Quick and Easy Barbecue Sauce

Okay, I love barbecue. Looooooooooooooooove it. In my house, I totally wear the pants when it comes to food because I would go to a good steakhouse over a salad bar any night of the week. Steak. Ribs. Chicken. Yum. But you guys know that already.

This barbecue sauce is just okay by itself, all lonely and uncooked on the side of your plate when it’s used as a dipping sauce. But when you marinate meat in it and then grill it over an open flame–boy howdy, we’re talking finger-licking good here.

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You just need a handful of refrigerator/pantry staples–ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar (don’t be like me and forget the brown sugar in the picture I know you’re going to take of your ingredients), red wine vinegar, dry mustard, smoked paprika, and Tabasco Sauce. Oh, and kosher salt, freshly ground pepper. And water. That’s all.

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Place the ketchup in a small mixing bowl…

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and add in the dry mustard…Quick and Easy No-Cook BBQ Sauce-7

the Worcestershire Sauce and vinegar…Quick and Easy No-Cook BBQ Sauce-3

and the spices.

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Oh, and don’t be like me and almost forget the brown sugar. What the bleep is wrong with me?!

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Whisk it all together and you’re done! My favorite way to use this sauce is on ribs or these BBQ Chicken Thighs (seriously…humans make involuntary noises when they eat this sauce on chicken thighs. If that grosses you out, you may not want to proceed.)

Quick and Easy No-Cook BBQ Sauce-6


Quick and Easy BBQ Sauce

A quick, no-cook BBQ sauce made from refrigerator and pantry staples that is perfect for a marinade or basting on meat on the grill.
Prep Time 5 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water


  • Whisk ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use.


Great for brushing on ribs on the grill or for marinating boneless skinless chicken thighs (brush some reserved sauce on them at the end.)
Author: Our Best Bites
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Quick and Easy Barbecue Sauce
Our Best Bites


1 1/2 c. ketchup
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
1 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
2 1/2 Tbsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. hot sauce (like Tabasco or Cholula)
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. coarse freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 c. water


Combine ingredients in a medium bowl and use as a marinade or to baste meat while grilling.



woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Simple. Fast. Delicious. What’s not to love?! This is a recipe that you’ll write out and put in the family recipe box. Thank-you, ever-so-much!! ??❤️

  2. Could I use Frank’s Red Hot Sauce instead of Tabasco, or will it have a different flavor?

  3. This is the best recipe ever for drumsticks! I’ve made it a dozen times at least, barbecuing them on the grill. Savory, sticky, delicious! Everyone I’ve made them for loves them.

  4. Loved this bbq sauce! Put it on some crock pot ribs. So glad I did! AND I have a lot left over. Thanks!

  5. I just made this sauce, and I am here at home drinking it. I’m not even pregnant.

  6. how much bbq sauce does this recipe make? I’m going to do chicken legs for ten people but wanted to know if I should double it or not. Thanks!

  7. I just recently discovered your website and this is the first recipe (of many to come) that I have tried. O….M…..GGGG!!!!! Amazing! Love the zip from the hot sauce. After marinating the chicken I boiled the sauce down and it is the best. Thank you SO much.

    I will definitely be trying this in a crockpot this fall.

    Only problem I had was I didn’t pay close enough attention to the grill and because of the sugar in the sauce my chicken burned a bit, but that was completely my fault. I’ll watch it much closer next time.

  8. Ok first of all, I am NOT a cook, BUT I’ve been obsessed with this blog ever since I found it. Tonight, I am making my first attempt at turning my life around and really cooking quality meals for all the men in my life (my husband and 3 active boys). Barbeque sauce complete….chicken marinating in the fridge. Wish me luck!!!

    1. Good luck Bridgette, it’ll go fine. Cooking is a fine skill to acquire, endlessly rewarding at many levels. For instance, with this recipe you can just make the sauce & dump it in a crock pot with some raw chicken & forget about it. Just remember to skim off the fat before serving, there’s literally no other way to screw it up, and it’s GREAT food!

  9. I made this sauce and had it on chicken and then used the leftovers to make a BBQ chicken pizza. Turned out great! Love the sauce!

  10. So I was seriously craving bbq chicken sandwhiches last sunday and was so sad to discover i was out of bbq sauce and most of the recipes i found for it I didn't have the ingrediants to make! Then of course you guys saved the day again! I loved this recipe. I just threw it in the crockpot with some chicken breasts and let it cook while we were at church. It made the most beautiful bbq chicken sandwhich ever. I seriouly almost took a picture. : ) My husband got a kick out of how much i was enjoying it. thanks again!

  11. Thanks, Kate! Hi. And just so you know, your site is as addicting as all the foods you post! We just had the muddy buddies for a snack and this last week alone we've had the baked potato soup, to which my hubby replied, "this can't be good for you." I took that as a compliment. 😉 Then we had the Jambalaya and Italian Turkey soup, not on the same night. Thanks so much for all your hard work! I can't wait for the BBQ legs, they've been marinating all night. mmmmmmm. I'm also an obsessor of food. 😉

  12. Amy Ruth–What I would probably do is just stick them in a 450-degree oven for about 5-7 minutes per side and then maybe turn the broiler on for a minute or two to get a little bit of char on them. They won't taste EXACTLY like they were on the grill, but close! 🙂

    Hi, by the way! 🙂

  13. And when I say 'bad boys', I'm referring to the BBQ chicken legs. That is what's for dinner tonight!

  14. Do you think these bad boys could be thrown into a crockpot??? We just got 6 inches of snow and the grill isn't coming out. 😉 Thanks!

  15. This sauce is amazing! We tried it tonight for the first time and LOVED it. Thank you so much. My husband compared it to Famous Dave's bbq sauce.

  16. Katrina!!! Thanks SO much for calling me out on the Worcestershire Sauce! I fixed it. I’m so glad it was still good for you, even with my gigantic, GLARING omission! 🙂

  17. question – why is there a picture of worcestershire sauce in the ingredient picture and none listed on the ingredient list?

    (PS – i made this for dinner tonight and it was AMAZING despite no worcestershire and substitutions for hot sauce and red wine vinegar Ü)

  18. Erin, you could totally do that! I think it would probably stay good in the fridge for about a week and in the freezer for a couple of months. But it’s never made it that far in my house… 🙂

    Sara, mind-reading is just one of my many special abilities… 🙂

  19. How long will this stay good in the fridge? Have you ever tried freezing it? (Like maybe putting some chicken in it, freezing it, and then thawing it to bbq?)