Homemade Caribbean bbq sauce recipe - sweet or spicy

4.12.23 | Recipe by Renz

This Caribean BBQ sauce is an amazing blend of tart, spicy, and sweet. If you want a sauce to bring your meats, seafood, or veggies to another level, then this mouthwatering BBQ sauce will give you the flavor. And it's pretty easy to make.

A bottle of Caribbean bbq sauce in a mason jar without the cover and a spoon hovering over the top.

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This Caribbean BBQ sauce is mouthwateringly tasty, perfect as a marinade or a dip with your favorite snack. Make it sweet or spicy, or both!

Caribbean BBQ sauce is simple to prepare and ready in only 20 minutes. All you need to do is throw the ingredients in a pan, simmer them, and enjoy the wonderful aroma as it cooks. You won't have to bother with store-bought BBQ sauces anymore.

Brown sugar adds sweetness, while fragrant spices, fresh onion, and hot chili round out the flavors. Gorgeous with chicken, beef, or smothered over crispy potatoes.

A splash of rum gives this Caribbean barbecue sauce its caramelized notes, amplifying the richness of the other ingredients.

It's the perfect sauce to slather all over your favorite meats.


Ingredient notes

​Check out these highlights for some of the main ingredients:

Ingredients needed to make this Caribbean bbq sauce shared out into amounts on a white counter top.

  • Tomato ketchup: try to stay away from those brands that are more on the vinegary side. I like to stick with the Heinz brand.
  • Mustard: Feel free to use either the powder or the paste. I have used both interchangeably for this recipe.
  • Pineapple juice: Brings a little sweet to the mix. Can be replaced with orange juice also.
  • Oil: You’ll be cooking over medium-high heat, so choose an oil with a high smoke point, like canola, extra virgin olive oil, or vegetable oil.
  • Peppers: I think pepper sauce is better for this recipe since we are trying to get a smooth sauce. If you do have Scotch bonnet peppers you can use half of one without the seeds and membranes. You would need to grind it up finely.
  • Minced garlic: Be sure to mince fresh garlic finely; you don’t want lumps in your sauce. Alternatively, you could use garlic paste or garlic powder.
  • Chili sauce: Use your favorite store-bought sauce to add extra heat.
  • Pimento peppers: These tiny, sweet peppers are often sold in jars, so check the store cupboard section in the grocery store. These are optional but highly recommended.
  • Rum: Use dark or spiced rum, as they have a full, caramelized flavor.


Here are a few things you can switch out if you need to substitute: 

  • If you don’t have molasses, then you can use treacle instead. The flavor and color will be slightly lighter if you use treacle, but still tasty.
  • Switch out the scotch bonnets for jalapenos or poblanos for a mild version of this sauce.
  • If you don’t have Worcestershire sauce, you can use a mixture of soy sauce and hoisin sauce to get a similar flavor. This mixture also makes the sauce vegetarian, as Worcestershire sauce contains fish.
  • Unable to find chili sauce? Use some more ketchup and add chili powder and cayenne pepper powder.


Here are some additional things you can do with this sauce:

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  • To make this a Jamaican jerk BBQ sauce recipe, add three tablespoons of Jamaican jerk seasoning paste, or store-bought Jamaican jerk seasoning.
  • To make this a honey BBQ sauce, add honey to taste.
  • If you want this to be a bit smokey, try using a little liquid smoke.
  • This is a medium heat level sauce, if you want to up the heat, just increase the pepper
  • Grated fresh ginger gives this sauce a nice additional kick.
  • If you like a more acidic sauce, add a little apple cider vinegar, just about 2 -3 tablespoons.

How to make Caribbean BBQ sauce

Making this sauce requires some simple steps.

All the ingredients in a deep sauce pot ready to be boiled.

Add your base ingredients of pineapple juice, ketchup, tomato paste, mustard, onions, salt, chili sauce, pepper, and rum in a small saucepan. Simmer together until thickened.

The sauce fully simmered down and combined together in a sauce pot on a white counter top.

If using additional spices remember to include them.

Preparation notes

While simmering the ingredients, keep an eye on the pan; you don’t want it to boil dry! If it loses too much liquid, add a splash of water or lime juice. Lime juice adds an acidic note, so don’t use too much.

Other BBQ sauce recipes

 If you really like this BBQ sauce, here are some more flavors and uses for the sauce:

What to serve with homemade Caribbean BBQ sauce

As for what BBQ sauce is used for, it's great for making some BBQ chicken or fish. It can also make an incredible dipping sauce, almost like the calypso sauce! So yummy to be paired with some accra, or conch fritters.

Serve it up on a platter alongside crispy potato wedges, chicken tenders, and veggies, and add a selection of hot sauces and garlic sauce too.

It’s also delicious as a marinade for pulled pork or chicken or smothered over your favorite hot sandwich.

Finished Caribbean bbq sauce in a jar with a silicone brush.


To store, seal your sauce in an airtight container or mason jars and put it in the refrigerator as soon as it’s cool enough. You can keep it there safely for 3-4 days.

So there you have it! Please remember to drop a rating in the recipe card, or any comments or questions below for me if you need help.