Go Back
+ servings
Classic Southern BBQ Sauce

Classic Southern BBQ Sauce

This classic-tomato based barbecue sauce is loaded with flavor. Use on barbecued ribs, pulled pork, chicken, or simply serve on the side.
Photo by: NewAfrica/Depositphotos
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: barbecue sauce
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Cooling Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Servings: 3 Cups
Author: Derrick Riches


  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika not smoked
  • 1/4 teaspoon vinegar based hot sauce red Tabasco works well
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper use less if preferred
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add the minced garlic and cook for 15 to 30 seconds, or until it becomes fragrant. Watch out for browning. That will cause the garlic to taste bitter.
  • Add the ketchup, vinegar, water, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, paprika, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice. Don't add butter yet. Simmer the sauce over medium-low heat for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low if the mixture is bubbling too much.
  • Remove saucepan from heat and add butter. Stir through. As it melts, the butter will silken the appearance of the sauce. Let sauce cool for 15-20 minutes before using.
  • If making ahead of time, allow sauce to cool completely (about 30 minutes). Place into an air tight container and store in the refrigerator fro up to 5 days after preparation.
  • How to use: Brush sauce onto ribs or chicken pieces during the last 15 to minutes of cook time. This barbecue sauce can also be heated to room temperature and served on top of pulled chicken or pork, or as a table sauce.