Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

homemade American BBQ sauce in kilner bottles

American BBQ Sauce Recipe

It isn’t polite to discuss religion, politics and BBQ sauce at the dinner table. BBQ sauce divides the “North” and the “South” as if the American Civil War was still raging. To understand this phenomenon, read the Serious Eats guide to regional American BBQ sauces.

homemade American BBQ sauce for chicken
Homemade BBQ Sauce for BBQ Chicken

Vinegar-based sauces from Kentucky and The Carolinas are perfect for spicy chicken wings. A tomato and vinegar sauce is the right choice for slow-cooked meats like flank steak and it is also delicious for Sloppy Joes. (The fat in the meat adds body to the sauce.)

The BEST of the American BBQ sauces is Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce like this recipe. Sweet, spicy and moreish.

Barbeque Sauce Recipe for Ribs, Chicken, Cheese and More

Our BBQ Sauce is versatile.

  • Use as a condiment and dip cubes of rich cheese into this sauce as a quick starter.
  • Thin the sauce with a bit of butter and baste chicken on the BBQ.
  • Pour some into a teaspoon and just eat it plain while dreaming of a sunny day.
  • Baste on BBQ ribs or mix in slow-cooked, shredded pork shoulder for the most amazing Pulled Pork.
homemade american bbq sauce with pulled pork
BBQ Pulled Pork with Mashed Potatoes

Homemade BBQ Sauce: Made to your taste

This recipe has measurements but only as a guide.  No two batches of BBQ Sauce is ever the same.  It is all about taste. Tune into your tongue and mouth. The perfect American BBQ sauce should first be sweet, then a little tangy and finally spicy: tingly but not burning.

American BBQ Sauce on chicken wings

Extra Treacle?

This recipe usually uses about half a can of treacle. We use the other half for treacle cookies. Try them with a cup of strong coffee.

American Molasses Cookies
Treacle, or Molasses, is so much more than gingerbread and sticky toffee pudding!  These treacle biscuits are really a treat. Americans call them Molasses Cookies.
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homemade American BBQ sauce in kilner bottles

American BBQ Sauce

Sweet, spicy, moreish BBQ sauce. The perfect BBQ Sauce should first be sweet, then a little tangy.
Course Sides
Cuisine American
Servings 2 litres of sauce


  • 15 grams garlic butter Lurpak
  • 1 medium shallot finely minced
  • 50 grams dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 570 ml Heinz Tomato Ketchup “It Has to Be Heinz”
  • 300 grams treacle
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar


  • In a large soup pot, melt the garlic butter on low.
  • Add the shallot. Cover and let the shallot sweat on low for about 15 minutes. Check often to make sure it doesn’t catch and burn.
  • Add the dark brown sugar and stir until there are no lumps
  • Constantly stir and add the rest of the ingredients one at a time to make sure they all stir in.
  • Turn the heat up to medium and constantly stir.
  • Taste – adjust treacle (sweet and smokey), brown sugar (sweet), cayenne pepper (heat), vinegar (tangy) – as needed.
  • DO NOT BOIL. Cook sauce on medium for 20 or 30 minutes to thicken. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon.
  • Let cool.
  • Decant into sanitised Kilner Bottles and keep in fridge for up to a month (no chance it will last that long!)
    bbq sauce
Keyword Sauces