How to Make Homemade Spicy Barbecue Sauce

How to Make Homemade Spicy Barbecue Sauce

Ready to level up your barbecue skills? Our Homemade Spicy Barbecue Sauce is more than just a sauce; it’s a total game-changer. Perfect for grilling ribs, coating chicken, or adding a spicy twist to your burgers, this sauce brings a unique kick that’s sure to make it the star of any cookout.

In this article, we’ll explore what makes our spicy BBQ sauce an absolute must-try, from its bold flavors to its endless versatility. Prepare to find your new favorite sauce that will leave your guests begging for the recipe.

Spicy BBQ Sauce
The Stay At Home Chef

Take your barbecue to the next level with our Homemade Spicy Barbecue Sauce. This recipe isn’t just another addition to your cooking toolkit—it’s a must-have for any grill master.

Designed to bring both heat and rich flavor, this sauce is perfect for everything from ribs to burgers. Let’s dive into the unique qualities that make this spicy BBQ sauce a game-changer for any barbecue gathering.

Why You’ll Love This Sauce

This sauce isn’t just about heat; it’s about rich, complex flavors that you can’t get from store-bought options.

  • Unique Flavors: A blend of fresh chilies, smoked paprika, and molasses creates a robust and tantalizingly spicy profile.
  • Ease of Preparation: Simple ingredients and an easy cooking process make this sauce accessible for everyone.
  • Versatility: Perfect for marinating, grilling, or as a dipping sauce, this BBQ sauce complements a variety of dishes.

Ingredients Needed for Your Spicy BBQ Sauce Recipe

Here’s what you’ll need to whip up this flavorful sauce:

  • Tomato Paste: The rich base of the sauce.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Adds a tangy kick.
  • Molasses: Provides sweetness and depth.
  • Brown Sugar: Enhances the molasses’ sweetness.
  • Garlic Powder & Onion Powder: Adds robust flavor.
  • Chili Powder: The main source of heat.
  • Smoked Paprika: Adds a smoky flavor.
  • Cayenne Pepper: For an extra kick.
  • Salt & Pepper: Essential for seasoning.

Optional Variations

Customize your sauce with these variations:

  • Extra Heat: Add more cayenne pepper or fresh diced chilies.
  • Smokey Flavor: Use more smoked paprika or a few drops of liquid smoke.
  • Sweet and Spicy: Increase the molasses content or add honey.
  • Fruity Twist: Add finely chopped pineapples or mangoes.
  • Herbal Notes: Stir in dried thyme or rosemary.
  • Tangier Version: Increase apple cider vinegar or add lime juice.
How to make hot and spicy BBQ sauce
Credits to Grills Forever

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preparation Steps:

  1. Mix Dry Ingredients: Combine chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan.
  2. Add Wet Ingredients: Add tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, molasses, and brown sugar to the saucepan.
  3. Simmer: Bring to a slight boil over medium heat, then reduce to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Adjust Flavors: Taste and tweak the seasoning as needed.
  5. Cool and Store: Cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.

Preparation Steps

Start by setting up your cooking station and gathering all your ingredients. Here’s how to get going:

Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 1 teaspoon each of smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Mix these dry ingredients until well blended.

Integrate Wet Ingredients: Transfer the mixed dry ingredients into a medium saucepan. Add 1 cup of tomato paste, 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup of molasses, and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Stir everything together until the mixture is smooth and fully integrated.

Guide to making hot BBQ sauce preparing ingredients
Credits to Whitney Bond

Cooking and Simmering

Once your sauce mixture is ready, follow these steps to cook and perfect the flavors:

Cooking and Simmering Homemade Spicy Barbecue Sauce
Credits to Once Upon a Chef

Heat the Mixture: Place the saucepan over medium heat. Watch for the first bubbles to appear as the sauce heats up, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking and prevent sticking.

Reduce and Simmer: As soon as the sauce starts to boil, reduce the heat to low. Let the sauce simmer gently. This slow cooking process is crucial for allowing the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken without burning.

Flavor Adjustment: During the simmer, taste the sauce periodically and adjust the seasonings to your liking. If you want more heat, add additional chili powder or a dash of cayenne pepper. For a sweeter sauce, add a bit more brown sugar or molasses.

Finish the Cooking: Continue to simmer the sauce for about 20 minutes, or until it reaches your desired consistency. Make sure to stir frequently throughout the cooking process to keep the sauce smooth and evenly cooked.

Equipment Needed

Preparing this homemade spicy BBQ sauce requires some basic kitchen tools. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Medium Saucepan: Essential for combining and cooking the ingredients.
  • Wooden Spoon: Ideal for stirring the sauce, ensuring even mixing and preventing sticking during cooking.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurately measuring ingredients to get the flavor balance just right.
  • Jar or Airtight Container: For storing the sauce if you make it in advance or have leftovers.

