How To Make BBQ Sauces (Easy Recipe And Tips)

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Want to know the tips and tricks on how to make BBQ sauces? Then read on! We have everything you need to know about BBQ sauces!

Regarding BBQ sauces, five major kinds branch into many other sub-categories. The sweet and thick tomato-based BBQ sauce originating in Kansas City is the most popular.

However, some people opt for a vinegar base resulting in a stronger-tasting BBQ sauce. But how can you make a great BBQ sauce at home?

BBQ sauces are defined by their base ingredient: ketchup (tomatoes), vinegar, mustard, mayonnaise, or Worcestershire sauce. From this, you’ll add ingredients such as tomatoes, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, spices, and sometimes even mustard or mayonnaise to create your own particular kind.

Want to know more about BBQ sauce and how you can make your tasty condiment? Then read on! We have everything you need to know about BBQ sauces.

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The Different Types Of BBQ Sauce

Easy BBQ Hot Sauce Recipe #bbqsauce...
Easy BBQ Hot Sauce Recipe #bbqsauce #hotsauce #hotsauceaddict

There is more than one kind of famous BBQ sauce, and depending on where you’re at in America, you may find yourself with a BBQ sauce much different than what you’re used to.

The major styles of BBQ sauce originated in different parts of America, such as Kansas, Kentucky, and Alabama, where BBQing meat and food became a popular event. 

While the majority of ingredients will be included in each of the sauces, the difference is the amount in each individual sauce.

Below we will list the major kinds of BBQ sauces and where they originated:

Tomato-Based BBQ Sauce

This is the most popular BBQ sauce you’ll find in supermarkets and is made up of a tomato ketchup base, and is usually a lot sweeter than other varieties.

This BBQ sauce originated in Kansas City and is excellent for coating meats in a sweeter rub.

BTW, since you are here, you probably like cooking! So, check out these sweet (and easy) Griddle Recipes!

Vinegar-Based BBQ Sauce

Vinegar-based BBQ sauces originated in North Carolina and are typically much less sweet than ketchup-based sauces.

They involve a much higher percentage of vinegar in the sauce, resulting in a much stronger and tangy taste. 

People in North Carolina would argue that a sauce higher in vinegar tenderizes the meat as much as possible, resulting in one of the most succulent styles of BBQ. 

Worcestershire Based BBQ Sauce

Worcestershire Based BBQ sauce originated in Kentucky and is a staple when it comes to BBQing mutton.

This particular kind of sauce will have a much higher percentage of Worcestershire than other varieties resulting in a sweet yet bold BBQ sauce. 

Mustard-Based BBQ Sauce

The mustard-based version is a BBQ sauce that’s extremely popular in South Carolina.

This particular kind of BBQ sauce has a flavor that is both tangy and peppery and is an excellent condiment for just about any type of beef you can grill. 

Mayonnaise-Based BBQ Sauce

In Alabama, the most popular kind of BBQ sauce is one that includes a much higher percentage of mayonnaise than what would be typical in other places. This results in a creamy BBQ sauce that is great for any smoked poultry.

Recipe For Making Your Own BBQ Sauce

When it comes down to making a great BBQ sauce, it’s often more straightforward than people give it credit.

While we’ve mentioned multiple varieties of BBQ sauce above, we will focus on the classic ketchup-based BBQ, which originated in Kansas City, for our recipe. 

A Kansas City BBQ sauce should be thick, sweet, and tomatoey, resulting in a sauce or glaze for meat that has become popular worldwide, whether it’s drowning ribs, beef, pork, or chicken.

You will want to set around 40 minutes of your time to make the sauce, and once it’s combined, you can let it simmer even longer to get the best possible taste.

You will get around two cups of Kansas City BBQ sauce from the following recipe.

Firstly gather the following ingredients: 

  • 2 cups ketchup or homemade tomato sauce
  • ⅓ cup tomato paste
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 chopped garlic gloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder


Step 1: Add all the ingredients to a saucepan beginning with the wet and working to the dry; give them a good stir as you go. 

Step 2: Bring the sauce to a simmer on medium heat, then reduce the heat and let the flavors combine together for up to 30 minutes.

The longer you leave it on at a gentle simmer, the better it will taste; just be careful not to burn it.

Step 3: Remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool in a jar. As the sauce rests in the jar, the flavors will infuse even further, resulting in a great-tasting Kansas City BBQ sauce. 

Alternative Ingredients

Many of the ingredients are interchangeable when it comes to BBQ sauce, such as:

Swapping out the apple cider vinegar for a red wine vinegar

If you don’t want to use brown sugar, you can swap it out for honey, and if you’d like it a little sweeter, opt for less. 

Liquid smoke can give your BBQ sauce that extra smokey flavor that’s perfect for some meat lovers. Smoked paprika is also a great alternative to liquid smoke and is a little less potent. 

While it’s not common, If you want to be adventurous and include a little kick to your Kansas City BBQ sauce, you can add a little cayenne or chili powder to taste to end up with a sweet and spicy BBQ sauce.

Tips On How To Make Better BBQ Sauces!

There are a few age-old tips that can help you create the best BBQ sauce. Some are simple reminders, whereas others are harder to come by; a few of these will be listed below:

When making your BBQ sauce, you’ll want to make it well in advance of your event or BBQ. This will give the ingredients within the sauce as much time as possible to mix and combine, resulting in a great sauce.

On top of this, letting your BBQ sauce simmer for at least 30 minutes on a gentle what is another way in which you can ensure the ingredients contained within are well and thoroughly mixed. 

When it comes to spices, don’t be shy and try different amounts and combinations each time.

Whether you add a little more garlic and cumin at one time, or the next time a little more onion and mustard, the key is finding what combinations work for you. 

Adding spices to your sauce will also stop it from being so bland. So, if you end up with a BBQ sauce that tastes flat and bland, try adding in a few teaspoons more of Worcester sauce, yellow mustard, or spices such as garlic and onion powder.

If you find your BBQ sauce too sweet, an excellent way to balance this out is to add a bit of apple cider or rice vinegar.

This will add contrast and a tanginess to your BBQ sauce. Start with a few tablespoons and give it a good shake. 

If your BBQ sauce is too tart, you can add in a sweetener to help with the flavor profile. This could be brown sugar, molasses, or honey. Start with a teaspoon and work up until the flavor is balanced. 

If you’ve added too much smoke to your BBQ sauce, one way in which you can save it is by adding in a bit of citrus juice, including limes or oranges. Start with a little so you don’t ruin the overall flavor. 


So, now you have everything you need to get into the kitchen and make a great Kansas City BBQ sauce for yourself; remember, the ingredients list is just a base, but you should play around a see what combinations you like the best.