Homemade Barbeque Sauce

Homemade Barbeque Sauce

Quick & Easy Barbeque Sauce

It doesn’t get much easier than this. The beauty of this recipe is it’s very flexible: more of this – less of that – no problem. Add cayenne or Tabasco if you like but I like it just this way, not too hot, sweet, and sticky. I’ve never found a bottled sauce this good! - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Makes: 1 cup

Quick & Easy Barbeque Sauce


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy mustard (I use Guldens' Spicy Brown Mustard)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (NOT powdered chili pepper)


  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and sauté onion & garlic for 2 minutes until golden brown.
  2. Add everything else and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes. Sauce with thicken as it cools.

Notes: This is NOT a spicy, hot sauce. International cooks, please note: Use chili powder, NOT POWDERED CHILI PEPPER, which is extremely hot. For more on this recipe in my blog click here.

94 Comments on "Homemade Barbeque Sauce"

  1. HappyLuckyBlessed

    Making these tonight for me and the hubby — can’t wait!! Will let you know how they turn out – I’m sure they will be amazing!

    • HappyLuckyBlessed

      These ribs are AH-MAZING!! I made 2 racks instead of 1 and my husband raved. Thank you so much for posting your recipe — I will definitely be using this as my go-to rib recipe and your BBQ sauce is addicting!! And I love your website and you are adorable! Blessings to you!.

  2. debby mathis

    I have looked at A LOT of recipes for great ribs. I’m making yours for my husband to take to tailgate at the KC CHIEFS & SAND DIEGO CHARGERS GAME SUNDAY. I hope they will be OK to put on a grill to warm. THANK YOU & I WILL LET YOU KNOW HOW IT GOES.

  3. Anna

    Hi Jenny!
    Was wondering do I have to use olive oil? or is reg. veg oil ok?

  4. Jim

    What if I am making 3 or 4 slabs at a time do I have to increase the temp or time or both??

    • Jenny

      I have never made that many so I can’t say for sure but it seems to me that as long as the oven is big enough for the heat to circulate properly, you should not have to increase the time or temp. But it’s best to do a little research, especially look through the comments because some people have made large portions.

      • Ishes

        How long will this Bar B Q sauce last. Is it preserved to last a long time?
        Can I bottle it to use for a couple months. Please advise.

        • Jenny

          I have kept mine for several months, refrigerated, of course.

  5. Sandy

    Hi Jenny,
    Can you let me know if store bought bbq sauce is okay to use? Thanks.

    • Jenny

      If you look through the comments you’ll see that a lot of people use their own, or store-bought, sauce. It’s my method that they like.

  6. Véronique

    Très bon! Excellent! Second time I make these ribs, always been a big success!
    Love the recipe in the oven. Merci Jenny, keep it up!

  7. Helge

    I’m going to try this today. I’m not that familiar with the US-measurements like cups and so forth. How does it all add up to 1 cup (it says “makes 1 cup” in the beginning) when you add like 5 times a 1/2 cup of ingredients? That alone would make 2 1/2 cups right?

  8. Steph

    Can you tell me how long can you have this recipe for? Im guessing it will go in the fridge once made so will it be good for 6 months?

    • Jenny

      I keep mine in a jar in the fridge for several months. Once, I forgot I had it and it was in there at least 6 months.

  9. 2CeYouSmile

    This is a great & easy sauce! And just like many of her recipes, it is fool proof. I was trying to multitask and misread the measurements. I used 1/2 Cup of spicy brown mustard instead of 2 Tablespoons. Not to worry though, I just amped up the other ingredients to counter balance. It is a great sauce! Pair this with her fall off the bone ribs and you will never go hungry. Great recipes!

    Just a tip: If you do not have molasses on hand, use 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar and omit the light brown sugar.

    Keep up the great cooking and instructional videos!


