Deep, rich and bold, this Sweet & Spicy Tennessee BBQ Sauce is so easy to make at home. With the perfect balance between smoky sweetness and a tangy, spicy kick, you’ll never want to buy the store bought stuff again!
It’s no secret that I like a good sauce (just see the list at the bottom of this post!), but finding a favorite BBQ sauce at the grocery store can be a daunting task. There are so many styles and kinds and brands… It might take a lifetime to find just the right one.
…Especially when you already know what you want. I’m talking about that beautiful balance between a dark, sweet sauce and the hot zing of a vinegar-based sauce packed with loads of flavor from onion, garlic and other spices.
Where to find such a thing? Make your own Tennessee BBQ Sauce! It’s simple. It’s easy. And it’s guaranteed to be the best sauce you’v ever tasted.
What’s makes Tennessee BBQ Sauce Different?
In the South, we love our BBQ! So much so that we don’t have just one style of barbecue sauce we love, we’ve got plenty! Each region, depending on the spices used in that area and the types of meats raised, boasts its own “best” sauce and style.
Tennessee shares its love for a tomato-based sauce with Kansas City, St. Louis and Texas. But Tennessee puts it own Memphis-style stamp on its rich, sticky sauce with deep, smoky flavors, brown sugar and molasses while still including plenty of bold zing from vinegar, mustard and other spices.
What to Serve with Tennessee BBQ Sauce
The consistency and rich, tangy flavor of this sauce makes it a perfect addition to burgers, as a sauce on BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, pulled pork, sausages, a glaze on grilled or smoked meats. If you don’t like saucing your meats, use this for dipping instead!
Side Dishes to Serve with Barbecue
- Creamy Classic Coleslaw
- Southern Deviled Egg Potato Salad
- Creamy Dill Potato Salad
- Southern Macaroni Salad
- Ultimate Pepper Jack Macaroni & Cheese
- brewed strong coffee
- apple cider vinegar
- brown sugar
- minced garlic
- dried minced onion
- Worcestershire sauce
- stone ground mustard
- coarse ground black pepper
- chili powder
- cayenne pepper
How to Make Homemade Tennessee BBQ Sauce
- Whisk all ingredients together in a large saucepan.
- Bring to a low boil, stirring often.
- Turn down the heat and simmer for 45 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Makes a 16 ounce jar of sauce!
We love this barbecue sauce recipe served warm for dipping or as a sauce over grilled chicken, ribs or pulled pork.
How to Store Homemade BBQ Sauce
Thanks to the vinegar in the recipe, this sauce keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks. I’ve found storing it in a glass jar with a good fitting lid works best. Avoid plastic ware. The coffee and tomato base of the sauce will stain it.
Other Sauce Recipes You’ll Love
- Louisiana Remoulade Sauce
- Campfire Fry Sauce
- Alabama White Sauce
- Tasty Homemade Tartar Sauce
- Pineapple Honey Mustard Sauce
- Easy Homemade Cocktail Sauce
More BBQ Recipes
- Easy Crockpot BBQ Boneless Chicken Thighs
- Cheesy BBQ Bacon Potato Foil Packets
- Sheet Pan BBQ Nachos
- BBQ Pulled Pork & Peach Pizza
- Loaded BBQ Sweet Potato Skins
If You Love Homemade Sauces & Have Made This Recipe, Give It All The Stars & Leave A Fun Comment! Or Tag Me @SouthernDiscourse On Social Media To Be Featured. I Love Hearing From You!
Sweet & Spicy Tennessee BBQ Sauce
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 cup strong coffee
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- 5 tablespoons molasses
- 5 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons stone ground mustard
- 2 teaspoons coarse bround black pepper
- 1 dash salt to taste
- 1 dash chili powder
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- Whisk all ingredients together in a large sauce pan. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring often. Turn down heat. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring often and well to keep from sticking or scorching.
- Serve warm or chilled. (Warm is preferred.) Will thicken some as it cools. Store in a 16 ounce glass jar with a lid.