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Basic Barbecue Sauce

Store-bought barbecue sauce can’t hold a candle to sauce made from scratch. Best of all, you know that no additives are present, and you know exactly what went into it! Homemade barbecue sauce is definitely worth keeping on hand for those hazy summer days when all you want to do is fire up the grill.
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 35 min


1 can (796 ml) tomatoes packed in juice
1 ½ cup onions, chopped
1 cup red peppers, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp mustard powder, hot
¼ tsp ginger, ground
¼ tsp cinnamon, ground
¼ tsp cloves, ground
½ tsp hot pepper sauce
⅓ cup vegetable oil

Food Safety

Before you start, wash all surfaces and your hands with soap and warm water, and remember to wash your hands, utensils and cutting boards after they touch raw meat or eggs. Avoid cross-contamination by using a different cutting board for your meat and other ingredients. Make sure you’re cooking to safe temperatures and chilling any leftovers within two hours. For more food safety tips, visit our Food Safety at Home Section.


  1. In a Dutch oven, or large shallow saucepan, crush tomatoes with potato masher.

  2. Stir in onion, pepper, garlic, vinegar, brown sugar, chili powder, mustard, hot pepper sauce, ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves.

  3. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-high and simmer briskly for 30 to 35 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently right to bottom of pan to prevent sticking or scorching.

  4. Transfer to food processor or blender and process until smooth. You may wish to place a towel over the food processor or blender to prevent splattering. Return to pan; stir in oil and heat to boiling point.

  5. Use immediately or for longer storage, transfer to large sterilized jar with tight-fitting lid.

Helpful Tip

Basting sauces are used to retain moisture and add flavour. However, to prevent scorching, tomato-based or sauces containing sugar should be used only during the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking. Make up a batch to have on hand for weekend barbecues.

Nutrition Info

Per 125 g serving Amount
Protein1 g
Fat6 g
Carbohydrate15 g
Fibre1 g
Sugar12 g
Sodium170 mg
Per 125 g serving % Daily Value
Vitamin A20
Vitamin C45
Vitamin B65