    Hi, I’m a sort of international cook! and I have a question for you.
    What exactly chili powder is? According to Food lover’s Companion
    Chili powder is a powdered seasoning mixture of dried chilis,garlic,oregano,cumin and cloves. Is that what you are talking about? Could you please give me a name of commercial brand? such as McCormick Chili Powder.
    I am wondering if this product (Mccormic Chili powder) is suitable for your recipe.

    Thank you and have a great day!

  11. Jack george

    How do you make your rub?

  12. Marcela

    Hi Jenny!

    I tried your BBQ sauce along with the dry
    Rub recipe that I used on my ribs. Everything came out of this world. Thank you Jenny.

  13. Susan

    Hi, just finished making the sauce. I doubled the batch and was having trouble trying to get it to thicken, so I made a roux. I didn’t know what else to do, lol. Any suggestions for next time ? By the way it was delicious!

    • Jenny

      You could try cooking it longer. Occasionally, I cook mine a little too long and it’s actually too thick and I have to thin it. It’s been my experience that almost anything cooked long enough will eventually reduce and thicken.

  14. Michael

    Can i leave out the 1/2 cup of chopped onion?

    • Jenny

      Onion adds a lot of flavor to any recipe so the sauce won’t be quite as rich if you leave it out.


      Yes, but best when flavored with onion and also 1/2 lemon. Squeeze the juice from lemon into sauce pan and add peel to sauce along with fairly large chunks of onion. Simmer sauce as Jenny has written, After a very slow simmer of about 15-20 mins, remove onion and lemon peel. Also to hide onion from kids or those who don’t like onion, blend it to a puree and no one will ever know the difference when added to sauce except for a better flavored sauce. Onion is awesome so when called for, do not exclude it from recipes, just disguise it!!! I also add 1/2 stick of real butter to sauce.

  15. Janice

    Hello Jenny!!! Your recipe looks delicious. In your opinion if all I have is dark brown sugar which, if I’m correct just has more molasses than light brown, can’t I use that and omit the extra molasses in the ingredients? Thanks

    • Jenny

      If you use dark brown sugar I would not omit the molasses because it adds to the syrupy nature of the sauce and whatever molasses is in the brown sugar would not compare to the richness of thick molasses.

  16. Jan

    Hi Jenny! I want to make your barbeque sauce and I just want to know if you use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar. Can’t wait to try it.

    Thank you!

  17. Nina from Orlando

    Hi Jenny! First, I have to say that you look gorgeous! Would you PLEASE share your anti-aging recipe with us?? Your recipes are amazing! I found you on You-Tube while searching out an easy whole-wheat bread recipe, and you’ve got the best!! Now, I’d like your advice on how to change the BBQ Sauce to sugar-free! (I’m not able to have any sugar, whatsoever!). TY!

    • Jenny

      I’m sorry but I have no experience with sugar alternatives. If you can’t have any sugar, you know more about substituting for it than I do. A sauce like this is very forgiving so whatever you use in your other recipes is worth trying in this one.

      • Linda

        You didn’t answer the question on anti-aging……you look great…we need an answer…LOL…

  18. Shirley

    Thrilled you wrote the recipe out as there was something wrong with the video. It wouldn’t go past oregano…. Maybe because there was over a million hits! Thanks for sharing – love your enthusiasm!

  19. Victoria M

    hey , I just made this rib recipe with country style boneless ribs, because that’s what I had. It was fork tender and finally the taste was right! I don’t care for bbq sauce but this home made cooked down one is fab. I also love the idea of not buying store bought stuff with all those preservatives. I’m keeping this recipe on my Pinterest. I can say that I’m sure that everyone will love these!

  20. luna

    This BBQ sauce is amazing! I had some chicken wings that I wanted to make in my new pressure cooker and thought i had some BBQ sauce in the pantry when I realized i did not have any I decided to give this recipe a try. It was super easy and the wings I made turned out to be the best wings that I have ever had. I will be making them again on Sunday for the football game and many many more times. Thank you!

