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Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce recipe

Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish
  • Sauce
  • BBQ sauce

A great thick sauce for coating spare ribs and barbecued or grilled chicken!

73 people made this

IngredientsServes: 24

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 475ml ketchup
  • 120ml cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 120ml apple juice
  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark soft brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons treacle
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:50min

  1. Melt the butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook for five minutes until softened.
  2. Mix in the remaining ingredients and allow the mixture come to the boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(77)

Reviews in English (63)

by Cliff G

This is an excellent recipe! I used it on pork, turkey,chicken and it was great! My wife did not like the tang so I made a batch and left out the pepper. Tastes better than any jar bbq sauce I have purchased. I enter bbq contests and this will definately be the sauce I use!-02 Oct 2007


This is definitely the best this site BBQ sauce I've tried - and there are some excellent ones on this site! As a previous reviewer suggested, I double the apple juice and omit the water. I also use fresh garlic. Pour this sauce over chicken legs and cook on "low" in the slow cooker for 8 hours for the best BBQ chicken ever!-30 Aug 2007


Used this in place of bottled sauce in Freak'n Good Ribs. Everyone just devoured them. Not too hot, not too sweet.-07 Aug 2007

The Ultimate Sweet & Tangy Nightshade Free BBQ Sauce

If you’ve had a copy of The Paleo Healing Cookbook since before it was even called that… then you’ve known and loved this recipe for my nightshade free sweet & tangy BBQ Sauce since 2015.

For the rest of you lovely people, consider this my gift to you! My husband has always said that it was worth buying my cookbook for this recipe alone and… to be honest, he’s not wrong.

This simple and utterly non-photogenic recipe for nightshade free BBQ sauce is probably the one that I’m most proud of, not just from the recipe development of my cookbook, but of all my time blogging and recipe testing.

I’m not one to toot my own proverbial horn, but this recipe was beyond a labor of love. It was days of stinking up my kitchen-without-an-extractor-hood with vinegar, an endless array of empty pantry items and close to 30-something iterations before I finally had a BBQ sauce that made us all go: THIS IS THE ONE.

(My chili-less chili recipes come close, because honestly at that point I had to dub myself some kind of kitchen wizard – my Hearty & Homestyle Nightshade Chili is proof of that magic!)

So, this nightshade free BBQ sauce is kind of my kitchen baby. It’s got no nightshades or seed spices – when ketchup and mustard are usually the backbone of many a BBQ sauce! – and it’s totally AIP. But, most importantly, it looks, tastes and acts just like NORMAL BBQ sauce.

Which means that unlike the more common AIP fruit based sauces, it works on the grill and under the broiler, not just as a last minute condiment you add to your plate. So you can use my nightshade free BBQ sauce for marinading and basting just like back in the days when BBQ sauce was actually convenient as well as delicious.

It is thick, rich, tangy and sweet, but has a lovely hint of bite that balances that sweetness. It’s basically the perfect BBQ Sauce… and also the special diet equivalent of a damn unicorn.

Years after I finally nailed this recipe, my nightshade free BBQ sauce has still has never failed me.

“Normal” eaters can’t tell the difference between this gloriousness or the usual grocery store options & those of us who can’t tolerate nightshades or mustard high five each other on the way to getting second piles of ribs or shrimp skewers or chicken legs or pulled pork or…. you get the idea.

At first glance, it may look like a lot of ingredients, but the recipe is so, so easy: just blend, then simmer aaaand you’re done. But that flavor balance from the layering of these ingredients is pure, alchemical kitchen gold. You’re gonna have to trust me on this.

I usually make a double batch, since it keeps (almost) forever in the fridge. You won’t regret doing the same!

Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce

I love barbecue in just about every form, and while I usually mix up a batch of homemade barbecue sauce when I need it, sometimes it’s nice to have some canned and on the shelf to make throwing together a cookout that much easier. Last summer I made a Ball barbecue sauce using tomatoes from the garden, but I wanted to try a different one from Ball that sounded closer to what I normally make when I do a small batch of barbecue sauce. I think it’s pretty close to my homemade recipe, so I’m sure I’ll be making this again in the future. The original recipe is from The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving, and it’s called Paw Paw’s Bywater BBQ Sauce.

The recipe says it’s yields about 6 pints of sauce.

Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce

2-1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar (I used a mixture of both light and dark brown sugar)

3 tablespoons garlic powder

3 tablespoons onion powder

3 tablespoons dry mustard

1 tablespoon black pepper

2 teaspoons ground red pepper

1/1-4 cups apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)

1/4 cup Creole mustard or Dijon mustard

2-1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice

1 tablespoon Fiery Fermented Hot Sauce (another recipe in this Ball book – I used Tabasco sauce)

Stir together first 9 ingredients in a 6-quart stainless steel or enameled Dutch oven. Add ketchup and remaining ingredients, stirring until blended.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring often.

