Spice up your barbecue sauce recipe with this secret ingredient

(Photo by Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Daniel Knighton/Getty Images) /

Need a new barbecue sauce recipe? While every pit master has a favorite recipe and even grandpa might be a barbecue legend, a homemade barbecue sauce can set one plate of barbecue apart from another. While that favorite brand can be convenient, it might be time for a flavor upgrade. Ready to get cooking?

A basic barbecue sauce has some common ingredients. Usually there is some type of sugar, ketchup, vinegar and spices. How those ingredients are combined is what makes one barbecue sauce better than another.

Before anyone thinks that a homemade barbecue sauce could be intimidating, it really isn’t. While baking might be a science, cooking is more like play. A little dash here, a little seasoning there, and it all comes together in the end.

Still, all the ingredients need to balance. Too much sugar and the sauce feels like a dessert. Too much spice and the flavor is overpowering. It

What is the secret to this tasty barbecue sauce recipe?

While Texas barbecue is legendary, so is Dr Pepper. That classic soda born in Waco, Texas has been a favorite for years. That beverage is the key to this barbecue sauce.

Given that Dr Pepper has 23 flavors in that beverage, all those different notes make the barbecue sauce even better. Whether it is the various fruits to the spices, one beverage can replace a myriad of other ingredients.

Dr Pepper shared this recipe for Spicy Dr Pepper Barbecue Sauce. Do you think that it will spice up your next barbecue?


  • 12 ounces Dr Pepper
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon of smoked ghost pepper flakes


  • Combine all ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Reduce sauce until desired consistency (thick enough to cover a spoon without sliding right off). Adjust seasonings to taste.

One tip when making this barbecue sauce recipe. It is important to slowly reduce the sauce. That process will help to get the right consistency.

Also, the seasonings can, and should, be adjusted to taste. If your family likes flavors to be even spicier, add a pinch more cayenne, or other spice notes.

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Like any good recipe, making it your own is part of the joy of cooking. Time to head to the kitchen.

Do you have a secret to a great barbecue sauce recipe? Do you know a great cooking or recipe tip to share?