Homemade Barbecue Sauce Recipe

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Want a homemade Barbecue Sauce Recipe you can be proud of? Here it is!

I’m lucky enough to near one of the great BBQ capitals of the world, Kansas City, so there’s no shortage of restaurants offering amazing ribs, burnt ends, and briskets. Even with all of the wonderful dining options, homeowners around here pride themselves on their barbequing skills… and yet so many still rely on bottled BBQ sauce.

Now, regardless of what part of the country you hail from, all barbecue sauces rely on two American favorites: ketchup and mustard. Feel free to whip up some ketchup yourself, or use the store-bought stuff.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce Recipe - Kansas City Style

Homemade Barbecue Sauce Recipe

First step: combine the ketchup, mustard, lemon juice, sugar and vinegar in a pan. This is a Kansas City-style sauce, so it’s sweeter and uses more ketchup, whereas North Carolina sauce has more vinegar and South Carolina opts for more mustard. Play around until you like the taste of the sauce base, and then move on to adding your spices.

Add spices to make homemade bbq sauce from HousewifeHowTos.com

We like our sauce with a bit of a kick, so I use the full teaspoon of cayenne. Back down on the amount if your family wants a milder sauce.

Cook that down a while, then stir in the cold cubes of butter. This is what gives BBQ sauce its silky texture and helps it adhere to the meat.

Stir cold cubed butter into homemade bbq sauce recipe from HousewifeHowTos.com

Now, if you like a thin sauce, go ahead and pull it off the stove. For a thicker sauce, simmer it for another 5-10 minutes until it’s reduced by a third. Once it’s reached the consistency you prefer, take it off heat and let it cool thoroughly before storage.


Refrigerator: This homemade barbeque sauce doesn’t have the preservatives of the store-bought stuff. You can store it in an air-tight container in the fridge for a week.

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Canning: Process in a hot water bath using pint jars for 20 minutes.


Now when people start debating which region makes the best barbeque, you can whip out a bottle made with your homemade BBQ sauce recipe and declare yourself the victor.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce – Kansas City-Style

Give your ribs or chicken an authentic Kansas City flavor with this easy to make homemade barbecue sauce.
Print Recipe
Homemade Barbecue Sauce Recipe - Kansas City Style
Prep Time:5 mins
Cook Time:15 mins
Total Time:20 mins


  • Sauce pan
  • Mixing spoon


  • 2 cups ketchup
  • cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. onion salt
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 4 tbsp. cold butter cubed


  • Combine ketchup, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar in a large sauce pan. Add spices, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Stir in cold butter. Simmer an additional 5 minutes to thicken.


Total: Recipe makes 2 cups.
Storage: Keeps for a week in the refrigerator. To can, process in pint jars in a hot water bath for 20 minutes.


Serving: 2tbsp | Calories: 47kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 343mg | Potassium: 70mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 235IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg
Servings: 32 tablespoons
Calories: 47kcal
Author: Katie Berry

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  1. George Mess says:

    Wny will this sauce only keep in the fridge for a week when all the ingredients will keep for at least a month, and some for several months? Seriously, aside from the fresh squeezed lemon juice (on its own) which of the remaining ingredients do you buy on their own and throw out a week later? And when the fresh lemon juice is incorporated into the recipe I’m sure it’s as stable as the rest of the ingredients. Just look at the use by date on mayonnaise (which has lemon juice in it). I’m sure there is plenty of time to finish the rest of the sauce.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi George,
      You’re absolutely correct that each of the ingredients can individually last much longer in the fridge. Combining them in a sauce changes things a bit. After a week or so they will begin to separate. After much longer than that, the sauce can start to lose its flavor. That doesn’t mean it’s gone bad, just that it no longer tastes the same as when you’d first made it.