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Homemade No-Cook Barbecue Sauce

Try this easy Homemade No-Cook Barbecue Sauce once, and you may never go back to the bottled stuff ever again. It’s everything you want – sweet, tangy, and smoky with a spicy kick – and it takes just 5 minutes to make!

With a few simple pantry ingredients (I’ll bet you have most, if not all, of them on hand), you can make the best homemade barbecue sauce that is packed with flavor. And the best part is you don’t even need to cook it. Just stir and go!

Barbecue sauce and grilling season go hand in hand. Slather it on grilled chicken, pork, ribs, beef brisket, kabobs, shrimp, fish, and so much more.

But it’s also good with not-grilled food too, like slow-cooked or Instant Pot pulled pork or chicken sandwiches, chicken wings, barbecue chicken pizza, meatballs, baked beans, meatloaf glaze, and as a dipper for chicken nuggets.

I used bottled sauce for years. There are some pretty good ones out there, and we all have our favorite. BUT I haven’t actually bought barbecue sauce for a really, really long time because this homemade BBQ sauce recipe is a game-changer!

It’s so good that you’ll be looking for things to put it on or dip into it. We’re talking finger-lickin’, lip-smackin’ deliciousness here. And it’s so incredibly easy to make it’s ridiculous!

Did I mention that you don’t even have to cook it?!

Ketchup is the base for this sauce. Dark brown sugar and molasses add sweetness, the tang comes from basic distilled white vinegar, smoked paprika gives you a subtle smokiness, and a little Worcestershire sauce deepens the flavor and provides a bit of richness.

Then we add some spices to make it taste even better: chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, dry ground mustard, and of course, some salt and pepper. Finally, cayenne pepper gives it some heat (but you can leave it out if spicy isn’t your thing).

Okay, enough gabbin’. Let’s get to making this yummy, easy homemade barbecue sauce!

all of the ingredients needed to make homemade no-cook barbecue sauce

Ingredients you need:

  • Ketchup
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Unsulphured molasses
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Smoked paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Ground dry mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Here’s a look at how to make Homemade No-Cook Barbecue Sauce:

two images, one of the ingredients for homemade no-cook barbecue sauce in a bowl with a whisk on the side, the other of the finished barbecue sauce in a bowl with a whisk

Yep, that’s it! You’re done!

Now, you can absolutely use this barbecue sauce immediately, and it will be very delicious.

BUT I highly recommend that you make it ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge for at least a few hours or overnight to give all those flavors time to develop and meld together. It will be so much better!

Tips & Tidbits:

  • I prefer to use ketchup that has no high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. I think it tastes better. It’s pretty easy to find these days…even the big brand has one.
  • Light brown sugar can be used instead of dark brown sugar.
  • Honey or maple syrup can be used instead of molasses.
  • Apple cider vinegar can be used instead of distilled white vinegar.
  • Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to suit your own personal tastes (or you can omit it altogether). I use ½ teaspoon, and it gives the sauce a nice bit of spiciness without being burn-your-mouth hot.
  • Store your barbecue sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
bowl of homemade no-cook barbecue sauce with a basting brush on the side

My favorite way to use this sauce is (of course) on grilled chicken, but I also use it when I make my Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Ribs or my Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos.

Some of my other favorites are barbecue chicken sandwiches and barbecue baked beans (recipes coming soon)!

I hope you try this Homemade No-Cook Barbecue Sauce recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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Homemade No-Cook Barbecue Sauce

Try this easy Homemade No-Cook Barbecue Sauce once, and you may never go back to the bottled stuff ever again. It's everything you want – sweet, tangy, and smoky with a spicy kick – and it takes just 5 minutes to make!
Print Recipe Rate/Comment Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 24 (1 tablespoon each; recipe makes about 1½ cups total)
Calories: 27
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
  • ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, add more or less to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground dry mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well-combined.
  • This barbecue sauce can be used immediately, and it will be very delicious, but I highly recommend making it ahead of time and letting it sit in the refrigerator in an airtight container for at least several hours or overnight to give all those flavors a chance to develop and meld together. It will be so much better!

Notes

  • I prefer to use ketchup that has all natural ingredients and no high fructose corn syrup or any artificial sweeteners. 
  • Easy substitutions: light brown sugar instead of dark, apple cider vinegar instead of white, honey or maple syrup instead of molasses.
  • Store your barbecue sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Mention @nowcookthis or tag #nowcookthisrecipes!
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