picture of a steak on the grill with homemade BBQ sauce.

It is finally summer, time to get out the grill! Creating your own honey barbecue sauce at home is a delightful way to add a personal touch to your grilling season. This rich, tangy, and sweet sauce is perfect for marinating, basting, or simply dipping. Best of all, making it from scratch allows you to control the ingredients, use your favorite local honey, ensuring a healthier and more flavorful sauce. Here’s a simple recipe to get you started.


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Hudsonville Honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for a bit of heat)


  1. Combine Ingredients: In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Start with the ketchup as your base, then add the honey, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar. Stir well to mix these together.
  2. Add Flavorings: Add the Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard, stirring to incorporate. Next, sprinkle in the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and salt. If you prefer a spicy kick, include the cayenne pepper.
  3. Simmer: Place the saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally to ensure the flavors meld and the sugar dissolves completely. This should take about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Reduce Heat and Thicken: Once simmering, reduce the heat to low. Let the sauce cook on low for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. This allows the sauce to thicken and the flavors to develop fully.
  5. Adjust Seasonings: Taste your sauce and adjust the seasonings as needed. If you like it sweeter, add a bit more honey. For more tang, increase the apple cider vinegar. You can also adjust the salt and spices to suit your taste.
  6. Cool and Store: Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the sauce cool completely. Once cooled, transfer the sauce to a clean, airtight jar or bottle. Store it in the refrigerator, where it will keep for up to two weeks.

Usage Tips

This honey barbecue sauce is incredibly versatile. Use it as a marinade for chicken, pork, or beef before grilling. Brush it onto meats during the last few minutes of cooking for a sticky, flavorful glaze. It also makes an excellent dipping sauce for nuggets, fries, or veggies.

Making your own honey barbecue sauce is a rewarding kitchen project that enhances your grilling repertoire. With a few simple ingredients and a bit of simmering, you’ll have a delicious sauce that’s perfect for summer barbecues and beyond. Enjoy the rich, homemade flavors and impress your family and friends with this homemade delight!

Let us know in the comment section below how your BBQ sauce turned out!