Homemade Barbecue Sauce-Alaska Style

We’ve been working on this homemade barbecue sauce recipe for a while now.  With the final Alaskan ingredient, Birch Syrup, by George, I think we’ve got it!  Tangy and sweet, with just a touch of heat, it’s perfect for burgers, ribs, pulled pork sandwiches and chicken wings.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce made with an Alaskan touch, birch syrup is delicious on burgers, ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, and chicken wings

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Prepare yourselves, I’m just going to be up front and personal about this…and it may be time for an intervention:  real friends don’t let their loved ones consume barbecue sauce from a grocery store bottle.  That’s it, put down the jar and walk towards me, it’s going to be ok.  There is a better way.

Overly dramatic?  Maybe, but I can’t help but feel if people knew how easy it is to make homemade barbecue sauce customized to their taste, they’d never need to buy bottled again.  That’s what Jeff and I have done with this homemade barbecue sauce recipe.  We started with a base similar to a couple of classics we found, then added a little more sweet, heat, and the secret Alaskan ingredient: Mid-Run Birch Syrup.

Homemade barbecue sauce secret Alaskan ingredient: Birch Syrup

Birch Syrup

First, this isn’t a sponsored post, we just love the birch syrup products from Alaska Wild Harvest.  And they ship.  Of note, they have 4 different “syrup run” products:  Reserve (1st day), First, Mid, and Late season runs.  This affects the flavors the syrups have.  The first run products are sweet and awesome for things like sourdough pancakes.  The mid run is a little less sweet and perfect for savory applications like this homemade barbecue sauce or a sauce for salmon (coming soon).  The late run is tangy and is great for brewing, or baking with a flavor packed punch.  Anyhow, that is the secret ingredient that put this sauce over the top and eventually we’d like to make our own!

Homemade Barbecue Sauce, Alaska Style

This sauce is pretty smooth.  We wanted something versatile that worked to baste meat like ribs that we smoke, but also one that works well on burgers, for tossing chicken wings in, and as the base sauce for pulled pork or brisket sandwiches.

I don’t know how you classify it by region of the country for flavor, so I’m just going to say it’s Alaskan style.  Heck, we’re working on one that includes blueberry in it, maybe it will be a thing!  But if not, that’s ok too.  We’ll just enjoy it at home in the Last Frontier.  Oh, and if you can’t get birch syrup, look for a mid run maple syrup.  Might be a slightly different flavor, but still delicious.



Homemade barbecue sauce with ribs

Homemade Barbecue Sauce made with an Alaskan touch, birch syrup is delicious on burgers, ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, and chicken wings

Homemade Barbecue Sauce-Alaska Style

Tangy, sweet and spicy with a touch of Alaskan flair (birch syrup).  This sauce goes well with any of your favorite BBQ'd or smoked meats.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ sauce, homemade barbecue sauce
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 24 Makes ~1 1/2-2 c.
Calories: 59kcal
Author: Janet-Mountain Kitchen


  • 1 c. Ketchup
  • 1 c. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 c. Dark Karo Syrup
  • 1/2 c. Birch Syrup First or Mid run
  • 1/2 c. Honey
  • 1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Liquid Smoke
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Dry Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. Tabasco Sauce


For the Homemade Barbecue Sauce:

  • Combine all of the ingredients for the BBQ sauce in a sauce pan and whisk together until smooth over medium-high heat; stir constantly.
  • When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally.
  • After about 30-45 minutes, remove the BBQ sauce from the heat when thickened to your preference.  (Don't overcook it as it will become too thick.  If this happens, thin it down a bit with some vinegar.
  • Cool at least 1 hr (overnight would allow flavors to blend), then use on your favorite meats and enjoy!


  • Store refrigerated in a container for up to a month.  We like to use a squirt bottle as it's easy and clean.
  • If you can't get a hold of Birch Syrup, look for a first or mid run Maple Syrup.
  • Test the sweetness.  If you personally like it sweeter, add a bit more honey (sometimes we do); tangier, add more syrup; spicier, add more Tobasco.
  • This recipe is easy to half or double.


Serving: 2Tbsp | Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 136mg | Fiber: 1g

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