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Ultimate Summer BBQ Sauce

  • Author: Andrea Sprague
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x


This BBQ sauce is a homemade alternative to preservative-filled grocery store sauces. You’ll find this on my proteins through most of the summer months – hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped, about 1 ½ cups
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped, about 1 Tbsp.
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 cup diced, canned tomatoes
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce (I recommend Robbie’s All Natural – gluten free and vegan)
  • ¼ cup tamari
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 23 tsp. mustard powder
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ⅛ tsp. allspice
  • Bacon fat (to preference)


  1. Place a large saucepan or pot over medium heat and add the oil. When hot, add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for another 30 seconds.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring close to a boil. This should take about 2-3 minutes. You will see bubbles along the edges of the sauce.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Stir intermittently.
  4. Remove from the heat and let sit for 30 minutes to cool.
  5. Pour into a food processor and process for 1 minute or until the larger pieces are broken down. It will still be a little thick. If you want a completely smooth sauce, pour into a blender instead. If it’s still too thick, add a little water or chicken stock.


  • If using this on meat that is going in a smoker, use regular paprika. If you don’t have a smoker and are cooking the meat on a grill or in the oven, replace it with smoked paprika to add that smoky element.