Basic Doctored Barbecue Sauce

Bottles of sauce

stockstudioX/Getty Images

  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 3 cups (24 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
34 Calories
0g Fat
8g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 cups (24 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 34
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 164mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 0g
Calcium 8mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Many people buy store-bought BBQ sauce and doctor it up the way they like it. Here's a basic version to try the next time you're grilling.


  • 1 bottle store-bought barbecue sauce (plain variety works best)
  • 1/4 cup/60 mL brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup/60 mL ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons/10 mL molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons/7.5 mL cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL hot sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Place bottled sauce and brown sugar in a large saucepan. Let mixture come to a slight boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. Add ketchup, molasses, cider vinegar, onion powder, and hot sauce. Stir through and let simmer for 5 to 6 more minutes. 

  3. Remove from heat and use. If making ahead of time, cool sauce to room temperature and place into an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up 5 days after preparation.