Grandma's Barbecue Sauce Recipe: BBQ Sauce So Good, She Wrote It Down Twice by Donna John

a year ago

Grandma's Barbecue Sauce Recipe: BBQ Sauce So Good, She Wrote It Down Twice

My grandpa could smoke a mean brisket and cooked amazing barbecued chickens. My grandma would whip up a quick barbecue sauce to slather on whatever he cooked. 

This easy barbecue sauce recipe – or BAR-B-Q sauce, according to her written recipe – has just a few ingredients and would simmer while she finished her cole slaw, potato salad and baked beans. She liked it so much it was in her recipe box twice.

The easy homemade barbecue sauce is made with vegetable oil, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, water, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. The simple ingredients are put into a saucepot and boiled for about 30 minutes. That's all she wrote on the recipe card. I would reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, 30 minutes. Gently simmer that sauce. 

What's your favorite barbecue sauce? Tell us in the comments section below. 

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: Makes about 2 1/2 cups


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
  • 1 can water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Here's how to make it:

  1. Mix together all ingredients in a saucepot. Bring to a boil. 
  2. Cook 30 minutes.

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Saucepots $10 & Up
Tomato Sauce $1 & Up
Brown Sugar $2 & Up
Vegetable Oil $2 & Up

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Elisa Schmitz
OMGoodness, Donna John , I can almost taste the goodness from here. I can't wait to try another of your grandma's delicious recipes!
Daya De Silva
Hope great recipe. I want to try it for my pizza base. Do i want to boil all ingredients, Without saute onion and garlic? Please let me know. Thanks
Donna John
The recipe does not say to cook the garlic or onion first. They just simmer for 30 minutes along with other ingredients. Love the idea of using it as a pizza base. What toppings are you going to use? Wds
Daya De Silva
Thank you for replying so promptly. Actually I'm going to use the BBQ sauce for base of my BBQ chicken Pizza with following toppings. Grilled BBQ chicken breast, green and red bell peppers, diced onion, jalapeno and mozzarella cheese. I will try this recipe. once again thank you and appreciated. stay safe
More a recipe for Catsup than "BBQ" sauce although it's the usual base for said BBQ sauces
Donna John
This recipe is very, very old, so you have to take that into account. :-)
Steve Lacy
Almost, great start, but needs hot sauce and vinegar.
Chris Vintson
Donna John, Don't listen to Rude know it alls, BBQ sauce, was Great, I Don't Understand Why People want to Make BBQ Sauce HOT, or add Vinegar, But keep posting, Love to Try new foods.
Donna John
Thank you so much, Chris Vintson ! Learned to have a thick skin from my grandma, so all good. :-)
Rodney Bradshaw
This Bar-b-cue recipe is real close to my mom's. She put it in a homemade cookbook she made for her boys and each of her grand kids. Everyone got a copy. Each recipe was hand written not copied on a printer. Her recipe came from the 1940's. Will definitely try it.
Donna John
Love stories like that! Thanks for sharing and I hope you enjoy my grandma's sauce. :)

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