Steve's BBQ Sauce Recipe | Print |  E-mail


Steve's Barbeque Sauce Recipe

Being of Italian/Sicilian heritage it is no surprise that Italian food is my favorite.  My second favorite food is barbeque.  Any type of barbeque will do, ribs, pulled pork, brisket, all of it. 

I got tired of "store bought" barbeque sauces not tasting quite to my liking.  I also got tired of finding a sauce that I like, only to have it disappear from my grocer's shelves.

My goal was to make my own barbeque sauce out of "normal" ingredients; anything that could be found in a regular grocery store, anywhere in the world.  It took me years of trying different recipes and modifying them to finally come up with this easy recipe.  Please note that the Ancho chili powder is a must, don't substitute regular chili powder.

As you can see the ingredients are quite standard, and they just might be in your pantry now.  After you make this barbeque sauce, let it sit in the refrigerator a day or so before using, it allows the flavors to blend together.  It's actually better in about a week.

This sauce works as a dipping sauce, glazing sauce, or even in meat loaf.  This sauce is a sweet thick style sauce as opposed to a thinner vinegar based sauce.  With refrigeration, this sauce will last about a month or two.  My batch of sauce runs out much sooner than a month!

This recipe was updated/modified 10/9/2015.

  • 1/4 Cup Canola Oil
  • 3/4 Cup Finely died sweet onion (Vidalia, etc.)
  • 2 Tablespoons finely diced garlic
  • 1 1/2 Cups ketchup
  • 1/2 Cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1/4 Cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 Cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup packed dark brown sugar + 2 Tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Ancho chili powder (not regular chili powder)
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syryp
  • 1/8 Cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (not fresh ground)
  • 1/4 Cup molasses - Grandma's Black Strap
  • 4 teaspoons BBQ rub (at least)  Possibly more
  • 1/4 Cup water (maybe less or maybe more, depending how thick you like your sauce)

1- Heat canola oil over medium heat, add onions, saute until transluscent.  Add garlic cook until lightly golden about 2 minutes more.

2- Add to the onion/garlic mixture:  ketchup, honey, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, ancho chili powder, maple syrup, agave nectar, black pepper and molasses.  Stir well and often as the sugar can burn.  Slowly add water to get the sauce consistency you desire, remembering that the sauce will thicken when cold.  You can always add more water later.

3- Add about 3 teaspoons of BBQ rub, then taste sauce.  Add more if needed. 

4- I like to simmer my sauce for about 30 minutes or so, just to get the tomatoe paste and the other ingredients broken down and happy together.  Remember to stir well and often to prevent burning the sauce.

5- This sauce will be at it's best in a few days to a week.  It's like chili or tomatoe sauce, "the next day" it's always better.

This sauce will store in the refrigerator for a month or two.

Steve DiFranco