Here’s a Barbecue Sauce recipe that’s every bit as delicious as Sweet Baby Ray’s famous sauce. It’s all natural, made by you, and only takes a few minutes.

Barbecue sauce in a glass jar.

Recipe ingredients:

Labeled ingredients for barbecue sauce in various bowls.

Ingredient notes:

  • Molasses: Substitute ¼ cup dark corn syrup, honey, or maple syrup, or 3 tablespoons firmly-packed brown sugar (the flavor of the sauce will change).
  • Tamarind paste: Look for this sour paste in Asian and Indian sections of grocery stores. In a pinch, you can substitute 1 teaspoon brown sugar + 1 teaspoon white vinegar or lime juice. You can also buy it online (Culinary Hill may earn money if you buy through this link).
  • Liquid smoke: In a pinch, substitute 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (the flavor of the sauce will change).
  • Cayenne pepper: Add to taste (I like ⅛ teaspoon) or omit entirely.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. In a non-reactive saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, pineapple juice, molasses, tamarind paste, liquid smoke, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder.
    Barbecue sauce ingredients in a silver stock pot.
  2. Then turn down the heat and cover the saucepan. Simmer the sauce for 15-20 minutes to let the flavors mingle. Season to taste with vinegar, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.
    Barbecue sauce in a silver pot with a whisk resting in it.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Yield: One batch makes about 4 cups of sauce.
  • Make ahead: Cool and refrigerate up to 4 days in advance.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Freezing: Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

You don’t need a smokehouse and a gazillion hours to make your own award-winningly tender, fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth barbecue ribs. This recipe is what I make when I want the best, most phenomenal ribs at home. It frees me up to concentrate on planning the party and figuring out the side dishes, too.

Great recipes for barbecue sauce:

Barbecue sauce in a glass jar.

Barbecue Sauce

Here’s a Barbecue Sauce recipe that’s every bit as Sweet Baby Ray’s famous sauce. It’s all natural, made by you, and only takes a few minutes.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 17 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 48
Course Pantry
Cuisine American
Calories 27

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 4 tablespoons molasses (see note 1)
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind paste (see note 2)
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke (see note 3)
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste (see note 4)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • In a non-reactive saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, pineapple juice, molasses, tamarind paste, liquid smoke, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder.
  • Bring the sauce to a low boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until flavors have blended, about 15 to 20 minutes. Season to taste with apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.

Notes

  1. Molasses: Substitute ¼ cup dark corn syrup, honey, or maple syrup, or 3 tablespoons firmly-packed brown sugar (the flavor of the sauce will change). 
  2. Tamarind paste: Look for this sour paste in Asian and Indian sections of grocery stores. In a pinch, you can substitute 1 teaspoon brown sugar + 1 teaspoon white vinegar or lime juice. You can also buy it online (Culinary Hill may earn money if you buy through this link).
  3. Liquid smoke: In a pinch, substitute 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (the flavor of the sauce will change).
  4. Cayenne pepper: Add to taste (I like ⅛ teaspoon) or omit entirely.
  5. Yield: One batch makes about 4 cups of sauce.
  6. Make ahead: Cool and refrigerate up to 4 days in advance.
  7. Storage: Store leftovers covered for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
  8. Freezing: Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tbspCalories: 27kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 94mgPotassium: 64mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 57IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @CulinaryHill or tag #CulinaryHill!
Culinary School Secrets
Pro-level tricks to transform your cooking!

Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. I cannot see the quantity slider. Would love to make this for a big party as this is by far the best bbq sauce i have made and tasted

    1. Hi Kimberly, I’m so sorry about that. I have fixed the quantity slider for you. This recipe will yield about 48 tablespoons.

  2. I ran across this recipe and it looks good if you can have tons of carbs. I can’t so I personally buy a brand called AlternaSweets. Have you tried them? So close to Sweet Baby Rays but keto friendly. I would buy this stuff if I didn’t have to eat a ketogenic diet. I’d love to see if you think AlternaSweets is as great as I do!!

  3. Megan,

    This recipe is the BOMB!!! 🔥🔥🔥🔥👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾💣💣💣💣
    I do have a question regarding the amount of service mare. I love Manning enough (1 gallon), for the entire summer as well as have enough to share with friends. By adjusting it’s this, how do I adjust the recipe to produce the amount I want? I know I can take the ketchup up to 36 or 48 ounces, but wechat do I increase everything else too?5 stars

    1. Hi Keith, I’m so glad you like it! Thanks! There is a little “slider” on the recipe that you can drag, so you can increase the recipe quantity. It will adjust all of the amounts of the ingredients automatically so you don’t have to do the math. Does that make sense? Are you able to locate the quantity slider? If not let me know. Thank you! -Meggan

  4. please review your barb q sauce recipe. prepared mustard is called’the dry stuff’, but in your picture,yellow mustard from a squeeze bottle is shown. please correct and re post

    1. Hi David! I’m so sorry about that! Thank you for catching that. I have reposted it now. Thanks so much for reading! :D -Meggan