How to make homemade barbecue sauce

10-minute gourmet: Take your grilling up a notch with a mouth-watering sauce made from scratch and four sauce variations to switch things up

barbecue sauce, homemade

Michael Alberstat

Classic sweet and spicy barbecue sauce


1 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup puréed onion, about 1/2 small onion
1 cup ketchup
1 cup tomato sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp hoisin sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp hot-red-pepper flakes


1. Heat a large saucepan over medium. Add oil, then onion. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 min. Add ketchup, tomato sauce, brown sugar, hoisin, garlic powder, Worcestershire, paprika and pepper flakes. Continue stirring frequently, to keep sauce from splattering, until flavours develop, 5 to 8 min.

2. Ladle into 2 clean 250-mL Mason jars. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 min. Wipe rims clean, then twist lids on tightly. Keep refrigerated. Makes 2 cups.

Per tbsp: 16 calories, 4 g carbs, 128 mg sodium.

Prep tip: To purée onion, whirl in a food processor, scraping down sides as necessary.


Switch it up

Keep the grill going all summer long with these market-fresh flavours.

Spiked Sauce: Omit vegetable oil. Gently boil onion with 1/4 cup beer over medium for 2 min, then continue with recipe.

Smoky Peach: Purée 2 peeled peaches with onion. Reduce ketchup and tomato sauce to 1/2 cup each. Increase smoked paprika to 1/2 tsp.

Filipino-Style Banana: Purée 1 medium banana with onion. Reduce ketchup and tomato sauce to 3/4 cup each. Continue with recipe.


3 Ways To Use It

Stock up on napkins — it’s going to be a sticky summer.

BBQ-Chicken Pizza: Preheat oven to 425F. Divide a 700-g pkg of refrigerated pizza dough into 2 portions. Roll out into rounds on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a large baking sheet. Stir 1 1/2 cups beer BBQ sauce (left) with 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken. Divide between the two pizza bases, spreading right to the edges. Top each with 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, then sliced red-onion rings. Bake in centre of oven until crusts are golden, 15 to 18 min. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Glazed Chicken Breasts: Preheat barbecue to medium-high. Oil grill and barbecue 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts with lid closed. Brush chicken often with classic sweet & spicy BBQ sauce (previous page) until chicken feels springy and is richly glazed, about 15 min.

Smokin’ Salad: Stir 1/2 cup smoky-peach BBQ sauce (left) with 2 tbsp lemon juice. Toss with coleslaw mix or shredded iceberg lettuce. Scatter toasted sliced almonds overtop.