Grow Preserve Eat

How To Make Homemade Sweet or Spicy BBQ Sauce

Nobody has time in the heat of summer (and the unending harvesting) to make batch after batch of different sauces. This base recipe for BBQ sauce can stand on it’s own but also serves as a starting point for a variety of delicious sauces.

Spicy and Smokey BBQ Sauce

Starting with the 1/2 unstrained base recipe add the following:


3/4 Roasted Jalapenos (or spicy pepper of choice)

3-4 Roasted Peppers (Pablono)

2-3 Dried Morito Chilies softened in 1C hot water

Allow to cook for an additional half hour before blending with an immersion blender and straining. Proceed with canning.

Spicy BBQ Sauce

Sweet BBQ Sauce

Starting with the strained base recipe add the following:

1/2 Cup Honey

Cook for about 5 minutes on the stove top and it is ready to can.

Fresh vs. Frozen Tomatoes

Gathering enough tomatoes together at one time can be hard if you don’t have a large garden, so I core and quarter my tomatoes and place them in a gallon size bag and into the freezer until I’m ready to use them.

The huge benefit for this recipe is that the freezing and de-thawing process actually draws a lot of the extra water out. This is a big time saver when it comes to reducing down your sauce. Less water to start with means less time spent boiling it away later!

I like starting with frozen tomatoes, but this recipe works just as well with fresh or canned. Just be aware the times below may need to be adjusted. This is also the case depending on what variety of tomatoes you start with.

Paste vs Slicer Tomatoes

If you are growing your own tomatoes with the intent of making your own salsa, spaghetti sauce and other sauces I recommend doing some research into the different varieties. Paste tomatoes are specifically bred to reduce the amount of watery seeds and maximize the amount of flesh per tomato.

Paste tomatoes come in a variety of colors shapes and sizes so have fun! Select a few varieties to try until you find one that grows well in your area. I recommend looking into the Amish Paste tomatoes. They are large for their size, very fruitful and just as easy to grow as a Roma variety.

Looking for other ways to use your harvest of Tomatoes up? Check out this recipe for a Fresh and Easy Mango Salsa

The following recipe and canning guidelines are based off of the recipe found on the National Center for Home Food Preservations website here.

How To Make Homemade Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce

Recipe by growpreserveeat@gmail.comCourse: SaucesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Intermediate


Recipe Time




  • 4 Galloon bags of frozen Tomatoes, ~ 20 lbs

  • 2 Large Onions, roughly chopped

  • 4 Large Garlic cloves, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 C Brown Sugar

  • 1/2 C. Molasses

  • 1.5 C Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 2 tsp. Celery Seed

  • 3 tsp. Mustard Powder

  • 4 tsp. Smoked Paprika

  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

  • 2 tsp. Salt

  • 1 Tbsp. Whole Black Peppercorns


    Recipe Video


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