  21. Susan

    I’m going to make the ribs tonight for dinner. I can’t wait to try your rub and BBQ sauce recipes. They look incredible. I will let you know how they turn out. Thanks a bunch.

  22. Sue

    Excellent sauce ! Made them for Christmas dinner because that’s what my girls wanted was ribs. They couldn’t stop talking about them.

  23. MIA

    I’m making this right now the sauce but I did it 8 olive oil 2 cups onion 4 cloves garlic 2 cup cider vinegar ect….. Would it turn out the same? First time making it I’m nervous

  24. Michael

    Hi Jenny,

    thanks for your ribs recipe, I’m going to do it today for the first time. However I’m from Germany and I don’t know the difference between chili powder and powdered chili pepper. Products which could be chili powder / powdered chili pepper are red flakes (is this powdered chili?) and a powder which kinda looks like sweet paprika powder (is this the proper chili powder?).

    I’m going to take the one I have (flakes) but less than in your recipe to make sure it’s not going to be too hot and spicy…

  25. George

    I am planning to cook 6 racks of back ribs how much extra time do you suggest for cooking. Thanks!

    • George

      Also can I cut them in two or do I need to cut indavidualy.

      • Jenny

        You can cut them in twos or threes or not cut them at all. They will still fall off the bone.

    • Jenny

      I’m not an expert but it seems to me that ribs take the same length of time to cook whether it’s one rack or six. By the way, you can cook them in advance, cool & refrigerate, and then just finish them the day you need them. Scroll down to see how some people have cooked multiple racks.

  26. Lyn Maxwell

    I do not have a broiler for my oven when finishing off ribs, what temperature will I use Celsius?, thank you Lyn xx

    • Jenny

      I would set the oven temperature as high as it will go and move the rack to the top of the oven because ovens are always hotter at the top.

  27. Doug

    Hi Jenny,
    I’m home bound from a shoulder reconstruction (last week).
    I’m going to surprise my wife with these Monday evening dinner (tomorrow in Sydney Australia).
    expecting this will go down a treat!

  28. emma

    Hi Jenny,

    My family enjoys your bbq ribs, thank you so much for sharing your own recipe.

    God Bless,


  29. Ms.Janice221

    Are those heat resistant gloves that you used in your video to handle the ribs? If so where can I buy a pair? Thanks in advance for your reply/answer.

    • Jenny

      They are just Playtex kitchen gloves, the kind used for dish washing but I use clean ones out of the package. They are thick enough to handle hot ribs.

  30. Trang Nguyen

    Can’t believe I can make this BBQ sauce! 😉 Turn out to be excellent!
    Thank You Jenny!

  31. ian Joseph

    Great recipe is it powder mustard for the rub and liquid mustard for the sauce ?

  32. Sabrina


    Cant wait to make this recipe!

    I dont have spicy mustard can I use yellow mustard or will this have a dramatic difference to the taste?

    Thank you

    • Jenny

      There is a big difference between yellow mustard, which has a tangy bite to it and spicy brown mustard, which has more depth of flavor so I don’t think I would make the switch. If you can’t get spicy brown I would substitute dijon mustard.

      • Sabrina

        Thank you Jenny! Ill make sure to go buy spicy brown mustard.

  33. Mariluz

    Hello, I don’t have Worcestershire Sauce, or soy sauce, Can I just leave it out or what can I use?
    Thank you!

    • Jenny

      There is no soy sauce in my recipe but Worcestershire is found in most barbeque sauce recipes. It’s a strong and complex addition to the sauce and there’s really nothing like it that I know of that you could use as a replacement.

  34. Carol

    We followed this method but we used a famous dry rub already made in a jar. The problem was the ribs got very salty. What should we do differently? We love the method of baking.

    • Jenny

      That famous dry rub was probably very high in sodium. Next time, try my rub.

      • Donna

        This looks good and it is easy.I will be using this ricipe soon got to get a few or the ingredients. Love that I can do in the oven. Thanks

  35. Lila

    How does this sauce stand up in a pressure cooker? Does it become thin or separate during pressure cooking?

