How to Make Great Barbecue Sauce

Some say the sauce makes the barbecue. Whip up your own distinctive batch with these tips.


Up next in Sauces, Dressings & Condiments (28 videos)

Dress up your favorite dishes with these tasty sauces and condiments; just follow the recipes and cooking instructions in these videos.

You Will Need

  • 2 c. ketchup
  • ¼ c. cider vinegar
  • ¼ c. Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ c. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. molasses
  • 2 tbsp. prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp. hot sauce
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ c. pineapple juice
  • ¼ c. sautéed onions
  • ¼ c. chiles in adobo sauce
  • Barbecue
  • 1 tbsp. barbecue rub (optional)
  • Liquid smoke (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Make the base

    Make a basic sauce to use as a foundation. Mix the ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, molasses, mustard, hot sauce, and black pepper in a saucepan.

  2. Add a teaspoon of your favorite barbecue rub for a more complex flavor.

  3. Step 2


    Bring to a boil and simmer 10 to 15 minutes until it's dark and thick.

  4. Step 3

    Experiment with additional ingredients

    Experiment with additional ingredients to give the sauce your own distinctive flair. Add sautéed onions to give it a fuller flavor, pineapple juice for sweetness, or chili peppers in adobo sauce for a spicy kick.

  5. Add a splash of liquid smoke to give your sauce a smoky flavor.

  6. Step 4

    Use it

    Field-test your sauce at a barbecue. Slather it on meat while it's still on the grill, or use it as a dip for meat that's already been cooked.

  7. Step 5

    Store the excess

    Store any extra sauce in a sealed container in a refrigerator. It will keep for several months, but sauce this good is bound to disappear in no time!

  8. The Oxford English Dictionary claims the first recorded use of the word "barbecue" in the English language occurred in the 1690s.