How-to BBQ: Quick and easy BBQ sauce recipe

How-to BBQ: Quick and easy BBQ sauce recipe

BBQ sauce can be a great condiment. It’s a bit of a shame that its a little overused now, and often used to cover up for poor BBQ in chain pubs (I’m talking about all those times I’ve eaten reheated pulled pork mush, drowned in generic sweet BBQ sauce to hide the lack of quality in the pork). In moderation, and by that I mean, so its not all you can taste - I love it on barbecued chicken, pork ribs and even pulled pork, just as long as is modestly applied. Most supermarkets here in the UK will have several shelves stocked with different brands of BBQ sauces, but all mostly of a similar style (ketchup based) but with varying degrees of quality, and don’t get me started on the BBQ sauce pizza sauce that Dominos use.

I do often use store bought BBQ sauces, and there are lots of great ones in high street supermakets here in the UK: Sauce Shop have a great range (and also stray into other regional styles of sauces not just the classic ketchup based sauce) and Reds True BBQ sauces are good too and often available in Sainsburys. Sometimes though, either for fun, or out of necessity, I make my own. When this does happen, it will be one of two options: 1) I want to make something a bit different, but quick, and don’t have any BBQ sauce to hand 2) I’m in the mood to spend some time on it (or, more likely, I have a surplus of fresh ingredients to use up).

This sauce is very much scenario 1. Its quick, easy and doesn’t require any fancy ingredients - and if nothing else, it means you can impress your guests when you casually drop in its your homemade sauce(or if you want to control the sugar or salt intake). Furthermore, the recipe is so simple it makes it so easy to adapt or put your own spin on - add more heat with some chillies, add some more vinegar for more of a tang, and some more smoked paprika for a more smoked tastem or literally anything else. Once you start tweaking and tuning the recipe to get it to your liking you can then tell your guests it’s your secret house recipe too!

If you want to go further you can cut out the ketchup altogether and make it entirely from scratch (which I like to do with wood smoked, home grown tomatoes) - but thats an article for another day.

  • 1 bottle
  • 5 minutes
  • 30 minutes


  • 2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons american mustard (like Frenchs)
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • couple dashes hot sauce (something like Franks Hot Sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • salt & pepper seasoning
  • 250ml ketchup


  1. Place all ingredients except the ketchup in a non-reactive metal saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly to combine and let the sugars dissolve.
  2. Once dissolved, add the ketchup and a tablespoon of water, bring back to a simmer and continue to simmer for 30 minutes, or until it has reached your preferred consistency (if in doubt, just the usual consistency of BBQ sauce or ketchup is good)
  3. Remove from the heat, store in sterilised jars or bottles. This can be stored in a similar way to jams or chutneys, store in a dark, cool place and keep refrigerated once opened.

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