BBQ Sauce

BBQ Sauce

This easy homemade BBQ sauce recipe has a sweet and tangy flavour and is gluten free and vegan so is extremely popular! See our video below on how to make this below.

BBQ sauce goes great with many foods like chicken, burgers and pulled jack fruit. I find it is one of those condiments which is always useful to have in the fridge and keeps up to 6 months.

Make it yourself!

When I began the journey towards the Preserved Kitchen, part of the goal was to actually understand what is in my food. I was finding so much sugar, preservatives and unknown ingredients in everything and the organic food is often out of my budget. So by learning how to make recipes such as homemade BBQ sauce, I had control on what I was eating.

Of course, BBQ sauce is readily available in more store these days so isn’t much effort to buy it, as well as it being relatively cheap. But I want to share the below to convince you why in fact it is better to make yourself.

Homemade BBQ Sauce vs Store bought!

The below is comparing this recipe (excluding the whisky) against Heinz Classic Barbecue.

vs Heinz BBQ sauceStore boughtHomemade
Ingredient Count119
Sugar content4.4g per serving3g per serving
Special DietaryVegetarianVegan + Gluten Free
Suspicious IngredientsNatural Flavouring
Xanthan Gum
Smoke Flavouring
CommentsNatural Flavouring is an umbrella term to describe flavours derived from plant or animal product. Using this term hides what the ingredient is coming from so can often be non-vegan friendly or flavourings like MSG.
Xanthan Gum is a thickening agent created when sugar is fermented with a certain bacteria. It isn’t harmful and can be a good gluten free / vegan ingredient used for baking however it is also used for wallpaper glue!
– Smoke Flavouring most likely liquid smoke, which is a liquid concentrate of actual smoke to give a deeper, smokier flavour but it can contain additives and be carcinogenic.
Be sure to use an vegan / gluten free tomato ketchup + worcestershire sauce – see our vegan recipe for worcestershire sauce here!
Comparison time!

For more insights, check out this interesting article by the Greatist here which compares the suggested sugar vs actual sugar in supermarket condiments. So to explore more condiment and sauce recipes like this, see our sauces page here…

Ingredients in BBQ Sauce

Barbecue sauce is typically made with a tomato base, here we use a combination of tomato puree and tomato ketchup. If you are able to make your own ketchup this is a perfect opportunity to use it! If not, be sure to buy organic / vegan. Then add in apple cider vinegar & Worcestershire sauce to give some tang to the sauce. For the Worcestershire, it is often made with anchovies but many brands these days make it vegan, or better yet, make your own – see our recipe here to make it in just 15 minutes! Add in Tabasco and paprika for heat. Garlic, salt & pepper for flavour and voila!

Many recipes add in liquid smoke to their BBQ sauce for real smoky flavours. However I much prefer to go without, as I mentioned above in the comparison, it can contain additives and eating smoke is carcinogenic -it is not too bad for us as it’s such small amounts but still, it isn’t an ingredient that is usually stocked up in the kitchen so it’s easier to go natural!

Adjust to your preference

This recipe gives the option to add in a dash of whisky for an extra kick. Of course I recommend adding if you have a bottle lying around the house.

Make the recipe exactly how you like it by playing around with the ingredients. Add more paprika and Tabasco for extra heat.

Recycling is key for making condiments like this. Be sure to save any jar or container and follow our how to guide on removing labels, cleaning and sterilizing jars in the oven.

Delicious meals to use BBQ sauce include burgers, pulled jackfruit, barbeque loaded fries and more…

Bbq sauce recipe

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Under 10 minute recipe for easy homemade BBQ sauce to last up to 6 months! Sweet, tangy and a little bit boozy!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 16 kcal


  • 140 g Tomato Puree
  • 130 g Tomato Ketchup
  • 50 ml Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 3 tsp Brown sugar 13g
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce 17ml (GF and Vegan)
  • 1 tsp Tabasco Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Whisky optional


  • Start by combining all the ingredients into a saucepan
  • If adding whisky, add this in to the pan too, I used honey Jack Daniels (which isn't vegan) but we had some left in the house, however bourbons work great too! 
  • Place over low heat and bring to a simmer stirring occasionally.  
  • After a few minutes the sugar should have dissolved so remove from the heat and leave to cool before decanting. 
  • Store in the refrigerator up to 6 months. 


Keyword barbecue, bbq sauce, betterthanstorebought, condiment, easy, gluten free, homemade, how to make, sauces, vegan

Did you try this recipe? Get in touch and let us know!


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