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Sweet and spicy BBQ sauce recipe

Sweet and spicy BBQ sauce recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish
  • Sauce
  • BBQ sauce

The sauce is sweet, hot and wonderful!! Great on poultry, pork or beef.

23 people made this

IngredientsServes: 48

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 250ml chilli sauce
  • 250ml pineapple juice
  • 125g crushed pineapple
  • 4 tablespoons dark brown soft sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
  • 1 habanero or Scotch bonnet chilli, seeded and chopped
  • 125ml whisky

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:35min ›Ready in:45min

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, and saute until they are transparent. Stir in the garlic, wine vinegar, chilli sauce, pineapple juice, pineapple, brown sugar and lemon juice. Season with Worcestershire sauce, mustard, pepper, hot chilli sauce, and habanero chilli. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Stir in the whisky, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Store in the refrigerator.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(23)

Reviews in English (19)

by sue

The sauce was sweet, delicious, and hot all rolled up in one. It was wonderful on ribs. Absolutely the best I have had on pork ribs. I loved it. Its a keeper. Easily becoming a family recipe for good.-11 Nov 2001

by Gail A. Guild

This sauce is terrific, with just enough heat to make it addictive! I was unable to find fresh habanero peppers so I used dried ones. The only mistake I made was to puree everything at the end since I was after a smooth basting sauce for baby back ribs. The aeration from the blender made the sauce lose it's slick, rich color, so I won't do that again. I will probably just dice the onion much smaller next time. These are not for the faint-hearted!-08 Jul 2008


Based on what I had on hand I had to alter the recipe a bit and it came out sensational. Didn't have any chili sauce so I subbed with two cans of tomato paste. No pineapple either, so I used a jar of pineapple marmalade. Red pepper flakes in lieu of the habanero, soy and hoisin sauce were added in just because I felt like it. Amazing sauce and thanks so much!-27 May 2005

Just Like Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce

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Just like Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce! My homemade bbq sauce recipe is quick and easy to put together. All you have to do is combine everything in a saucepan and let it simmer. It’s tangy, smoky, sweet, and so much better than the store-bought sauce!

This is a story of how we added a bunch of ingredients to a saucepan and made a copycat of Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce in no time!

Being from Texas means there’s no shortage of good BBQ everywhere you look. And though today’s bbq sauce recipe is not anything close to a Texas-style BBQ sauce, it is a sauce that tastes delicious on just about any kind of grilled meat, poultry, and even vegetables. Homemade bbq sauce comes together by simmering a few ingredients and tastes a harmonious balance of sweet, spicy, tangy, and smoky flavors.

We use homemade bbq sauce regularly in our household. Whether it’s to baste chicken with on the grill, or as a sauce on my bbq chicken pizza (an all-time favorite!) It goes on cheesy bbq chicken – a weeknight classic. It’s a key ingredient in my smoky southern baked beans. It’s also an ingredient in the dressing for my Crispy chicken salad, and a part of the sauce for my pickle-brined crispy chicken sandwich!

Recipe Summary

  • ½ cup chopped sweet onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (32-oz.) bottle ketchup (such as Heinz)
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • ½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Sauté onion, minced garlic, and jalapeño pepper in hot olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in ketchup, dark brown sugar, vinegar, apple juice, honey, Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, celery seeds, and dried crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 month.


Nothing beats a sweet, spicy, and smoky BBQ Sauce! Check out this easy BBQ sauce recipe, focused on working with layering flavours and starting with an ingredient you all probably have in the cupboard as a base – almighty ketchup! Not a ketchup fan!? No worries, simply swap it out for your base of choice, blended cooked sweet potato, beets, or simply tomato paste. You can make this sauce in a snap this grillin’ season (and beyond) and use it as a marinade, dipping sauce for veggies, tofu, our mushroom steaks, and seitan! This one comes out thick, silky, and damn delicious!

  • Author: Wicked Healthy
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Yield: 3 cup s 1 x


  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 Onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 small Chilli pepper, (fresno or cayenne are great choices )chopped
  • 1 ½ C Ketchup, low sodium and sugar
  • ¼ C Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T Brown coconut sugar
  • 2 T Black strap molasses
  • 2 Chipotle in adobo
  • 1 T Sriracha
  • 2 tsp T Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Mustard powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • about 1 C of water
  • 1 T vegan butter


  1. Heat a pan over medium heat and add oil, swirl to coat the surface.
    Add onion, garlic, and chopped chili in a pan and saute until the garlic and onions start to caramelize.
  2. Lower heat to medium-low and add ketchup, vinegar, sriracha, smoked paprika, chipotle, mustard, brown sugar, molasses, and salt.
  3. Dilute with a little water to evenly distribute flavours, stir to reduce. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, then shut off the heat.
  4. Use an immersion blender to combine the ingredients to create a thick glossy sauce.
  5. Simmer down for a couple of minutes to thicken to your desired consistency. Add the vegan butter for a silky sheen, stir in to melt and combine.
  6. Stores in the fridge for up to a week.


