Doctored Up Store-Bought BBQ Sauce Recipe

Bottles of sauce

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Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Yield: 3 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
48 Calories
0g Fat
12g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 48
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 242mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 11mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 70mg 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.)

Sometimes that bottle of barbecue sauce from the store just doesn't cut it. Many people buy store-bought BBQ sauce and doctor it up the way they like it. So go ahead, grab that bottle of barbecue sauce and put it in your cart, get it home, and amp it up to get the flavor that you want.  Spicy, tangy, sweet, smoky, or hot, it's all up to what your heart, and tastes, desire.

This basic version has been doctored up with the additions of brown sugar, ketchup, molasses, cider vinegar, and some hot sauce. It only takes mere minutes to make, plus a bit of stirring, boiling and simmering, to get this sauce ready for your favorite protein. Try it out the next time you're grilling. Plan when you're going to need this sauce as you can make it ahead of time and have it ready to slather on whatever protein you want to.

A great barbecue sauce to use on barbecue ribs, pork tenderloin, chicken, or tofu.  


  • 1 (18-ounce) bottle barbecue sauce, plain variety works best

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup ketchup

  • 2 teaspoons molasses

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Put the 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.

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

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


  • If you don't want it as sweet, lessen the amount of brown sugar and molasses you use.
  • Play around with it and add some of your favorite spices, or if you want more of a kick, try adding some different peppers or chili powder. Some might even want that citrusy taste and want to put some orange juice into the mixture.
  • You can also use it as a dipping sauce for chicken tenders or as a sauce for meatballs.

How to Store

  • Doctored barbecue sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to five days.