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Easy BBQ sauce in a mason jar
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5 from 2 votes

Homemade Sweet BBQ Sauce

Homemade BBQ sauce is always better! You can easily adjust the taste and ingredient quantities so that it is made just how you like it. It takes only 20-25 minutes to make.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Dressings and Sauces
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade barbecue sauce, homemade bbq sauce
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Tania


  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup water, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine all the ingredients to a medium saucepan. Give it a taste and adjust ingredient quantities as needed. See notes below for guidelines.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes until thickened, stirring constantly so that the bottom doesn’t burn. Let cool.
  • Storing: Store in an airtight container, preferably in a mason jar, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (or 1 week plus a few days will be fine too).


How to adjust the ingredient quantities to taste:
  • Sweeter: Add more brown sugar and ketchup.
  • Thicker and sweeter: Add more molasses and ketchup, and simmer down 5 additional minutes.
  • More acidic: Add more vinegar.
  • Thinner: Add more water, a few tablespoons at a time.
  • More flavor: Add more Worcestershire sauce or dijon mustard.
  • Smokier: Add more smoked paprika.