Condiments/ Featured/ Sauces

Sweet, Smoky & Spicy Barbecue Sauce

Oof. Barbecue. Barbeque. BBQ. Spell it how you will, there’s something about barbecue that is amazing. If I ever got to meet whomever invented cooking food over hot coals till it gets all smokey, tender and delicious, I’m not sure whether I’d want to high five them, hug them or kiss them. Probably all three. And I’m not talking about the sorry excuse for barbecue we call in the UK where we incinerate sorry-looking sausages while it rains and everyone ends up eating inside. No no, I’m talking about proper, slow and low barbecue. Pulled pork, ribs, beef brisket. USA-style barbecue. The USA might be going bonkers at the time of writing, but they sure know their barbecue.

But, you can’t have barbecue without a good BBQ sauce. Sure, you can go out and buy one from the stores. Why not? There’s plenty out there. But why not make your own? It’s not hard. It just requires the right ingredients and a little patience. Plus you can tailor it to how you like it. Want it sweeter? Add more sugar. Want it smokier? Add more Smoked Paprika. Want it spicier? Add more hot sauce! After all, you are the boss of your sauce! Once it’s made, use it on your favourite barbecue food. Burgers, sausages, pulled pork, ribs… the choice is yours!

Barbecue Sauce

Print Recipe
Serves: A lot Cooking Time: 1 hour


  • 1.2kg Tomato Ketchup
  • 4tbsp Soft Brown Sugar
  • 5tbsp Cider Vinegar
  • 5tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 4tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1tbsp Chilli Powder
  • 1tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1tsp Mustard Powder
  • 2tsp Onion Powder
  • 2tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 2tsp Salt
  • 2tsp Black Pepper
  • 100ml Maple Syrup
  • 200ml Bourbon
  • 1tbsp Hot Sauce



Put a pan on a low heat, and add in the fennel and cumin seeds and lightly toast them over the low heat until you start to smell the aroma of the seeds cooking.


Pop the seeds into a pestle and mortar and grind the spices into a fine powder and set them to one side.


Put the pan back on the low heat, and add the ketchup to the pan and bring it to a gentle simmer. Be careful as the sugar in the ketchup can cause it to spit!


Add the dry ingredients into the ketchup - the brown sugar, paprika, chilli powder, cumin, fennel, mustard powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Stir them into the sauce until they're fully incorporated and the sugar is dissolved. Use a whisk to make sure there are no lumps.


Now add in the wet ingredients - the vinegar, worcestershire sauce, Maple Syrup, Bourbon and the hot sauce. You can add the these all to your taste, but make sure you have the vinegar and worcestershire sauce.


Mix the sauce thoroughly and leave it on the low heat with the lid on for up to an hour, but make sure you come back and stir it regularly otherwise the sugar will burn.


After an hour, whisk the sauce and them pour it straight into bottles while it's still hot and seal them tightly. It should keep for a while due to the vinegar and sugar, but keep it in the fridge once you've opened it.

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