Hand-Selected Recipes and Stories Straight to Your Inbox

Classic Barbecue Sauce

Classic Barbecue Sauce

Serves: Makes 2 2/3 cups

Hands On Time: 

Total Time: 


1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider or wine vinegar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons mustard
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)


In a medium saucepan, whisk together all of the ingredients. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container, let cool, and refrigerate for up to three weeks.

About the recipe

If the Romans gave the world mustard and the Chinese introduced the spices and pickled fish that would evolve into ketchup, it’s the American empire that has made its mark on the global table with barbecue sauce.

This classic recipe, which was perfected in the South, is just a starting point for your barbecue sauce odyssey. But there’s no need to stop there; after you master the basics, experiment and adjust ingredients to come up with a version that’s all your own. Who knows — the next great American sauce will show up by accident in your kitchen.