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This Root Beer Barbecue Sauce is tangy and sweet and perfect for grilled or baked chicken, beef or pork.

Brush it onto crock pot ribs, BBQ Chicken Wings or BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

Root Beer BBQ Sauce 4
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Why I Love This Recipe

Even though we don’t own a grill, we love the flavor of barbecue. Bottled sauces never seem to quite cut it, but I’ve never found a completely homemade sauce that I love. So I like to doctor up the my favorite bottled sauces, like Sweet Baby Rays.

Root Beer BBQ Sauce 1

How to Make Root Beer BBQ Sauce

For this Root Beer Barbecue Sauce, the regular or spicy bottled sauces work best. The sweet ones tend to just be too sweet combined with the soda.

It’s super simple to bump up the bottled sauce a few notches by adding root beer, liquid smoke (one of my favorite ingredients!), garlic and a little soy sauce. It was sweet, sticky and smokey – all of my favorite barbecue sauce qualities!

We like to cook our meat (in this case, babyback ribs and chicken thighs) in the pressure cooker (cooks quickly but still comes out super tender) and then top with the sauce and broil.

If you’re grilling, I’d also recommend adding the sauce at the end to avoid burning. If baking in the oven, coat with sauce, bake, then coat with sauce again. Broiling for a few minutes will help caramelize the sugars and give you that nice sticky finish.

Root Beer BBQ Sauce 2
Root Beer BBQ Sauce

This is the first (semi) homemade sauce that I’ve really enjoyed and I can’t wait to make again! My daughter, who is pretty picky about eating meat off of the bone (truth be told, so am I) absolutely loved this sauce with pork ribs.

More BBQ Sauce Recipes

A pan of bbq ribs

Root Beer Barbecue Sauce

This Root Beer Barbecue Sauce is tangy and sweet and perfect for grilled or baked chicken, beef or pork.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 12 servings


  • 1 cup of your favorite bottled barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup root beer
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce


  • Combine ingredients in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce is slightly reduced.
  • Brush meat with the sauce and cook as desired, or brush on meat after cooking and just before serving. For a thicker sauce, dissolve 3 tablespoons of cornstarch in ¼ cup of water. Add to the sauce in batches, stirring in completely each time, until you are happy with the consistency.


This is perfect for pork or chicken sandwiches.


Serving: 2tablespoonsCalories: 50kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 305mgPotassium: 59mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 53IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 1mg
Keyword homemade barbecue sauce, root beer barbecue sauce

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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