Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

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Made with just 5 ingredients, this Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce is the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Brush on grilled meat, use as a glaze on ribs, or even as a dip for fries and nuggets.

A wooden spoon in a jar of Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

Easy Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

Dr Pepper + BBQ sauce is one of my favorite combinations. I’ve shared my Dr Pepper ribs before, as well as Dr Pepper pulled pork but today we’re making this super versatile Dr Pepper BBQ sauce.

It goes well with ribs and pulled pork, of course, but also with wings, chicken breasts, steak, grilled veggies, and more. The boys even love using it as a dip for chicken nuggets and fries!

A wooden spoon stirring Dr Pepper BBQ sauce

Why You’ll Love This BBQ Sauce Recipe

Here are a few reasons why we love this homemade BBQ sauce.

  • Perfect blend of flavors. This easy homemade Barbecue sauce recipe is on the sweet side, with just the right amount of savory flavor – though you can easily spice it up by adding more cayenne.
  • Only 5 ingredients. One of the best parts of this recipe is that you need just 5 ingredients to prepare it.
  • Versatile. There are endless ways to use this BBQ sauce with Dr Pepper, from a glaze and marinade to a dip for chicken nuggets.
Overhead view of ingredients needed for Dr Pepper BBQ sauce

What You’ll Need

This Dr Pepper BBQ sauce requires just 5 ingredients. Scroll down to the recipe card below for measurements.

  • Dr Pepper – Dr Pepper provides a sweet base to the BBQ sauce, along with the liquid needed for the appropriate texture.
  • Ketchup – Adds some tang to the sauce.
  • Brown sugar – Sweetens the sauce.
  • Worcestershire sauce – Adds savory undertones to the BBQ sauce.
  • Cayenne pepper – Optional for a bit of heat.
  • Liquid smoke – Adds a smoky flavor to the BBQ sauce.

How to Make Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

Here’s a quick overview of how to make BBQ sauce with Dr Pepper. See the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.

  • Cook the Dr Pepper. Bring the Dr Pepper to a boil over medium heat then reduce to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until it is reduced by half.
  • Add the other ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Cool. Remove from heat and let cool before storing or using.
A jar of Dr Pepper BBQ sauce in front of cans of Dr Pepper and a bowl of buns

Tips & Variations

Here are a few things to keep in mind when making this BBQ sauce.

  • Adjust the flavor. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, you can add more brown sugar. For a spicy bbq sauce, increase the amount of cayenne pepper, chili powder or add your favorite hot sauce.
  • Try a different soda. If you don’t have Dr. Pepper on hand, you can try using other carbonated sodas like Coca-Cola or root beer as a substitute. This will give the sauce a slightly different flavor profile.
  • Adjust the consistency. If you prefer a thicker sauce, let it simmer for a longer period of time to reduce and thicken further. Conversely, if you prefer a thinner consistency, reduce the cooking time or add a little water to the sauce.
A jar of Dr Pepper BBQ sauce

Ways to Use Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

There are so many ways to use this Dr Pepper BBQ sauce. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Brushed on grilled meats like chicken, pork, and beef
  • As a glaze on ribs
  • Brushed over grilled veggies
  • As a marinade for meat
  • As a dipping sauce for fries, chicken nuggets, or onion rings
A jar of Dr Pepper BBQ sauce in front of soda cans

Proper Storage

  • Fridge. Store the Dr Pepper BBQ sauce in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator. It can last up to 2 weeks when stored properly.

More Homemade Sauce Recipes

Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce feature
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Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

Made with just 5 ingredients, this Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce is the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Brush on grilled meat, use as a glaze on ribs, or even as a dip for fries and nuggets.
Servings: 3 cups
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes



  • In a saucepan, pour in the 12 Ounces of Dr. Pepper and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer the Dr. Pepper until it has reduced by half, about 10-15 Minutes.
  • Add the 2 cups of ketchup, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional), and ½ teaspoon liquid smoke to the saucepan.
  • Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  • Simmer the mixture over low heat for about 15-20 minutes, string occasionally, until the sauce thickens and the flavors meld together.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the BBQ sauce cool.
  • Once cooled, transfer the sauce to an airtight container or jar for storage.
  • The Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce is now ready to use! Brush it on grilled meat, use it as a marinate, or serve it as a dipping sauce. Enjoy!

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Calories: 495kcal | Carbohydrates: 130g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 1568mg | Potassium: 596mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 119g | Vitamin A: 895IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 1mg


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