Ladle hot sauce into a hot jar, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fingertip tight. Place jar into boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.

Process jars for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid, and let jars stand for 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool.

Start Cooking

Prepare the Kabobs

Before beginning, soak 12 wooden skewers in water for at least an hour. Soaking them before grilling prevents the skewers from catching fire.

Alternately thread meat chunks, mushrooms, peppers, and pearl onions on skewers.

Arrange beef kabobs in a 9x13-inch (23x33-cm) pan. Pour half of barbecue sauce (see recipe below), approximately one cup, over kabobs, turning occasionally, and toss to coat.

Place kabobs on grill over medium temperature. Cook about 10 minutes, turning occasionally and basting often with reserved sauce.

Leave some space between each item on the skewer, so the food can cook evenly.

Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce

Combine all ingredients and cook over a flame, stirring often. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.

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Recipe: Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce

makes a great quick dinner! Recipe : Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce All you need: 2 tablespoons

❓ Common Questions

How can I increase the fat in the BBQ sauce?

You can increase the fat in this BBQ sauce by adding 2 tbsp of butter once it has thickened, but is still warm. Stir it in as it melts.

What is the difference between sugar-free ketchup and unsweetened ketchup?

So, many people don't realize that sugar-free ketchup does not necessarily mean it is unsweetened. Unsweetened ketchup has no sweetener in it at all, while sugar-free ketchup usually means that it is sweetened, but not with sugar. The most common sweetener used in sugar-free ketchup in the grocery store is Sucralose, but you may see different types.

Award winning bbq sauce recipe

Today’s tried and true recipe is the BEST dang barbecue sauce I have ever had. Period. End of story. Today I present, Dead Guy Sauce , from The Shoebox Kitchen . I love, love, love this sauce!!

Please Note: This is a vinegar based sauce (3 cups) – if you are not a big fan of vinegar, this recipe is not for you. See tip below.

This awesome sauce won The Best Condiment Contest on Food52 . After my very first taste and I could see why. This sauce is tangy, not too sweet, loaded with layers of flavor. It’s my favorite go-to sauce for pork, chicken and ribs. It’s not thick like many bbq sauces and is great for basting. It’s best served warm.

Head here for a great step-by-step video on how to make this sauce by Merrill from Food52.

My favorite – Sweet & Smoky Pulled Pork Sandwiches made in the Crock Pot (pictured above), smothered in Dead Guy Sauce. So. Darn. Good.

A big thanks to my sister, for sharing this awesome recipe a year ago during our visit to Alaska. She always finds the best recipes!

NOTE: When I share a tried & true recipe, I always credit the source and often will send you to the site for the directions. One extra click for an awesome recipe, that’s it! It’s important to me to share the love and send you to the original source.

Sweet & Tangy Keto BBQ Sauce

I’m a really big fan of Jeff Phillips over at If you’re a fan of barbecue, I encourage you to visit his website. For this sauce, I modified one of Jeff’s recipes to make it low-carb. This sauce is great as is, but it is easily modifiable based on your personal preferences. If you like a sweeter sauce, add another tablespoon of sweetener. If you prefer a tangier sauce, add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. If you like your sauce spicier, add another teaspoon of hot sauce or chili powder.


1 bottle (13 oz) Heinz no sugar added ketchup

1/2 cup sugar free “maple” syrup

3 TBS Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup Sukrin Gold or Swerve brown sugar substitute

2 cloves of garlic, finely minced

1 tsp Tabasco or Lousiana hot sauce

1 TB coarse ground black pepper


  • Add all ingredients in a medium saucepan and whisk together over medium heat.
  • Once the sauce comes to a simmer (occasional bubbles breaking the surface), continue to stir/whisk for another five minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool before transferring to a mason jar or squeeze bottle. If using a squeeze bottle, you may want to use a funnel to cut down on the likelihood of spillage.
  • Use as you would any other BBQ sauce.

Recipe Video


Products and Ingredients Used in this Recipe:

Steve @ SeriousKeto

Owner/founder/dish washer at the SeriousKeto Test Kitchen.


I don’t see the macros for fat and protein up top, although it does show 2 net carbs per serving which is most important. Delicious Steve!

Carb Manager listed both protein and fat as zero. Apparently this recipe card template reads a zero as a null value, so I updated it with .1g for each. Thanks for the catch.

Making this now. Added a little red pepper flakes and about an eyeballed 1/4 tsp liquid smoke. Winner!!
(May even double as a good sauce for General Tso’s Chicken!)
Thanks Steve! And may God bless your efforts with all this keto help!!