    • Jenny

      I haven’t used a pressure cooker in years but always thought it was for cooking things faster, that would normally take a long time. I don’t know how this recipe would turn out in a pressure cooker but I can tell you that when I cook it too long on the stove it gets too thick. It only takes 25 minutes to cook this sauce on the stove (where you can keep an eye on it and stop when it’s as thick as you want it) so you may not need to use a pressure cooker.

  36. StayThristyMyFriends

    Excellent recipe, Excellent ribs ! ! !
    Used your recipe for bbq sauce and the rub as well…. worked great.
    One question…. the cider vinegar, can you use apple cider vinegar?
    (probably the same thing I guess)

  37. frank

    I have made your awesome cabbage rolls now I am making these ribs this Italian is on a roll you are the best thanks “jennnnnney” in a (forrest gump) voice lol

  38. Sharon

    Making it right now. Did not have cider vinegar, so using white wine vinegar. Dijon mustard. So far, so good! Really tangy, but sweet at the same time. Dipping bread currently. Might not have enough for the ribs!☺️

  39. Val Jamison

    This recipe makes only one (1) cup?

  40. Cathy J Wells

    I always wait until my ribs are almost fully cooked before I slather them with BBQ sauce, let them cook about 15 minutes on one side, turn them over, slather that side with BBQ sauce and cook 15 more minutes. I learned the hard way the any sauce with honey, molasses or ketchup in it will burn on the meat if left on too long. I’ve cooked mine fully in the oven before and I’ve cooked them 90% done in the oven and then finished them on the grill. Either way they’re always delicious. I’m a Southern girl and we love ribs.

  41. Tariq M.

    Can you please make a video making the BBQ sauce?

  42. John-Paul Hunter

    I got the temperature totally wrong…..we use Celcius in Oz…..your 300 is only about 150 here….burnt the ribs to a crisp….:-(

  43. John-Paul Huntet

    once the sauce had been made…..what is it’s shelf life. It tastes awesome and I thought I might just use it as a sauce over steak as well as a basting sauce for the ribs. Thought I might “bottle it’

    • Jenny

      I keep mine in a jar in the fridge. I’ve kept it as long as 2-3 months.

  44. Clody

    Thank you so very much!!!
    I always wanted to make my own barbeque sauce and this is excellent.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    The ribs are also the best ever!

  45. Kim

    Great barbecue sauce!

  46. mohamed

    I tried this and holy cow this works so amazing with the ribs 🙂

  47. Lorraine

    Is that powdered mustard or mustard liquid in a jar,we don’t have that mustard here in australia.thanks Lorraine.

  48. Mariel

    thank you for the easy and yummy recipes (^-^).
    more powers in you!.
    God bless you…

  49. Connie

    can you use honey to replace molasses?

  50. Connie

    can you substitute the molassas for something else?

  51. E

    Is it suppose to be liquidy? Or wen it cools it will become thick?

    • Jenny

      The sauce will thicken after it cools so I usually stop cooking once it gets a little thick, or just thick enough to coat a spoon. I usually use it right way so I cook it until it’s thick enough to stick to my basting brush. Once I cooked it too long and it got too thick in the fridge but I just added a little water and it was fine.

  52. Carol

    I have used this recipe for years (1964) and I thought you might like it as it is very similar to your BBQ sauce.
    Sweet and Sour BBQ sauce.
    3 TbspFlour
    1 C lightly packed brown sugar. Mix in saucepan, then stir in..
    1 C water
    3/4 C cider vinegar
    1/4 C catsup
    1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
    1 tsp dry mustard
    1 C drained Pineapple chunks
    1 green pepper seeded and cut into strips
    Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Serve with spareribs, meatballs, ham steaks.
    Yield 3 Cups.
    Thanks for all your recipes and ideas…..Carol (Freezing in Canada.)

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