You’ll never go back to store-bought after you try this homemade 2 ingredient BBQ sauce recipe! Create a tangy and delicious BBQ sauce from scratch — with plenty of optional add-ons.
I’m such a big fan of sauces and dips, and when I can make something from scratch, I prefer to do so. Favorites include this honey Sriracha sauce and my homemade buffalo sauce (both are best in chicken dishes)! I also love knowing exactly what I’m putting in my food — and what I’m feeding my family.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m not always in the mood to make homemade sauces. I’ll admit that store-bought options are so easy to grab off the shelf. That said, I never regret taking the time to whip one up myself! And with a recipe this simple, it’s hard to find an excuse not to whip something up from scratch.
This recipe is so easy and calls for just two main ingredients. I’ve also provided you with a bunch of optional spices and flavorings. Decide for yourself whether you want to keep things simple or spice it up!
Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:
- The main ingredients needed, plus several optional add-ons, to give your homemade BBQ sauce an extra kick
- How to make BBQ sauce in your own kitchen (plus directions on how you can make this a vinegar-based BBQ sauce if that’s your preference)
- Instructions on how to store and freeze this easy BBQ sauce recipe
Keep reading if you want to learn how to make BBQ sauce at home. This recipe takes under 10 minutes to prepare and is totally worth the time. Head to your kitchen and let’s get started!
How to make 2 Ingredient BBQ Sauce
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
STEP ONE: Grab the main ingredients for your 2 ingredient BBQ sauce — ketchup and brown sugar.
STEP TWO: Place the ketchup and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. If you want to make a vinegar-based BBQ sauce, add the vinegar and any additional spices here.
STEP THREE: Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently until the sugar dissolves and the sauce thickens.
STEP FOUR: Remove from heat and use as desired (check out ways to use this BBQ sauce below). You can refrigerate any leftovers in a mason jar.
Ways to Use BBQ Sauce
There are so many different ways to use this easy BBQ sauce recipe! And, don’t forget, you can make this a 3 ingredient BBQ sauce by adding vinegar. Below are some of my favorite recipes:
- Air fryer BBQ chicken wings – Toss the wings in homemade bbq sauce at the end for a nice fresh flavor!
- Air fryer chicken drumsticks with BBQ sauce – Replace store-bought sauce with your homemade version!
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs – Use BBQ sauce to smother on the chicken thighs instead of storebought.
- Air fryer turkey legs – Use the BBQ sauce for dipping.
- Country-style ribs in the air fryer – This homemade BBQ sauce is the best BBQ sauce option!
- Instant Pot chicken drumsticks — similar to the air fryer version above but using your Instant Pot!
- Air Fryer Baby Back Ribs — you will never have baby back ribs any other way!
- BBQ Hot Dogs — yep! Hot dogs with BBQ sauce are delicious!
What Other Ingredients Can I Add to This 2 Ingredient BBQ Sauce?
While I love keeping things simple with this 2 ingredient BBQ sauce, there is something to be said about the other ingredients you can add to it! Turn this recipe into a 3 ingredient BBQ sauce by adding apple cider vinegar.
You can also add some more flavor and heat by using garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, liquid smoke, and hot sauce. For a bit of sweetness, consider using honey too. Add these additional ingredients into the saucepan before you start cooking.
How to Store Homemade BBQ Sauce
You can store homemade BBQ sauce in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator. I like using mason jars best, but any airtight container will work. Make sure your sauce is at room temperature before you refrigerate.
It will keep for up to 2 weeks.
How Long Does BBQ Sauce Last in the Fridge?
Homemade BBQ sauce lasts for up to 14 days in the fridge. Store-bought condiments typically last around 4 months, due to added preservatives. I recommend you ditch the unnecessary add-ons and stick to the homemade stuff!
Can I Freeze This Easy BBQ Sauce Recipe?
Freezing your homemade BBQ sauce is a great way to ensure you always have some on hand. Make a double batch and place half of it in an airtight container (a mason jar works great).
BBQ sauce made from scratch will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Place it in the fridge to defrost overnight before using.
Other Sauce and Dip Recipes You’ll Love:
- Honey Buffalo Sauce
- Cheesy White Bean Tomato Bake
- Cranberry Orange Sauce
- Avocado Lime Crema
- Blue Cheese Dip
- 1 cup ketchup
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1-2 dashes liquid smoke
- 1-2 dashes hot sauce
- Add ketchup and brown sugar (as well as vinegar and any additional spices desired) to a small saucepan set over medium-low heat.
- Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves and sauce thickens.
- Remove from heat and use as desired. Refrigerate leftovers in a mason jar.*
*Leftovers will keep up to 2 weeks when stored properly in the fridge
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 91Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 314mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 0gSugar: 21gProtein: 0g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.