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Homemade Sweet & Smoky BBQ Sauce

A delicious sweet and smoky BBQ sauce that can be made at home using all natural ingredients for a fraction of the price that you'll pay for a half decent bottle at the store? Yep, totally possible - and easy, too!

I take real pride in making as much as our food from scratch as possible. Each week, I bake our own bread, make our own ketchup and cook every meal from scratch. In fact, I take so much pride in making everything from scratch that it's become a sort of addiction.

I can't just pick a loaf of bread up at the store because it feels like I'm giving in and I'm admitting that the stuff in the supermarket is better than the stuff that I can make at home. Even when I know I've got a jam-packed day with barely enough time to breathe, let alone bake any bread, if we're out of the sandwich must-have, I'll go ahead and whip up a batch of rolls.

Sometimes it can get really exhausting, but this homemade sweet and smoky BBQ sauce? Totally makes it worth it. Every. Single. Time. I came across loads of homemade BBQ recipes when I was looking for inspiration, but every single one of them used ketchup as one of the main ingredients. And, well, ketchup out of a bottle isn't homemade!

So, instead of using store-bought ketchup in my homemade BBQ sauce, I decided to build upon my homemade ketchup recipe, resulting in an amazing sweet and smoky BBQ sauce that has so many depths of flavour you'll never opt for store-bought ever again. Promise!

Homemade Sweet & Smoky BBQ Sauce |

This recipe makes quite a large amount of BBQ sauce, so feel free to scale it down if you only want it for a couple of meals or increase it if you need enough to slather on a dozen racks of ribs at your next BBQ. Now that's an idea - this would make an amazing rib sauce! Be right back - I've got some ribs to glaze.

📖 Recipe

Homemade Smoky BBQ Sauce |

Homemade Sweet & Smoky BBQ Sauce

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  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ cups red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 ½ teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  • Mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan and simmer over a medium-low heat, stirring regularly, until thickened up. I usually reduce the sauce by half - this can take up to two hours.
  • When you're happy with the thickness pour into an air-tight container and leave to cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge.

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About Nicola

I’m Nicola, the face behind Happy Healthy Motivated – your go-to guide to becoming your best you!
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    Recipe Rating

  1. Heather {Woods of Bell Trees}

    This looks super yummy! I don't care for the bottled sauces! I can't wait to give this a shot!

  2. Mika

    So delicious and easy to make!

    Coming from Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop! Come-by my blog!

  3. Katherines Corner

    I love smoky BBQ, yum..Thank you for helping to make the Thursday Favorite Things Blog hop so much fun. Big Hugs ♥

  4. CJ Huang

    This BBQ sauce looks delectable! I'd love to give it a try. Feel free to come share it at Five Friday Finds.

  5. Jenna

    looks and sounds great and easy too~I am trying to make more things like this from scratch, so tired of preservatives and processed foods. Thanks~

  6. Tirabaralla

    Uhhhh! This sounds delish and I may even have all of the ingredients in my cupboard!
    Thank you for sharing 🙂

  7. Emily @ Simple Life Of A Fire Wife

    Sweet and smokey is my favorite kind of BBQ sauce! I will have to give this a try! Thanks for sharing at Share Your Stuff Tuesdays!

  8. Sara

    LOVE this purely homemade version! Thanks for sharing!

    Thanks for linking up with us at Tell Me About It Tuesday! I hope you hop over again next week.