Sauces & Seasonings Recipes

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

We’ve been known to whip up a homemade condiment or two over here in the test kitchen. Steak sauce, aiolis, chile oil, savory jams — they’re all in our DIY arsenal. And now … barbecue sauce!

It’s super easy to make: we dump all of the ingredients in a saucepan, simmer, and stir every now and then. But don’t let that simplicity fool you — it’s a whopper in the flavor department. There’s the sweetness of the molasses and brown sugar, the bright umami of the ketchup, the zing of the apple cider vinegar and mustard powder, and the warm spice of the smoked paprika and cayenne.

Sweet, sticky, and tangy, it’s everything a barbecue sauce should be. And we just love how the subtle heat of the cayenne likes to hang around in your mouth for a while. Plus, the sauce is the perfect consistency, not too sloppy or runny, for slathering over pretty much any grilled meat — chicken, steak, salmon, you name it. We’d also swirl it through some slow-cooked pulled pork and make a delightfully saucy sandwich. Eating it by the spoonful? Not totally out of the question.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce


Sauces & Seasonings

Homemade Barbecue Sauce


¾ cup ketchup
⅔ cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp molasses
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp Gelson’s smoked paprika
1 tsp Gelson’s ground cumin
¼ tsp Gelson’s onion powder
⅛ tsp Gelson’s cayenne pepper
½ tsp freshly ground Gelson’s black pepper
⅛ tsp Gelson’s dry yellow mustard powder
Kosher salt, to taste


  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool.
  3. The barbecue sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 14 days.