Homemade BBQ Sauce


Homemade BBQ Sauce

photo: Coffeehero/Flickr

This homemade BBQ sauce is so much better than commercial barbecue sauce, and it's very easy to make. Kids will love it on everything from steaks and burgers to chicken and mac and cheese. Recipe by Bonny Reichert


  • 1 tbsp canola oil

  • 1/2 onion, cut in large dice

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tbsp ground cumin

  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika, (hot or sweet, depending on your taste)

  • 1 398-mL can diced or cherry tomatoes

  • 1 tbsp ketchup

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 tbsp molasses

  • dash soy sauce

  • 1 tsp cider vinegar

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

  • lime juice, from 1/2 lime

  • salt, to taste

  • black pepper, to taste


  • In a medium saucepan with high sides, heat the canola oil over medium heat, then sauté onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook for a minute more. Add cumin and paprika, and cook for several seconds, until fragrant. Add tomatoes, ketchup, tomato paste and molasses. Simmer for 20 minutes, breaking tomatoes up with a spoon, until vegetables are very soft.

  • Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly and carefully purée in a blender, in batches, until sauce is smooth. (You can also purée right in the pot using an immersion blender; the sauce won't be quite as smooth, but that isn't the end of the world.)

  • Pour carefully back into pan over low heat, and add soy sauce, vinegar and mustard. Cook 5 to 10 minutes more, until thick and slightly darkened, keeping the pot partially covered as sauce may pop and bubble a bit. Add lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool slightly, pour into a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

  • If you don't have all of the ingredients on hand, feel free to substitute brown sugar for molasses, lemon juice for lime, white vinegar for cider — it will still be great. Let it sit in the fridge for a day to reach its full flavour.

  • When cooking with barbecue sauce, spread generously onto top of steaks around 2 minutes before cooking is complete. This will allow the sauce to warm up and caramelize slightly without burning.

This article was originally published on Jun 01, 2009

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