Hey Steve,
Hope you get this message…didn’t know where to put it.
Have you tried any of the bottled bbq sauces? Woodman’s has that G Hughes stuff, but it was so coyingly sweet, I’ve been working my way through 1 bottle…I use it as the sweetener element in my own recipe (or in yours, for instance.)
BUT G Hughes makes a sugar-free steak sauce. That is something I would never buy, but I got it for $1. I am stunned…that is the biggest marketing mistake I have ever seen. It is SWEET & thick like KC-style bbq but it is way less sweet than their bbq sauces, so perfect! Almost still too sweet, but I add a dash of vinegar & cayenne. It has all elements of a KC-style bbq sauce, nothing like an a-1 steak sauce (who wants sweet with steak?) It’s dirty keto like all the others, like Heinz Sug-Free Ketchup, with sucralose & quite a few other things. I have nothing to do with them….but I think this is worth knowing about. BTW…it’s 1 carb per 1 T, very strong, goes a long way! .

Other dirty things to try:
SoLo Carb Bread, rye is our fave by far, from Milwaukee, sold at Woodman’s and I think Sendik’s (and Amazon)

A huge treat, and AWESOME: Temptations Bread, Lo-Carb/Hi-Fiber Whole Grain. Best grilled cheese ever. I only eat this with OMAD, but it does not kick me out of ketosis. Tested it twice and I make sure to weigh the bread slices, cuz it’s a round loaf. At Woodman’s, but from Chicago.
I keep these breads in freezer and make a great sandwich 1x a week.

Sorry if this is the wrong place for this, not sure if you’re interested in this type of “tip”.

Thanks Mary! Another shocker: Walden Farm pancake syrup is really good and thick. Everything else I’ve tried from Walden Farms is awful.

Sweet & Tangy BBQ Sauce

This Sweet & Tangy BBQ Sauce is the BEST blend of flavors with just the right amount of spice - perfect for summer grilling and destined to become a favorite!

There are certain types of people in the world I'm afraid I might never understand. Like the people who forget to eat lunch. Or the people who absolutely LOVE running. Or. the people who eat all their hot dogs and hamburgers and deli sandwiches without. ANY. condiments. I just can't even.

Now, I know I have a bit of a "thing" for condiments. I may love them even more than the average Joe. (One look in my fridge and you'd understand what I mean. ) I'm the person who asks for extra dressing at a restaurant. The person who sees a new type of dipping sauce and HAS to try it. The person who loves to have everything on hand. just in case.

But a life without them, entirely!? How is that even a possibility. Can we agree that it's just NOT?

Because life with condiments is SO much more delicious. especially when you have the right ones. Like this homemade Sweet & Tangy BBQ Sauce. It starts with Pick 'n Save's new Big K Dr. K Soda, adds in 10 key ingredients, and is ready in just 20 minutes. And seriously, you guys? It's my new favorite BBQ Sauce. And that's saying a lot.

So what makes it so good? Well, it really is the perfect balance of flavors. Just the right amount of sweet, savory, spicy, tangy, and amazing. It's great for all types of BBQ sauce lovers, because this sauce has it all! I see myself slathering it on grilled chicken all summer long. but it would also be amazing on brats, burgers, pulled pork, salad, wraps, you name it. Forget about store bought, because this Sweet & Tangy BBQ Sauce is so much better than anything you can buy. Summer just got way more delicious, my friends. You're welcome!

And the fun doesn't have to stop there, because Pick 'n Save's Big K Soda also comes in flavors like Citrus Drop, Cola, Root Beer, and Vanilla Cream. Perfect for summer marinades, cocktails, and even desserts. The possibilities are endless! For more recipe inspiration, visit Pick 'n Save on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. And then. let's get grilling!

What to Serve with Pulled Pork

On the side of our pulled pork and coleslaw sandwiches, we served up some oven baked fries and roasted broccoli. YUM!!

Those oven fries and a sheet pan full of roasted broccoli are 2 of my all-time favorite side dishes. However, if it’s the middle of the summer and you’re making this bbq pulled pork recipe, maybe you want some cold side dishes.

Well then, I’m going to suggest some Mexican street corn salad, this bacon ranch potato salad, and this broccoli slaw salad. They’re all SUPER delicious, minimally cooked recipes that are sure to make everyone happy!

If it’s this easy to make the men in your life happy as it is in mine, you need this recipe! It’s the best pulled pork recipe I’ve tried yet! But let’s also be real here: you don’t need to be a man to love pulled pork!!


  1. Zulkilrajas

    Not happy !!!

  2. Kingsley

    Score 5, bazaar zero

  3. Joosep

    This is a great idea

  4. Dataxe

    OK! Everyone would write like that

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