These tools will help you efficiently prepare and store your spicy BBQ sauce, ensuring delicious results every time.

Serving and Pairing Ideas

This spicy BBQ sauce pairs wonderfully with:

  • Grilled Meats: Ideal for chicken, pork ribs, or beef brisket.
  • Burgers: Adds a spicy kick to any burger.
  • Vegetarian Dishes: Perfect for grilled vegetables or veggie patties.
  • Seafood: Great with grilled shrimp or fish.
  • Pizza: Use as a base for a BBQ pizza.
  • Sandwiches: Enhance your sandwiches with this bold sauce.
  • Cheese Platters: Use as a dipping sauce for a spicy twist.

BBQ Dishes

Our spicy BBQ sauce is a fantastic way to elevate the flavor of your favorite barbecue classics. Here are some top dishes where this sauce truly shines:

  • Grilled Chicken: Brush the sauce over chicken thighs or drumsticks during the last few minutes of grilling for a perfectly caramelized finish.
  • Smoked Pork Butt or Shoulder: Shred the smoked pork and mix in the sauce for a spicy kick that complements the rich, smoky flavors.
  • Beef Ribs: Slather on beef ribs before wrapping them in foil to roast or grill, allowing the sauce to deeply infuse.
  • BBQ Brisket: Serve alongside or glaze over brisket during the final stages of smoking for added moisture and flavor.
  • Sausages: Use as a dip or glaze for grilled sausages, adding a spicy layer to the savory meats.

Other Pairing Suggestions

This versatile sauce isn’t just for BBQ. It can enhance a variety of other meals and snacks:

  • Wings: Toss crispy chicken wings in the sauce for a spicy twist on a classic appetizer.
  • Fries: Drizzle over or use as a dipping sauce for sweet potato or regular fries.
  • Nachos: Add a bold touch to nachos by drizzling the sauce over the top before serving.
  • Mac and Cheese: Stir some into mac and cheese for a spicy, smoky version of the comfort food.
  • Sliders: Apply a small amount inside beef or pulled pork sliders for extra flavor.
  • Vegetable Sticks: Serve as a dip for fresh or grilled vegetable sticks, offering a spicy counterpart to the crisp textures.

Storage and Shelf Life

Proper storage is essential for maintaining the quality and extending the shelf life of your homemade spicy BBQ sauce. Follow these steps to ensure your sauce stays fresh and delicious:

Recipe for hot and spicy BBQ sauce
Credits to
  • Cooling: Allow the sauce to cool completely at room temperature after cooking.
  • Transferring: Pour the cooled sauce into a clean, airtight jar or container to minimize exposure to air.
  • Refrigerating: Store the sealed sauce in the refrigerator. This will help preserve its flavors and prevent spoilage.

Shelf Life: When stored properly in the refrigerator, your spicy BBQ sauce can last for up to 2 weeks. For longer storage, you can freeze the sauce for up to 3 months. Just remember to thaw it in the refrigerator before use.

Nutritional Information

Approximate values per 2 tablespoons:

  • Calories: 40
  • Total Fat: 0.5 g
  • Sodium: 250 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 9 g
  • Sugars: 6 g
  • Protein: 1 g

Expert Tips

  • Layer the Flavors: Add spices in stages for depth.
  • Slow Cooking: Simmer slowly to meld flavors.
  • Quality Ingredients: Use fresh, high-quality spices.
  • Adjusting Consistency: Thin with water or vinegar; thicken by simmering longer.
  • Experiment with Sweetness: Try different sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.

This homemade spicy BBQ sauce is a game-changer for your grilling sessions. Easy to make, versatile, and packed with flavor, it’s a must-have for any BBQ enthusiast. Try it today and see how it transforms your favorite dishes!


Yes, reduce the chili powder and cayenne pepper. Add more tomato paste or brown sugar to balance the flavors.

Reduce or eliminate cayenne pepper for less heat. Increase chili powder or add fresh hot peppers for more spice. Balance with sweet or acidic ingredients as needed.

Related Recipes

If you loved this spicy BBQ sauce and the heat it brings to your grilled or smoked dishes, check out these related recipes to expand your BBQ repertoire and find new ways to use your sauce:

  • Classic Smoked Brisket: Pair your spicy BBQ sauce with a tender, slow-cooked brisket for a classic BBQ experience.
  • Pulled Pork Sandwiches: Enhance the flavor of pulled pork piled high on a soft bun with a generous helping of the sauce.
  • BBQ Chicken Pizza: Spread this sauce on pizza dough, top with grilled chicken, red onions, and cheese for a delicious twist on pizza night.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Brush your spicy BBQ sauce over bell peppers, zucchinis, and mushrooms for a veggie-friendly BBQ option.
  • Spicy BBQ Meatballs: Incorporate the sauce into your meatball mix or use it as a glaze for a spicy snack perfect for parties.

Connect With Us

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