Spicy barbecue sauce for your chicken or pork dishes! This sauce gets a kick from cayenne, cumin, chili powder, and other spices—it’s tasty and will liven up your food!

Spicy barbecue sauce for your chicken or pork dishes!

Barbecue sauce is such a regional and subjective food item—and most people are pretty adamant about the way they like it. If you are partial to a mustard-based sauce, then you probably are not fond of a sweet ketchup sauce. And if you like the molasses and ketchup-based sauce, then you probably don’t want a mustard or vinegar based sauce.

I like sort of a combination of all. If I’m at a barbecue joint that serves different styles of sauces, then I’ll try them all. This practice drives my husband a little crazy if we have to run through a Chick-Fil-A drive-through and I get chicken nuggets — I ask for one of each sauce. It does not make for an easy drive. But I digress, back to the barbecue sauce.

Spicy Barbecue Sauce

This sauce is ketchup-based, but includes a little vinegar and a good bit of heat from cayenne pepper, chili powder, and cumin, along with other spices. It’s good on chicken, pulled pork or my oven-roasted beef brisket. If you don’t like sauce to be spicy, then you could add an additional cup of ketchup or just cut back on the chili powder, cumin and cayenne.



Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email below and we’ll send the recipe straight to your inbox!
5 from 1 vote

Spicy Barbecue Sauce

Spicy barbecue sauce for your chicken or pork dishes!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Save This Recipe


  • 3 cups Heinz ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small grated onion
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup water or apple juice


  • Melt butter in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add grated onion and stir for 2-3 minutes.
  • Turn heat to medium-low and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir gently and allow to come to a simmer.
  • Turn heat to low and cook for at least thirty minutes, stirring occasionally. Store in the refrigerator. Sauce will keep for several weeks.


Serving: 10servings, Calories: 261kcal, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 1g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 773mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 45g
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: American
Calories: 261
Keyword: spicy barbecue sauce
Love this recipe?Mention @southernfoodandfun or tag #southernfoodandfun!

Also try my regular Barbecue Sauce if you’re not fond of spicy!

Lucy standing behind a counter with a cheese board and glass of wine.

About the author

Hi, I’m Lucy! I’m a home cook, writer, food and wine fanatic, and recipe developer. I’ve created and tested hundreds of recipes so that I can bring you the best tried and true favorites.

Follow Lucy on social media:

You May Also Like:

Sign up with your email address to receive a 5-day series of Southern Cooking Secrets, followed by weekly emails with recipes and tips. We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating