Homemade Spicy Barbecue Sauce

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Spicy barbecue sauce with enough heat to bite the back of your throat and just barely sweet enough to balance that heat, this is the sauce I was craving.

Spicy BBQ Sauce

My family loves spicy barbecue sauces. I’ve played with a few recipes this year. I found this delicious Homemade Barbecue Sauce a few months ago and we love it. I like my barbecue sauce on the thicker side with just a little sweetness and that sauce fit the bill.

It’s become one of the standard sauces that we reach for any time a barbecue craving hits. When we want something tangier, I love this Tangy Memphis BBQ Sauce. For a fruitier sauce, everyone goes nuts for Tangy Peach Barbecue Sauce.

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Still, I hadn’t quite found the spicy sauce I was looking for. I wanted something with plenty of heat!

Spicy BBQ Sauce Recipe

So, the hunt for the perfect Spicy Barbecue Sauce continued. As I experimented with different ingredients, I kept coming up ultimately dissatisfied with the end results.

Today, I decided to try again. I had a very long list of ingredients that I wanted to try this time. As I was adding things to the sauce and tasting as I went along, I suddenly realized that I had exactly what I wanted.

I stopped there and very happily asked my husband to taste the sauce. He was thrilled with it. I will be quadrupling this recipe next time I make it and freezing the extra to have for future meals.

Spicy homemade bbq sauce

This is a pretty spicy sauce as it is written; however, if you like more heat, feel free to increase the Tabasco and cayenne. I served this sauce over pulled pork and it was an instant hit.

This homemade barbecue sauce gets its spiciness from Tabasco sauce and cayenne pepper. Ketchup and brown sugar provide a sweet backdrop for the spice and tang from apple cider vinegar. A dash of smoked paprika adds a smoky flavor that makes such a difference.

Homemade Spicy Barbecue Sauce

Easy Spicy BBQ Sauce

It only takes 5 minutes to whip up a batch of great tasting spicy barbecue sauce. Simply mix all the ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer over medium heat until combined and thickened.

I love the way this sauce tastes served warm, but it’s good as a dipping sauce at room temperature, too!

Spicy Barbecue Sauce is delicious anywhere you’d enjoy your favorite bottled sauce. I can’t wait to try it in Pulled Pork Tacos or in these BBQ Chicken Stuffed Baked Potatoes. This sauce also makes a fantastic dipping sauce for chicken or even Oven Fries.

As I was tasting this for the first time, I also thought it might make a nice addition to these Neato Frito Over-stuffed Burritos my friend Rebecca makes. If you have an instant pot, it’s delicious over these Baby Back Ribs too.

Spicy Barbecue Sauce

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

We’re big fans of barbecue recipes in this house. As such, I’ve made many homemade barbecue sauces over the years that we love!

If you like the sweet and spicy combination in this sauce, you’re also bound to like the Sweet and Spicy Homemade Barbecue Sauce too. It’s just a tad sweeter than this Spicy BBQ Sauce and my whole family calls it one of the best sauces ever.

You don’t need to be a bourbon drinker to enjoy this Sriracha Bourbon Barbecue Sauce. With flavors of chile and maple, that sauce is declared a winner by everyone who tastes it. Bonus: your kitchen smells amazing while it’s cooking!

Homemade Barbecue Sauce freezes wonderfully. I often make multiple batches of any of these sauces at a time and store a couple of bottles in the fridge with the rest in the freezer.

Having great-tasting homemade barbecue sauce ready at a moment’s notice makes dinnertime easier. Use these recipes anywhere you enjoy tangy sweet barbecue flavor!

If your family prefers traditional ketchup try our easy Homemade Ketchup recipe.

Spicy Barbecue Sauce

Spicy BBQ Sauce

A homemade barbecue sauce that delivers plenty of heat with just the right amount of sweetness.

Serve this BBQ sauce with Chicken, Pulled Pork or smothered on burgers for a meal the whole family will love. Feel free to double, triple or even quadruple the recipe to have lots on hand to freeze!

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Spicy BBQ Sauce

Homemade Spicy Barbecue Sauce

4.76 from 29 votes
Spicy barbecue sauce with enough heat to bite the back of your throat and just barely sweet enough to balance that heat, this is the sauce I was craving.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 12 ounces


  • 1 cup ketchup   I use Heinz original
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano


  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Stir to combine and simmer 5 minutes. Use warm or let cool, pour into a jar and refrigerate until needed. Enjoy!


Calories: 32kcal · Carbohydrates: 8g · Protein: 1g · Fat: 1g · Saturated Fat: 1g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 1g · Sodium: 314mg · Potassium: 93mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 7g · Vitamin A: 209IU · Vitamin C: 2mg · Calcium: 11mg · Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 6/27/12 – recipe notes and photos updated 5/16/22}

Spicy BBQ Sauce

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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