Copycat Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce

I am definitely not one of those that thinks everything needs to be made from scratch. But that being said, I do enjoy the challenge and reward of making something that is a good copycat of something I can buy in my grocery store. Like this copycat Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. I was making a big ole batch of smoked pork when I realized I didn’t have a sauce on hand. Well, in no time at all I whipped this great sauce together. It has the right consistency, just like the ‘real’ stuff. And it has that (nearly) same great flavor.
Copycat Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce

The great thing about making your own copycat Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce is that you can customize it for your tastes. Want it a bit more smokey? Add a tad bit (a very small tad bit) of liquid smoke. Maybe (like me) you want a bit of spiciness? Add more cayenne pepper or a few (long) shakes of hot sauce. Thinner? Stir in some water. Thicker? Don’t add as much water. Make it your own. I did.

Also try my copycat Dreamland BBQ sauce.

Copycat Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce

Course BBQ Sauce
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 cups
Author Mike


  • 1 1/4 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cold water optional
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch optional


  • Stir together all ingredients except for the water and corn starch in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the brown sugar has dissolved.
  • If you want a thicker sauce, combine the water and corn starch in a small glass and slowly stir in to the sauce. Continue to simmer until the desired thickness is achieved.
  • If the sauce gets too thick add water, a very little bit at a time, and stir.

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