and replaced with Horseradish sauce and added splash of cider vinegar and Frank's hot sauce.My family loved it so much they asked me to make more for next time.

      • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

        Marcy Goodfleisch 

        5 years ago from Planet Earth

        I love the way your recipes include information about base flavors - it's almost like we are in a cooking school here! I have found some ideas in this hub that I will put on my list of 'must try it' tips!

        Voted up!

      • carol7777 profile image

        carol stanley 

        5 years ago from Arizona

        Lots of great recipes for barbecue sauce. I like making my own because I know what is in it. I am going to bookmark and vote up. Great ideas and thanks for sharing.

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