Barbecue (BBQ) Sauce

  • Yield : About 2 cups
  • Servings : 16
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 30m
  • Ready In : 40m
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Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.

  • Calories

  • Calories from Fat

  • Total Fat

  • Saturated Fat

  • Trans Fat

  • Cholesterol

  • Sodium

  • Carbohydrates

  • Dietary Fiber

  • Sugar

  • Protein

  • Serving Size:

    2 tbsp (30ml)

Making homemade BBQ Sauce takes only minutes. While it does not have the shelf-life of prepared sauces with preservatives, it does have up to 40 percent less sugar and up to 80 percent less sodium.

This BBQ Sauce is perfect on beef, chicken or pork, or can be used for other recipes like Brunswick Stew. Homemade BBQ sauce is a 1-pan, one step recipe that lets you control the ingredients including the amount of added sugars.

This BBQ Sauce recipe is a moderately high sugar sauce (about 4.5 g, 1 tsp. per serving) you should add during the last couple of minutes to foods cooked on a grill or in your oven, or after the food is cooked at the table. Using this BBQ Sauce to baste grilled meats will cause the sugar to caramelize and burn.

Some prepared BBQ sauces are over 40 percent sugar. Each 2 tablespoon (35 g) serving can have up to 4 tsp (16 g) of sugar.

Prepared BBQ Sauces

Prepared BBQ sauces are convenient and some claim to be made using “all natural” ingredients. But, “all natural” does not mean it is made with ingredients available to consumers and found in your kitchen like:

  • Tapioca dextrin
  • Xanthin gum
  • Guar gum
  • Natural flavors
  • Caramel color
  • High fructose corn syrup

Instead of slow cooking to thicken prepared sauces, gums are added, and caramel color is usually added to darken the sauce when high fructose corn syrup is used instead of brown sugar.

When it comes to prepared BBQ sauces, you get what you pay for. Paying less usually means more additives and less natural ingredients. 

Cook’s Tip

  • Adjust ingredients to taste.
  • Add liquid mesquite or other smoke flavor.
  • Increase cooking time for a thicker sauce.
  • Store in refrigerator and use within 7 days.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition information is based on using no salt added tomato sauce. When using regular tomato sauce, omit or adjust the amount of added salt to taste.

Nutrition information was update on February 6, 2019.


  • 14.5 oz (411 g) canned no salt added tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ( 5ml) ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) ground celery seed

Method of Preparation

Step 1

Combine all ingredients in a 2 qt/L pan. Cook 15 minutes over low heat stirring occasionally.