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Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Sauce

I've never cared that much for store bought barbecue sauce. I just like to make things myself from scratch including this spicy, deep red-brown sauce. You'll find it clings well when you slather it on grilled meat. —Helena Georgette Mann, Sacramento, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Cook: 35 min.
  • Makes
    1-1/2 cups


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce


  • In a large saucepan, saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in the chili powder, cayenne and pepper; cook 1 minute longer.
  • Stir in the ketchup, molasses, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and pepper sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes or until sauce reaches desired consistency. Cool for 15 minutes.
  • Strain sauce through a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl, discarding vegetables and seasonings. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 month. Use as a basting sauce for grilled meats.
Nutrition Facts
2 tablespoons: 68 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 325mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 1g fiber), 0 protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Cindy
    Oct 20, 2019

    I used cocoanut oil instead of canola and 1/3 of the molasses.. Left it chunky. Much better than anything store bought. This is the new staple.

  • William
    Apr 2, 2019

    Thanks for the recipe.

  • mlj4546
    Jun 17, 2017

    A little too much chili powder for my taste and we also prefer a bit sweeter so I added brown sugar and it was really tasty, just the right amount of heat.

  • tammycookblogsbooks
    May 31, 2014

    If you like a little heat in your barbecue sauce, you'll enjoy this recipe. I used only 1 teaspoon of chili powder when I made it and skipped the straining step. This would be good on beef, chicken, or pork.

  • suday
    May 27, 2014

    This sounds great because there is no extra sugar added and I use Heinz Reduced Sugar Ketchup.

  • lpeter01
    May 27, 2013

    I make this sauce to put on my Guinness Baby back Ribs. It is Great!!!