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Glass bowl of BBQ sauce sitting on a wooden table, BBQ sauce smeared on table.
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5 from 3 votes

How To Make Homemade BBQ Sauce

You just can't beat a good homemade BBQ sauce and this one is the BEST! This recipe is easy to make and has both a sweet and smoky flavor that pairs well with so many meats!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Cooling Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: dinner, Sauce
Cuisine: American
Servings: 20
Calories: 51kcal
Author: Amanda Mason


  • 2 cups ketchup
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ½ Tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ Tablespoon garlic, minced
  • ½ Tablespoon granulated onions
  • ½ Tablespoon dried parsley
  • ¼ cup strong brewed coffee, (I used Starbuck's French or Italian Roast)


  • Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Stir until mixed well.
  • Heat the ingredients in a saucepan until it starts to boil. Once the sauce starts to get thick, about 3-5 minutes, remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside to completely cool.
  • Store the sauce in a container with a lid and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using. 


  • How To Thicken Homemade BBQ Sauce - as long as I've been making this, I've never had an issue with getting this sauce to thicken up. The key is to let the sauce get really hot at a consistent boil. You need to consistently stir the sauce so that it doesn't stick to the bottom and burn. If you like your sauce thicker, just turn up the heat and boil it longer. It takes a total of about 5 minutes for me to get it to the consistency in the photos.
  • Can You Freeze It? Yes. Once the sauce has completely cooled, put it in a gallon size plastic baggie and lay it flat in the freezer. This sauce will last for about 3 months in the freezer. When you are ready to use it, place the baggie in a large bowl and let it slowly thaw in the refrigerator. I'm a big fan of thawing things slowly. If you're in a hurry, run cold water in a bowl and place the baggie in the water. It will take about 15 minutes to thaw using this method.
  • Should I Use Store Bought or Homemade? - In a pinch when I don't have a frozen batch in my freezer, I buy store bought. But I prefer to make my own for several reasons. For one, most packaged versions contain high fructose corn syrup which isn't the healthiest choice. Plus, store bought bottles contain a lot of preservatives to keep them from going bad. I prefer fresh ingredients and the sweet and smoky flavor in this one just can't be beat!


Calories: 51kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Sodium: 149mg | Potassium: 66mg | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 180IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.2mg