This homemade BBQ sauce is tangy, sweet, and perfect for slathering. Make a jar to eat in a couple of weeks or batch the recipe for a rainy day!

BBQ sauce in a jar.

Making homemade BBQ sauce might sound tedious, but it’s actually super simple. In recent years, I’ve just loved experimenting with making my own sauces and shying away from store bought varieties. From homemade alfredo sauce, or tartar sauce, to caesar salad dressing, I love cutting down on preservatives without compromising on flavor. This BBQ sauce is of no exception!

Before you dive in, it’s important to note that this recipe yields two cups of BBQ sauce. If you are looking to make a larger batch, feel free to double or triple the recipe and freeze or can the sauce for later.

All the BBQ ingredients on a tray.

How to Make Homemade BBQ Sauce

Making homemade BBQ sauce is easier than it sounds. With just a handful of ingredients and a little patience, you’ll wonder why you ever leaned on store bought versions. Below, find a quick rundown of the recipe before you dive in.

  • Combine All the Ingredients: In a saucepan over medium heat, add in the ketchup, apple cider vinegar, honey, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, honey mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine.
  • Cook the Sauce: Next, bring the sauce to a simmer and then turn the heat down low. Cook it for an hour, giving it the occasional stir so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Cool & Store the Sauce: Before placing the sauce into a sealable canning jar or airtight container, first let it cool completely. Keep it refrigerated for up to two weeks and enjoy it on an assortment of BBQ meats, fries, chicken wings, and more.

Tips & Tricks

Here you’ll find a couple of tips and tricks to help you make the most flavorful BBQ sauce.

  • Cook the sauce low and slow. Cooking the sauce low not only prevents it from burning and sticking to the pan, but it also allows it to develop a rich flavor.
  • Add in a pinch of chili powder or cayenne. If you like your BBQ sauce spicy, add in some chili powder or cayenne to taste.
  • Store the sauce in an airtight container. To prevent your sauce from absorbing smells in the fridge, make sure to store it in an airtight container.

Serving BBQ Sauce

One of the most common ways to serve BBQ sauce is slathered on ribs or chicken. You can also use it to make spruce up cheeseburger sliders or a flank steak wrap. It’s also a wonderful dip for air fryer french fries or crispy air fryer chicken wings.

Storing BBQ Sauce

BBQ sauce is perfect for batch cooking. Whether you plan to eat it in a couple of weeks or want to freeze a couple of jars for later, here are all the best practices for storing so you never buy the bottled stuff again.

  • Refrigerator: If you want to have BBQ sauce on hand for a couple of weeks, store it in a sealable canning jar or airtight container and store it in the fridge. This will prevent the sauce from absorbing any lingering smells in your fridge and will also allow it to keep developing its flavor as it sits.
  • Freezer: If you want to make a couple of batches of BBQ sauce at once, freeze it to have on hand whenever a craving strikes. To do so, first allow it to cool completely and separate it into several jars or container. To thaw, place a jar in the fridge overnight. It should keep for up to 3 months.
BBQ sauce in a jar.


What are the major ingredients used for BBQ sauce?

The major ingredients used in most BBQ sauces include ketchup, some sort of vinegar, brown sugar, and an assortment of dried spices.

Does homemade BBQ sauce need to be refrigerated?

Yes, homemade BBQ sauce needs to be refrigerated and is best stored in an airtight container so it doesn’t absorb any smells.

What is the shelf life of homemade BBQ sauce?

The shelf life of homemade BBQ sauce is two weeks when it’s stored in the refrigerator and 3 months when frozen.

Can I freeze homemade BBQ sauce?

Yes, you can freeze homemade BBQ sauce. It will keep for up to 3 months.

How do you preserve homemade BBQ sauce?

To preserve homemade BBQ sauce, you’ll need to can it properly. To do so, sterilize the jars in an oven after rinsing them with soap and water. Next, add the BBQ sauce into the jars while still hot and either seal them in a hot water bath or by flipping them upside down for a couple of hours.

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About Author

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Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.