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Homemade Instant Pot Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Blue Ball jar with homemade Instant Pot BBQ sauce, basting brush, bottle of bourbon on a wooden board from Gourmet Done Skinny

Quick, easy, homemade BBQ Sauce made in the Instant Pot in no time! Only takes 10 minutes to cook! It’s sweet, slightly spicy, savory and delicious and has much less sugar than most of the store bought brands. Made with real ingredients including bourbon! Plus homemade bbq sauce tastes so much better than the ones you find in the grocery store. (Updated May 24, 2022)

Can you make this BBQ sauce recipe on the stove?

Yes, you can make this recipe on the stove. Just brown the onions and garlic for a few minutes in a pot. Add the remaining ingredients, cover and allow to simmer on low for a few hours. Be sure to stir often so it doesn’t burn. You may need to add more water if it starts to thicken up too much. While it’s easy to make on the stove, I love using the Instant Pot as a pressure cooker to make this BBQ sauce recipe because it’s so quick!

Is BBQ sauce healthy?

Well it definitely depends on what’s in it! That’s why I decided to make my own homemade BBQ sauce. Be sure and check the ingredients on the back of the label. It’s amazing how different the brands are! Some even have corn syrup listed as the first ingredient. You know that’s a bad sign. They all have different amounts of sugar. While doing research I found an interesting article about the best brands. Annie’s Original BBQ Sauce (paid link) was rated the best, only 4 grams of sugar for 2 tablespoons, while Sweet Baby Ray’s has 16 grams for 2 tablespoons! Wow! What a huge difference!!!

My healthy BBQ sauce

This healthy BBQ sauce does not have ketchup in it. Many homemade recipes do. They may taste fabulous but ketchup contains a lot of sugar. At first glance you may think my BBQ sauce recipe has a lot of sugar, but compare the quantity – this recipe actually makes 4 cups while others make only 2 cups. I have considered cutting down the recipe but I hate using 1/2 can of tomato sauce and 1/2 can tomato paste. What am I going to do with a 1/2 can of leftover tomato sauce? Thus the reason mine makes 4 cups. I use up both cans. No waste.

You can freeze the sauce if you don’t want that much at once. Keep reading for more information on that. This homemade Instant Pot BBQ sauce is a smoky sweeter sauce as my family likes it better that way, so it does have 4 grams of sugar per tablespoon but feel free to cut back on the sugar if you want it less sweet. Still much better than the Sweet Baby Ray’s for sure!

How long does homemade BBQ sauce last? Can you freeze it?

Homemade BBQ sauce lasts for about 5-7 days. Even though it does have vinegar in it, you don’t want to keep it any longer than that. You can however, freeze it into portions. I make a batch and put 1/2 cup portions of sauce into Souper Cubes (paid link) or vacuum sealed bags (paid link). Then I lay them flat in my freezer. When I want some sauce, I just thaw it out in the microwave or refrigerator. Very handy!

How to Make Homemade BBQ Sauce in the Instant Pot – Pictures:

Onions browning in Instant Pot liner with wooden spoon from Gourmet Done Skinny

Spray Instant Pot liner with olive oil spray (paid link). Add chopped onions and garlic. Sauté for about 1 minute.

Tomato sauce, paste, spices, bourbon in an Instant Pot liner with a wooden spoon from Gourmet Done Skinny

Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, bourbon, homemade chipotle seasoning (paid link) and remaining ingredients.

Instant Pot with timer set to 10 minutes to make Instant Pot Homemade BBQ Sauce from Gourmet Done Skinny

Set pressure to high, press manual and pressure cook for 10 minutes. Release pressure when timer goes off.

Healthy homemade Instant Pot BBQ Sauce in a black bowl with bourbon and jar of sauce in background from Gourmet Done Skinny

That’s it! Delicious, easy homemade BBQ sauce in no time! Use this BBQ sauce recipe for Instant Pot BBQ Chicken, Pork, or Beef!

Try this homemade Instant Pot BBQ sauce in my Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork. It’s a great combination! You can also use this sauce as a dressing. Place lettuce greens in a bowl, add the pork and pour a few tablespoons of the sauce over the pork as a salad dressing.


Homemade Instant Pot BBQ Sauce

Amy Lawrence
Quick, easy, homemade Instant Pot BBQ Sauce made in no time! It's sweet, slightly spicy, savory and delicious and has much less sugar than most of the store bought brands. Made with real ingredients including bourbon! Plus homemade bbq sauce tastes so much better than the ones you find in the grocery store.
Weight Watchers Points: 1 Smart Point for all plans per tablespoon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 4 cups
Calories 24 kcal


  • 1 t. oil
  • oil spray from oil mister
  • 1/2 c. sweet white/yellow onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce just one, maybe two, not the whole can -if you don't like it slightly spicy, leave out
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 8 oz. water
  • 6 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 oz. bourbon or whiskey or you can leave it out if desired
  • 1/4 t. black pepper
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 1/2 T. homemade chipotle seasoning
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1 1/2 t. liquid smoke


  • Add 1 t. oil and spray oil from oil mister to the Instant Pot liner until surface is covered. Press, "Sauté," and heat until oil is hot.
  • In a food processor, chop onions. Add onions to hot Instant Pot. Sauté for about 1 minute.
  • Chop garlic in food processor and add to onions. Sauté for another minute, then turn off Instant Pot.
  • Add chipotle pepper to food processor and process until pepper is finely ground. Add to pot.
  • Add remaining ingredients. Stir well.
  • Place lid on Instant Pot. Set vent to, "sealing." Press manual and set time for 10 minutes.
  • When finished, do quick release and allow steam to escape.
  • Refrigerate or freeze into portions.


Serving: 1TablespoonCalories: 24kcalCarbohydrates: 5.7gProtein: 0.8gFat: 0.1gSodium: 471mgPotassium: 185.2mgFiber: 0.8gSugar: 4.4gVitamin A: 16.4IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 8.3mgIron: 0.6mg
Keyword homemade BBQ, homemade chipotle seasoning, Instant Pot
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
air fryer popcorn chicken on a board with sauce

Try my homemade Instant Pot Bourbon BBQ Sauce with this Healthy Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken. It’s a delicious combination!

The BBQ sauce is also great mixed with a little nonfat Greek yogurt. Place a handful of greens in a bowl, add the popcorn chicken and fresh vegetables and the BBQ Sauce/Dressing.

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