A Barbecue Sauce to Call Your Own

Homemade BBQ sauce

Not only is making homemade barbecue sauce a quick and easy process, but it also allows you to adjust the flavors of the sauce in whatever way you want. Traditionally made with a tomato base and plenty of spices, barbecue sauce can be more or less spicy and tangy, more or less sweet or even made with mayonnaise instead of tomato sauce.

This simple, five-ingredient barbecue sauce relies on classic ingredients. You can easily adapt it to your taste with variations or by changing the ratio of the ingredients.

Total Time: 10 minutes | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Serves: 1 1/4 cups sauce


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar


  1. In a medium-size mixing bowl and using a whisk or a fork,

    mix all the ingredients together until they are well blended.
    2. Taste the sauce and add more of any ingredient to alter the flavor as you would like. 3. Use the sauce within 2 hours or refrigerate it for seven to 10 days.


  • Different spices add different types of heat and flavor to barbecue sauce. Try a teaspoon of smoked paprika or cayenne pepper instead of – or in addition to – the chili powder, or add a tablespoon or two of a spicy mustard.  Chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, which you can find in the Mexican section of your grocery store, amp up the smoky flavor and the heat of barbecue sauce, while a tablespoon of chopped jalapeños, either fresh or jarred, adds even more of a kick.
  • For a sweet barbecue sauce, add a few tablespoons of brown sugar, molasses or honey to the basic recipe. For something a little different, add up to 1/4 cup of fruit jam, such as apricot, peach or blueberry.  
  • Experiment with unusual flavors and ingredients such as beer, bourbon, brewed espresso, minced garlic, horseradish sauce, melted, unsweetened chocolate or fresh, smashed blackberries or raspberries.