Rating: 2 stars
16 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 3
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 4
  • 1 star values: 8

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.

Dawn Perry


Credit: Greg Dupree

Recipe Summary

15 mins
15 mins
2 Cups


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

139 calories; fat 4.7g; saturated fat 0.7g; protein 0.3g; carbohydrates 25g; fiber 0.4g; sugars 23.1g; sodium 590.2mg.