KFC Honey BBQ Sauce Copycat Recipe

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KFC Honey BBQ Sauce is a delicious tangy barbecue sauce served at KFC restaurants. The BBQ sauce is so easy to make at home with this copycat recipe!

close up of sauce with bbq sauce

In Michigan, it was 60 degrees yesterday and we got about 5″ of snow today and it’s not done snowing yet.

Despite the weather, Bob wants to BBQ all the time. He has his new smokers (smokers plural, because one wasn’t enough…) on the back deck and has been using it all winter.

pot of copycat kfc honey bbq sauce with spoon

I am not a huge fan of meat, but I love homemade sauces. Especially copycat sauces. This homemade copycat KFC Honey BBQ Sauce is great on chicken, ribs, steak, whatever you like to put BBQ sauce on.

mason jar of kfc honey bbq sauce with brush

I found this recipe in the Super Duper Totally Authorized Top Secret Recipes cookbook that I dowloaded on my Kindle.

Bob used the sauce on the chicken wings he grilled and I used it in the baked beans that I made. I’ve watched cooking shows make BBQ sauce before, but I must not have paid attention to how simple it is.

It’s really easy to make.

How to make KFC Honey BBQ Sauce

Making barbecue sauce is surprisingly simple and takes everyday ingredients like ketchup, vinegar, honey, and molasses. The only ingredient you might not have on hand is Liquid Smoke, but you should be able to find that at any grocery store.

overflowing mason jar of bbq sauce

What is Liquid Smoke?

Liquid Smoke can be found in the condiment/salad dressing aisle of your grocery store (or on Amazon, of course) and is a liquid that is used in place of cooking with wood smoke that gives a similar smoky flavor.

close up of bbq sauce with brush in mason jar


mason jar with bbq sauce covered brush resting on top


  • Heavy Bottom Saucepan – This 1.5 qt saucepan will be so useful in your cupboard. I love that it has a lid!
  • Liquid Smoke – As I mentioned, you should be able to find this at your local grocery store, but if you’re like me and order from Amazon multiple times per week, you can find it online, too.
  • Basting & Pastry Brush – This brush has multiple uses in the kitchen. I prefer this silicone version for ease of cleaning.

How to Make Copycat KFC Honey BBQ Sauce



KFC Honey BBQ Sauce Copycat Recipe

KFC Honey BBQ Sauce is a delicious tangy barbecue sauce served at KFC restaurants. The BBQ sauce is so easy to make at home with this copycat recipe!
4.36 from 31 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 2 cups


  • 1 1/4 cups ketchup
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon hickory flavored liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder


  • Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stir until ingredients are well combined and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes.


Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @melissa_pplates or tag #persnicketyplates!

Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying/pasting and/or screenshots of full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Content and photographs are copyright protected.


Originally published April 15, 2012

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  1. JaynMeli says

    Mr. Flowers grilled the pork chops and chicken wings I might add. Everything was great! Potatoe salad was bangin!

  2. S.A. Walrath says

    Thank you for posting this! This is my favorite BBQ sauce recipe. I usually tweak it to taste a little, adding more honey and molasses and doubling it! Great to cooked pulled chicken in the slow cooker with!

  3. Adeline Martin says

    5 stars
    I made this barbecue sait was delicious i would surely make it again

  4. Therese says

    5 stars
    Awesome sauce!! Will make again . Garlic lovers must add garlic! So good!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Happy to hear that! Thanks so much for reporting back 🙂

  5. Bill G says

    5 stars
    Oh man, this recipe is exactly spot on!! Takes me back to the 90’s! Thank you original poster!! The easiest outcome was to pick up fried chicken from your favorite place. Get the chicken nice and hot, apply a coating of this great sauce and bake again for a few minutes. Oh man absolutely the best!!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Love hearing that! Thank you, Bill 🙂

Melissa Williams/Persnickety Plates is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. For more details, please see my Privacy Policy & Disclosures page.

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