Check out our Quarantine edition BBQ Grilled Veg Bonanza to try this BBQ sauce recipe out with!

BBQ Sauce: Sweet and Spicy

If I have the time to make homemade BBQ sauce, this is one of several recipes that I use when I grill or oven bake. This is super quick and easy to make. Hubby really loves this on my Recipe #516009, but it is just as good when used on poultry. If you like a sweet BBQ sauce with a bit of a spicy after taste, this could be the one you want (I actually prefer the more mustard based BBQ sauces, but this makes hubby happy). I'm hoping that you enjoy this recipe, and that maybe you will try one of my other BBQ sauces in the future. *Note: I've stopped &quottinkering&quot around with this recipe because hubby said &quotIt's great as is, leave it alone&quot. (I considered maybe sweating some minced onion to add along with some garlic powder, but it is just so simple and tasty now that I would hate to mess it up. Besides, those flavors are not missed). Enjoy! (*Note added: It is an extremely thin sauce, but can probably be altered to make it thicker. maybe less water or longer simmer time).

  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar (or white distilled)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups tomato ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons 14-spice dry rub mix (for recipe, go to
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Liquid Smoke

Combine all ingredients in large saucepan. Stir well. Over medium heat, bring to boil reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 60 minutes. Stir occasionally as it cooks. Store in refrigerator. Keeps for several weeks.

--Sweet and Tangy. Use the original recipe described above.
--Smoky. Add 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke per 1 cup of sauce.
--Spicy. Add 1/4 to 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper per 1 cup of sauce (according to how much heat you want).
--Monica's favorite combo - very spicy with a hint of smoke. For each 1 cup of sauce, add 1 teaspoon cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke.

CAN IT: This recipe is suitable for water-process canning as long as you don't decrease the ratio of vinegar to other ingredients. Ladle hot sauce into hot jars leaving 1/4" head space. Process half and full pints for 20 minutes in boiling water canner.

We had a family discussion the other day about whether "barbecue" means a flavor (as in barbecue sauce) or a cooking method (referring to anything cooked on the grill). I think the answer is "both". But, that may depend on where you're from. Different regions use the term barbecue differently.

This post is about barbecue as a sauce flavor. What makes a good barbecue sauce is another area of hot debate from region to region across the United States. Memphis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Texas, the Carolinas, and more. We all have different takes on what a real barbecue sauce is. Honestly, I like a lot of different kinds of barbecue sauces. The kind I use most often is commonly categorized as Kansas City Style. KC is known for a sweet and tangy tomato-based barbecue sauce. I like to use it as a base for adding some smoky and spicy flavors.

For years I bought bottled barbecue sauce. There are a lot of tasty ones out there. But, once I figured out how easy it is to make my own, I immediately vowed to never buy bottled sauce again. I can make my own in a jiffy, and that allows me to control the ingredients and avoid undesirable additives.

We're fans of ribs with barbecue sauce in our family. We also like pulled pork and chicken with barbecue sauce. Check out my post: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork.

Today, I'm sharing my barbecue sauce recipe and 3 ways it can be adapted. You'll be able to easily customize this recipe to suit your taste. I use my 14-Spice Dry Rub Mix to season my sauce (explained in a previous post). With the spice mix on hand, it's a snap to make barbecue sauce.

Step-by-step photos for making Barbecue Sauce:

Assemble the ingredients. Dark brown sugar, vinegar (cider preferred, white will work), ketchup, cayenne pepper, honey, worcestershire sauce, prepared mustard (the yellow ball-park kind), 14-spice dry rub mix.

Add all ingredients to a saucepan.

Stir everything together, heat to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour.

Done! How easy is that? This makes a thick, sweet, and tangy sauce. The 14-spice dry rub mix gives it a complex combination of seasonings that is so good! If you have time, make the sauce a day or 2 ahead. It's gets better as the flavors meld. The sauce will keep in the fridge for at least 2 months.

Barbecue Sauce #1: Sweet and Tangy. This is the "original" recipe as described above. You can stop right there with a flavorful sauce, or use this as a base for making other versions. Read on.

Barbecue Sauce #2: Smoky. Take the original recipe and add 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke for each cup of sauce. Careful not to overdo it. Liquid smoke is concentrated--it doesn't take much.

What is liquid smoke? I was a little hesitant to use liquid smoke, because I assumed it was made with artificial chemicals and probably not good for me. Turns out that if you use Wright's liquid smoke you're getting nothing but smoke infused water. There are other brands that have all kinds of additives and "unnatural" sounding ingredients. Wrights is recommended by Cook's Illustrated as the only brand that is all natural. Although it's not a perfect substitute for on-the-grill flavor, it's a good alternative when you can't grill. A bonus is that liquid smoke doesn't have the carcinogens that can be present in grilled food. Read more about liquid smoke here.

