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Homemade Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Simple ingredients come together easily to make this slightly tangy and slightly sweet homemade barbecue sauce.

You can use it to sauce up your pulled beef sandwiches or pulled pork sandwiches. Slather your ribs, chicken pieces, or shrimp with the bbq sauce before you grill them. Use it as the base for barbecue pizza. Truly, the opportunities to use this sauce are endless.

BBq sauce in a jar with a wooden spoon.

make this homemade barbecue sauce your own

This barbecue sauce is a basic recipe. You can make adjustments as needed.

  • Adjust the heat by adding or keeping out the cayenne pepper.
  • The bacon adds some smoky flavor, but you can increase the smoke by adding more liquid smoke if you like.
  • Like my husband, if you are vinegar sensitive, start with half of the vinegar. If you like it tangier, increase it.
BBq sauce in a jar with a wooden spoon.
Jar and wooden spoon with barbecue sauce.

Tangy Barbecue Sauce

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This slightly sweet, slightly tangy barbecue sauce is perfect on pulled pork and beef. Slather it on your chicken before you grill it for the best barbecued chicken.


  • 4 ounces of diced bacon
  • 1 tablespoon oil (vegetable, canola, or olive)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup malt vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
  • Up to 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)


  1. Saute bacon in oil until lightly browned.
  2. Add onion, garlic, cumin, and cayenne pepper and saute over medium heat until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

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BBq sauce in a jar with a wooden spoon.

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