How to Make Barbecue Sauce from Scratch

How to Make Barbecue Sauce from Scratch

You can always buy bottled BBQ sauce from various stores or online. But it is useful to know how to make barbecue sauce from scratch on your own. A homemade sauce gives you great joy and adds freshness in your barbecued or grilled meat

Making your own barbecue sauce is easy once you have grasped the art of it. Homemade BBQ sauces are cheaper compared to the bottled barbecue sauces. 

Experienced pit-masters continuously experiment with ingredients to create their own signature sauce, infusing the flavor of their choices. 


As a back yard cook, I have always experimented with homemade barbecue sauce and dry rubs to make barbecued meats more delicious. 

This article will help on how to make barbecue sauce from scratch at home. Thus, before your next cookout, you can make your BBQ sauce and surprise your family and loved ones with fantastic meat dishes. 

Regional Variations of Barbecue Sauces

Tastes of barbecued meats depend on the type of meat, style of barbecue, sauce, rub or other seasonings used in the process. 

Also, the equipment used to grill or smoke the meat along with cooking temperature and cooking time matter to achieve yummy barbecued meats. 

However, if you like your meat to be juice, and have a sweet flavor, you definitely need to use BBQ sauce. 

In the U.S., BBQ sauces vary by regions. For example, Southern-style barbecue has its own variety when it comes to appetizers.

Vinegar based sauces are used in North Carolina, while Lexington style barbecue includes a mixture of ketchup and vinegar as primary ingredients. 

In most BBQ parties in South Carolina, traditionally four familiar barbecue sauces are used including mustard based, vinegar based, and light and heavy tomato-based sauces. 

barbecue sauce pinterest image

How to make barbecue sauce from scratch Pinterest image

Memphis style barbecue is well known for tomato and vinegar based sauces. 

In Alabama, distinctive white sauce made with mayonnaise and vinegar used predominantly on chicken and pork. In Kansas City Style barbecue- the various flavor of barbecue sauce is used including sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors.

A Homemade Sauce is the Healthiest Sauce

Making BBQ sauce from scratch at home is a natural step, and the process has several advantages. Besides, creating your own signature style sauce to boost your confidence in grilling and barbecuing, you can have a quality product for your family members. 

A homemade sauce assures the safety of your family members since it is fresh and doesn’t contain any artificial flavor or preservation. 

Using fresh tomatoes bought from farmers’ markets you can make a healthy sauce at home to avoid the drawbacks of the bottled sauces. 

It is not easy to spare some time from our busy lives to make BBQ sauce at home, but if you can manage time to make homemade sauce, you can store it for weeks as well. 

Basic ingredients:

There numerous ways to make homemade barbecue sauce. Using a basic recipe and a few essential ingredients you can make your special barbecue sauce to make finger licking meals for your friends and family. The most common elements used in homemade barbecue sauce are:

  • Tomato Paste or ketchup
  • Vinegar
  • Brown Sugar

How to Make Tomato Ketchup at Home

Making tomato ketchup at home is the most challenging and time-consuming step to make barbecue sauce at home. If you make plenty of tomato ketchup at once, you can use it to make barbecue sauce. You can preserve the ketchup in the freeze for at least three weeks.

Ingredients Used In This Recipe:

  • Fresh and ripened tomatoes
  • 2 to 3 onions
  • Salt to taste
  • 5/6 garlic cloves
  • Sugar to taste
  • Red Chilies
  • 2ml vinegar
  • Black pepper

Using these ingredients and by following a few steps you can make your own ketchup for BBQ sauce at home:

  • 1
    First, wash the tomatoes with water and then chop them into small pieces.
  • 2
    Next, cut the garlic cloves into small pieces as well and dice the onions in beautiful shapes.
  • 3
    Now, you have to blend or grind the chopped ingredients together in a blender or grinder for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • 4
    Once you have all the ingredients ground, cook the ground ingredients with half a liter of water in a pot. Slowly add the sugar, red chilies, salt, black pepper in the bowl and cook the mixture well.
  • 5
    When the sauce reaches a thick consistency, combine vinegar, and other mixed spices (if needed)
  • 6
    Finally, cook for 1 or 2 more minutes, before you turn off the stove.
  • 7
    Then you should let it cool down and transfer to sterilized bottles to preserve or to be served later on.
  • 8
    Now that your ketchup is ready, you can make BBQ sauce with it and serve it with dishes you prepare for the guests or dinner/lunch.

Quick and Basic Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Now that you know how to make tomato ketchup at home, you can use some ketchup to make the sauce with it quickly. This is one of the easiest and basic BBQ sauce recipe I adore and frequently use at home or any barbecue party.


  • 1/4 cup honey or brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 and 1/2 cup ketchup
  • Salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk it well. If you want to add more flavor or heat to the sauce, you can use hot sauce, cayenne, garlic powder, and other ingredients. I like to keep my barbecue sauce recipe yummy and straightforward. 


The homemade barbecue sauce is a healthier alternative to the processed sauce. If you use the homemade sauce to grill meat, you will avoid a high amount of chemical additives and preservatives in your everyday life. 

Additionally, nothing tastes as good as a homemade sauce made from scratch.

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Theresa Lori

Hi, I'm Theresa. My passion for grilling delicacy gradually built during the time I was living with my parents. My family members especially my mother was a great fan of grilled dishes to and from the love of food. I started preparing smoked food with my mom. This bonding helped me to know more and more about to smoke, grill what always I share on So, in two words you can call me a BBQ lover.

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