This homemade Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce is ridiculously tasty and couldn’t be easier to make!
Just in case you’re thinking this might be a novelty recipe, I promise you it’s absolutely not. In fact, don’t be surprised if this becomes your new all time favourite BBQ sauce!
Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce
Dr pepper and BBQ sauce go hand in hand. Dr pepper is often used for glazing meats on the BBQ and it takes on the smoky flavours incredibly well. And, let’s be real here, it’s packed with sugar so it makes the perfect sweet base for making a BBQ sauce.
Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce Ingredients
No fancy ingredients needed! In fact you don’t even need liquid smoke or molasses, which a lot of BBQ sauce recipes suggest. For me, the best BBQ sauce consists of a few different components:
- Sweet – The sweetness comes from the Dr Pepper itself, alongside ketchup and brown sugar.
- Tangy – The ketchup will add some tanginess too, but the bulk of this comes from apple cider vinegar.
- Spicy – I love adding a dash of hot sauce, alongside some mustard powder too.
- Smoky – Smoked paprika offers the bulk of this, but the Worcestershire sauce will add a touch of smokiness too.
Alongside these ingredients, I add tomato paste to deepen the flavour and some onion & garlic powder to add more of a rounded flavour.
Making Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce
It truly couldn’t be more simple. All you need to do is whisk together over low-medium heat and simmer until the sauce thickens. You do not need a thickening agent like cornstarch/cornflour, the sauce will naturally thicken.
BBQ sauce is all about preference, so feel free to adjust after it’s simmered (more sugar to sweeten, more vinegar for more of a tang etc).
How long does homemade BBQ sauce last in the fridge?
The sugar and vinegar helps preserve this sauce, and as such will last a good 1-2 weeks tightly sealed in the fridge.
Process shots: add ingredients to pot or deep pan (photo 1), whisk and simmer until thickened (photo 2).
Serving Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce
This goes perfectly in my BBQ Chicken Grilled Cheese & Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sandwiches or drizzled over a Popcorn Chicken Sandwich. Perfect for using as a dip too with Spicy Potato Wedges or Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Wedges!
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for the Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce shall we?!
How to make Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce (Full Recipe & Video)
Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce
- Pot or Deep Pan
- Wooden Spoon
- Measuring Cups & Spoons
- 1x 12oz / 330ml can of Dr Pepper (not low sugar!)
- 1 cup Ketchup
- 1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar, Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tbsp EACH: Worcestershire Sauce, Tomato Paste (Tomato Puree in UK)
- 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Mustard Powder
- 1/2 tsp EACH: Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt, Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Hot Sauce, or to taste (optional)
- Add all of your ingredients into a pot or deep pan and whisk to combine. Bring to a gentle simmer and stir occasionally until thickened (approx 20mins). It will thicken, just keep gently simmering and stirring. Don't crank up the heat or it'll burn the sugar.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly (see notes).
Your Private Notes:
If you loved this BBQ Sauce recipe be sure to Pin it for later! Already made it or got a burning question? Give me a shout in the comments below!
Made this exactly as written other than that I did not have dark brown sugar sugar so I used just under a quarter cup of light brown sugar and added a teaspoon of molasses. Probably the best barbecue sauce I’ve ever made.
That’s so great to hear! 🙂