Homemade BBQ Sauce

Use this knockout homemade BBQ sauce to spice up a variety of meats and dishes.

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It doesn’t matter if you can smoke the best ribs, brisket, and pulled pork butt, if you don’t serve it with the perfect condiment.

BBQ Sauce.

While there’s nothing “wrong” with store-bought BBQ sauce, watching your guests pour cheap sauce over meat you spent 12+ hours slaving over isn’t a great feeling.

This barbecue sauce is easy to make and has the perfect balance between sweet and spice to work with most types of barbecue.

What makes a good sauce?

It depends where you come from, some prefer tang from vinegar and others prefer some heat or more mustard. Then others just like that sweet tasting sugar hit over everything.

So I say why don’t we combine the lot?

When I went about creating this BBQ sauce, I wanted something that stood out from the crowd. Yes, I wanted that sweetness I come to expect from most BBQ sauces but I also wanted to have that extra layer of tang in the flavor profile.

Last but not least I wanted a nice little but of heat at the end. Nothing to burn my throat, just enough to make me sit up and pay attention.

So after a few batches were made and tweaked, we now have what all my family and friends refer to as Schuey’s Sauce. By all means, it can now be yours and you can adjust the flavors quite easily to accommodate your taste.

How to make the best BBQ sauce

It’s an easy recipe to make, it takes mere minutes to prep.

BBQ sauce ingredients
Start by measuring out all the ingredients

I generally just pre-measure out all of the ingredients and place them into a small thick based saucepan. I choose a thick base, as it takes a little longer to heat up and less chance of the sauce from burning.

BBQ sauce in a saucepan on the stove
Using a thick-base saucepan will reduce the risk of burning the sauce

Over a low to medium heat, we need to keep stirring the sauce to allow the sugars to melt and we want to reduce the volume just a little, mainly to thicken it up.

I find 15 minutes is more than enough but if you like a thicker sauce, you can easily push this further until you have your desired consistency.

BBQ sauce in a saucepan and a sauce bottle on a wooden table
Stir the sauce over low heat until desired consistency, cool and transfer to a sauce bottle

After 15 minutes, I’ll remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the sauce to cool, before transferring to a sauce bottle.

How to use the bbq sauce

Smother it on everything: ribs, brisket, burnt ends, chicken, pulled pork, burgers, tacos, and loaded nachos.

Pouring BBQ sauce over smoked pulled pork
This is a perfect condiment to serve with a variety of meats and dishes

Seriously though, this recipe is a great condiment to be kept in heavy circulation. I keep a bottle of this out in my BBQ area, on my kitchen table and back up in my pantry.

I won’t go as far as saying it’s that good you can eat it on ice cream but it isn’t far off.

How store homemade bbq sauce

While store bought barbecue sauces will usually have preservatives in them that allow you to keep them in your fridge for months, homemade sauces don’t quite have the same shelf life.

Your best bet is to allow your sauce to cool slightly before pouring it into a clean, tight fitting jar to store in your fridge.

Thanks to the preservative properties in vinegar, salt and sugar you should be fine to store your bbq sauce for several weeks, potentially up to a few months.

BBQ Sauce

Don’t hold back, smother this on everything. A knockout homemade BBQ sauce to spice up a variety of dishes.
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Course: Condiment / Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 121kcal
Author: Dean “Schuey” Schumann


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 ½ cup apple juice
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper


  • Place all ingredients into a thick based saucepan.
  • Over a low heat, continuously stir for 15 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Transfer to a sauce bottle and store in fridge until required.


Sodium: 653mg | Calcium: 34mg | Vitamin C: 3mg | Vitamin A: 188IU | Sugar: 25g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 253mg | Calories: 121kcal | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fat: 1g | Protein: 1g | Carbohydrates: 30g | Iron: 1mg
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