Easy homemade Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce is sweet, sticky perfection. It's a simple grill sauce recipe that will have your summer cookouts voted best in the neighborhood! It's tangy and spicy - delicious on grilled chicken, beef, pork, or even grilled vegetables. One taste of this and you'll never want store bought again.
Ingredients for This Recipe: Dr Pepper, onion, tomato sauce, garlic, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, chipotle in adobo, liquid smoke
Table of Contents
Dr Pepper 10, 2, 4
I've mentioned once or twice that my family has the Dr Pepper gene, right?
Trivia: Did you know that 10, 2, 4 on the old Dr Pepper bottles refers to the times in the day you should drink it? Back in the day they discovered that sugar gave a quick energy burst and most people had energy lapses at those times. So, they put the times on the label of the bottle as a reminder.
Although most of us will drink any Dr Pepper that we can find, we crave the pure, sweet-spicy, old fashioned flavor of, what we call in Texas, "The Real Stuff" made with Imperial cane sugar and created in a tiny bottling company in Dublin, Texas. The only one that didn't sell out to the Corn Syrup Gods in the 1980s.
We know our Dr Pepper around here.
Sadly, the corporation that owns Dr Pepper hit the little guys in Dublin with a law suit... and switched them over to the Dark Side. You can't even find the Dublin Dr Pepper Museum webpage anymore.
BBQ Sauce Tips
This bbq sauce is sweet, spicy, and has a definite Dr Pepper flavor with a kick. This is a sweet BBQ sauce, no doubt about it but when it is finished and ladled over a fork tender piece of brisket you have a real somethin' somethin' that you want to put in your mouth.
In fact, I think that I could pretty much live on this stuff.
- Don't use an aluminum pan! The acids in the sauce will pull the aluminum flavor from the pan. Ick.
- Always simmer on low heat - the secret is low and slow. If you turn the heat up too much it's going to splatter and you could get a painful burn.
- Stir often - you don't want it to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
- Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It will last a week or so and be just fine.
- If you don't like spicy leave the chipotle out.
Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce FAQs
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about this easy Dr Pepper bbq sauce.
How can I use Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce?
On just about anything! It's great on beef or chicken, of course, but there's so much more.
- Beef - hamburgers, brisket, steaks, ribs...
- Appetizer meatballs
- Pork - roast, pulled pork, ribs, pork chops
- Chicken- any cut of chicken but also as a dipping sauce for chicken fingers
- Hot dog sauce
What Is a Grill Sauce?
A grill sauce is any kind of sauce that you use to brush on the meat while grilling. In Texas bbq sauce is usually spooned on the meat at the table. This Dr Pepper bbq sauce can be used either way.
Can I Use Coke Instead of Dr Pepper?
You rebel you. Sure! You can use root beer, Coke, or whatever. Cola and other dark drinks work better than, say, Sprite.
How Do I Store Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce?
If you are not going to use it immediately let it come to room temperature then spoon it into a container - I like glass canning jars - and cover tightly. Store in the refrigerator for a week or so.
Remember - never use aluminum pans or foil with this sauce. It will react with the aluminum and cause an off flavor.
More Favorite Texas Recipes
We do love our food and flavors here in Texas. From Tex-Mex to classic southern comfort food, we put our own special twist on it all. Here are some of my favorites.
- You can use my favorite brisket recipe to recreate this amazing dish. It is just so good... Make it once and you'd better hope your local grocer puts briskets on sale regularly. This is an oven cooked brisket so it's easy enough for anyone to make.
- You might also like my Dr Pepper glaze for grilling. It is not BBQ-ey at all... just a sweet, spicy glaze that is oh-so-yummy on chicken.
- King Ranch Chicken Casserole is an easy casserole that you just want to keep eating for days. It shows up at a lot of potlucks and when a neighbor has need.
- Creamy Chicken Enchiladas are one of our favorites almost all year long. Creamy, with lots of southwestern flavor!
- Frito Pie shows up at every football game, tailgating party, and weekend get-together in the fall. It's stupid easy.
You May Need
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One thing that you really need for this sauce is a heavy, non-aluminum pan. I prefer enameled cast iron like this Le Creuset saucepan. This Lodge enameled cast iron pan is less expensive but also very well made.
Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce Recipe
I love this on so many things - including leftover meatloaf sandwiches! Try it at your next cookout. So good!
Dr Pepper BBQ SaucePrint Save Go to Collections
- 12 ounces Dr Pepper
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- ¼ cup tomato sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- Put all ingredients in a heavy saucepan and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes - or until it thickens.
- Add to the blender, one cup at a time, and blend until smooth.
- Return to the pan and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more, or until it reaches the consistency you like.
- Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Use as desired - keep refrigerated.