Summer is fast approaching, and our family loves to BBQ!  We cook most everything out on the patio when the weather gets warm. Often we just use a little sea salt and pepper, but when we are hankering for some sauce, it’s our homemade BBQ sauce every time!  If you have a blender, you can whip this up in a hurry and keep it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. I love that this sauce doesn’t overpower the flavor of the meat, like so many of the bottled sauces do. 

This recipe makes up a full blender full, so I fill pint-sized containers and put them in the freezer. When I need more, it’s easy to bring one out to thaw in the morning.  It will be completely thawed and ready to use by dinner time. Plus, whenever I have guests over for BBQ, I have a container to send home with that guest (you know the one) that goes on and on about how wonderful it is!

Some words of warning about BBQ sauce. Place the sauce in a small bowl and use a pastry brush to apply to your selected cut of meat.  You can always refill the bowl if you run low…but don’t ever dip the pastry brush in your main container of sauce, as the enzymes and bacteria from the raw meat will contaminate your sauce. It’s sort of like the “double-dipping” concept.  You don’t want anything in your main bowl of sauce if you plan to put it back in the refrigerator. 

Perfectly grilled barbecue ribs with Orange Barbecue Sauce – don’t they look amazing?

Always grill your meat before you apply the sauce. 10-15 minutes before the meat is done, start brushing it on and repeat as desired for the amount of sauce you like! This sauce caramelizes a bit, and is just delicious!  ***If you don’t want such a large amount, cut the recipe in half!

You will need:

Bottle of orange juice – although this one says pulp free – Use the extra pulp version or freshly squeezed for best results.

1  cup of real orange juice (when I can find “heavy pulp” juice, that is what I prefer, or I juice oranges myself)

1/2 cup of mustard

2 cups of ketchup

Roughly chopped onion

1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped

whole cloves of garlic

4-5 garlic cloves (cleaned and husk removed)

2/3  cup of brown sugar

1 tsp of ground pepper

1 tsp ground red pepper (optional)

Starting out with orange juice

1. Place the orange juice in the blender and add the garlic and onions.  

Adding the mustard

2. Mix on “chop” to incorporate the onions and garlic.

Ingredients ready to blend

3. Add the rest of the ingredients and increase blender speed to puree and blend for 1 minute. 

Blender full of orange barbecue sauce

4. Separate into 1 cup jars/plastic containers and freeze what you don’t use. 

Mason jar being filled with extra sauce

5. Brush on grilled meat about 10-15 minutes before meat is done. Repeat every 5 minutes.

Storing excess Orange Barbecue Sauce

Leftover sauce will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks, so BBQ often!

Barbecued chicken with Orange Barbecue Sauce

I hope you enjoy this delicious sauce. It’s easy, fun and both you and your guests will love it. 

Amber comments: This recipe would be absolutely delicious with a Malbec red wine. The one I’d like to suggest to you is from our bargain wine of the week – Locations “AR”. The notes of blueberry, pepper, and vanilla will perfectly compliment all of the flavors in both the smokey barbecued meat and all of the elements in the sauce. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to make a big pile of ribs this weekend!

Have a great week! ~ April


  1. April, you’ve inspired me to make bbq for Fourth of July. I love the idea of an orange sauce and I’m thinking about using it on pork ribs. Bet it would rock on pork chops too! Another brilliant recipe.

    • Amber Reply

      Let us know how you like it Lauren. We think its delicious!

  2. I love recipes where you can make a lot of it and then store it for future! When we are in full basil season, we make pesto in large format and then freeze them in ice trays for future use!

    • Amber Reply

      I love that too. Bulk cooking saves time and money. Who doesn’t love that?

  3. This sounds yummy. In Texas we are all about BBQ sauce. I don’t like it sweet so may cut down on the brown sugar but will give this recipe a try. It sounds delicious.

    • Amber Reply

      I think I would taste it and add as you go for your perfect taste. Neither April or I likes “sweet”.

    • Amber Reply

      We love doing that too. And this recipe is so flexible… it even tastes good on veggies!

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