Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue Sauce can be such a hit or miss condiment in my opinion.

It’s easy to pick up at the supermarket and there’s a lot of choice out there. Almost too much choice and I never seem to one I truly love. I find that most of the mainstream brands sit at the “sweet and sickly” end of the spectrum, on top of which they are often gloopy and unpleasant in texture. The more artisanal brands tend to get the texture right but then end up being a bit too in your face with flavour. There has to be a middle ground, right?

This recipe has a bit of a shortcut in that I use store-bought ketchup as the base of the sauce. I know that the choice of ketchup will affect the end result, so bear that in mind when adding the vinegar. If you have a more acidic brand add a little less. The quantity here assumes Heinz Ketchup, which I find has a fairly mild flavour.

The ketchup is then diluted with a can (330ml) of full-sugar Coca Cola. This brings with it a bit more sweetness as well as its own mix of flavourings. I know the recipe is a closely guarded secret but the warmth from the (alleged) cinnamon and lime really does a great job here. To that I add a fairly simple mix of spices – salt, pepper and smoked paprika – along with some garlic and Worcestershire Sauce to round out the flavour. I use a sweet Spanish Pimentón Dulce but if you want more of a kick then a pinch of picante may not go amiss. Finally, the cider vinegar and lime juice (added to taste) bring back some acidity that keeps this sauce well away from sweet and sickly.

I find that after 45 minutes that the sauce is a good thickness for using in other recipes, like my Hunter’s Chicken. If you want a thicker dipping sauce then let it cook for longer, just make sure that it doesn’t catch on the base of the pan.

Barbecue Sauce

Sweet, smokey and slightly spicy – this barbecue sauce is a sure-fire hit!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Sauces, Side Dishes
Servings: 1 batch
Calories: 412kcal


  • 2 x cloves Garlic
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt flakes
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper ground
  • ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 x 330ml can Coca Cola or any cola of your choice
  • 150 ml Ketchup
  • 30 ml Cider or Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Lime Juice


  • Peel the garlic cloves then crush into a fine paste, adding the salt and pepper to assist with this process.
  • Put all of the ingredients, except the lime juice, into a saucepan and mix well.
  • Bring the mixture to the boil then reduce the heat – keep at a low simmer for around 45 minutes, until you have a thickened sauce. Stir regularly to avoid the sauce burning or catching on the bottom of the pan.
  • Allow the sauce to cool before mixing through the lime juice as the final step. You should now have a smoky, sweet and slightly spicy sauce that’s good to go.


Estimated Values per Serving
of which Saturates0g
of which Sugars94g
Note: Nutritional information shown is per serving of the above recipe. Any side dishes or garnishes shown in photos are not included in these values, unless they are specifically listed as part of the recipe.

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