Greg Dupree
Hands-On Time
15 Mins
Total Time
15 Mins
2 Cups

Sweet, tangy barbecue sauce can be a (non-ketchup!) shortcut to making meals family friendly. Whether brushed onto grilled chicken, folded into meatloaf, or set on the side for dipping, it offers big flavor in a snap. But too often the bottled stuff is overwhelmingly sweet or distractingly smoky. Striking a balance between the two flavors is key. That’s why we make it ourselves, and you can, too, using nothing but a combo of ingredients you’d already have in the pantry. Want more bite? Amp up the vinegar. Less heat? Omit the cayenne. It’s our recipe but your rules.

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium- high. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add ketchup, sugar, vinegar, mustard, molasses, Worcestershire, onion powder, and cayenne (if using) and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Chef's Notes

To Use: Brush onto chicken, shrimp, or pork chops during the last few minutes of grilling. Or use as a dipping sauce for potato wedges or French fries or as a topping for bacon burgers.

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