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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!

basting brush dipping into jar of honey bbq sauce.

Honey BBQ Sauce

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.

pot of copycat kfc honey bbq sauce with spoon.

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.

mason jar of kfc honey bbq sauce with basting brush.

This sauce has a tomato paste base and is thick, tangy, and sweet.

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 tomato paste, vinegar, honey, and brown sugar.

You pour them all into a saucepan, simmer until thickened, and boom. BBQ Sauce!

The only ingredient you might not have on hand is Liquid Smoke, but you should be able to find that at any grocery store.

KFC Honey BBQ Sauce Ingredients

Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.

  • Tomato Paste
  • Dark Brown Sugar
  • Apple Cider or White Vinegar
  • Honey
  • Liquid Smoke
  • Salt
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Ground Celery
  • Paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne (optional)
overhead shot of labeled ingredients portioned out to make honey bbq sauce.

Tools to help you make Copycat KFC Honey BBQ Sauce

  • 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.
saucing basting brush being lifted from a 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.

basting brush sitting on top of a mason jar of bbq sauce.

Other delicious dishes to serve at your next BBQ

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basting brush dipping into jar of honey bbq sauce.

KFC Honey BBQ Sauce Copycat Recipe

Melissa Williams
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!
4.43 from 38 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 2 cups
Calories 312 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • ½ cup water + 1-2 more Tablespoons (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon hickory flavored liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground celery
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper optional

Instructions
 

  • Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. If too thick for your liking, add the additional 1-2 tablespoons of water.
  • Stir until ingredients are well combined and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 312kcalCarbohydrates: 79gProtein: 4gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 1855mgPotassium: 956mgFiber: 4gSugar: 72gVitamin A: 1441IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 67mgIron: 3mg

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 🙂

  6. Lyle Roberson says

    5 stars
    I just finished making a batch of this sauce, I absolutely love it.

    Lyle
    Australia.

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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