Barbecue Sauce #3: Spicy. Take the original recipe and add 1/4 to 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper per cup of sauce--the amount depends on just how spicy you want your sauce to be. You can also spice it up with a few hits of tabasco or a similar hot sauce. Diced jalapenos can be added, too.

Monica's favorite combo - very spicy with a hint of smoke. Here's my favorite version of the sauce: For each 1 cup of sauce, add 1 teaspoon cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke. (King-Man can't handle the heat. He gets the original version.)

Serving suggestion. When I'm serving barbecue sauce to guests, I like to divide up the original batch and make some of each of the three different kinds described above. That way guests can choose from a variety--just like at a barbecue restaurant. Condiment bottles are the easiest and tidiest way for guests to use the sauce. But, it can be spooned or poured on, too.

Downloadable tags. Here are tags you can download and print for labeling your barbecue sauces. If you only make one kind, there is a tag that says simply "barbecue sauce" that can be used. Click on the image below to download & print a single sheet with 4 of each of the tags:

To use the tags:

  • print on sticker paper, cut out, and adhere to a jar or condiment squeeze bottle.
  • print on card stock, cut out, punch a hole in the corner, tie with a string or ribbon to a jar or condiment squeeze bottle. Or, serve sauce in a mug or small pitcher and tie the tag to the handle.

Gift idea: Give one or more of these sauces along with other grilling supplies like a gloves, basting brush, tongs, spatula, grill brush, grilling cookbook, etc. Add a jar of 14-spice dry rub mix, too. Great for Father's Day!

NOTE: I got my condiment bottles at The Container Store. They're the only ones I've found that have both of these features: (1) a cover for the tip that stays attached to the bottle when you remove it, so it doesn't get lost and, (2) clear so you can see the contents. Three of these filled with three different barbecue sauces with tags make a fun gift. They're also very convenient for serving the sauce at home.

Can It. This recipe is suitable for water-process canning as long as you don't reduce the ratio of vinegar to other ingredients. Doubling the recipe makes enough for five 1/2-pint jars. It's great to have on hand for quick meals and homemade gifts. For canning instructions, see my post with Step-By-Step Canning Tips.

Even without going through the canning process, this sauce will keep in the fridge for several months.

Whether making one sauce, all three, or inventing a few of your own, you'll see how fast and easy it is to make your own barbecue sauce that's better than anything you can buy in a bottle.

An easy, 20-minute Sweet and Smoky Homemade BBQ Sauce recipe. Make a double batch and keep leftovers in the freezer for ease and convenience!


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne


  1. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the minced garlic and saute two minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and let cook for three minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes until thickened.

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Nutrition Information

Nutrition information has been auto-calculated for your convenience.

Did you make this recipe?

Take a picture and tag @thewanderlustkitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #thewanderlustkitchen. I can't wait to see your version!

Please note that Smoky BBQ Sauce Recipe is often misspelled as Smokey BBQ Sauce Recipe.

  • 1-1/4 cups ketchup
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup red wine vinegar (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed (see notes)
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Measure and add the ketchup, vinegar, worcestershire, sugar, mustard, paprika, salt and pepper into to a mixing bowl, preferably with a spout.
  2. Whisk well until the sugar has dissolved and the spices are throughout.
  3. Pour barbecue sauce into an air-tight jar(s) or container(s) and store it in your fridge. This allows the flavors to develop and meld. Overnight is best but at the least a few hours will do.
  4. This sauce can also be frozen.

Mustard BBQ Sauce

I was turned on to mustard bbq sauce when I started barbecuing a lot more salmon. Mustard sauces can be really simple and still provide a lot of great flavors and a nice change of pace. This works well on salmon, pork, chicken and beef. Give it a go!


  • 1 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • ground black pepper to taste


  • Add all the ingredients to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a slow boil and then let it simmer for five to ten more minutes.
  • For people that are allergic to tomatoes, this tomato-less sauce is a nice option
  • Add 1/2 minced sauteed onion to round out the flavor
  • Goes really nicely on grilled salmon

Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce

How do you make the best barbecue sauce?

  1. Stir: In a pan over medium-low heat, mix all the ingredients.
  2. Simmer: Allow the mixture to thicken by simmering for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Store: Once thickened, you may then transfer it to an airtight container.

Can you make it in advance?

Yes! It can stay in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for 3 months. So, you can make this ahead of your party or whatnot and not bother with it on the day itself. Make sure you keep it in a closed airtight container.

Best ways to use BBQ sauce:

Great as a dip for anything fried, or oven-baked, and most especially for grilled meat. I like dipping oven-baked chicken tenders in it! You can even marinate meat with it and to baste on when grilling.

You can put it in sandwiches, burgers, or wraps too. As a dressing for a salad? Sure! It can be used to flavor a lot of dishes, not just as a dip.

Watch the video: Σάλτσα μπάρμπεκιου -The Best BBQ Sauce - Live Kitchen (July 2022).


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