If you’re looking for a homemade bbq sauce that’s sticky sweet and delicious, look no further than this recipe for Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce! The whiskey is simmered down to add a hint of spice and smoke to this sweet barbecue sauce that’s rich in flavor. It’s easy to make and delicious brushed on Instant Pot ribs, tossed with chicken strips, or used as a dipping sauce!

bbq sauce in small bowl with spoon, with bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey behind it

When I was 21, one of my favorite places to go was TGI Friday’s. They had an amazing happy hour for this young, broke college student and I loved their Jack Daniel’s Chicken Strips. Now it’s probably been a solid decade since I’ve been to a TGI Friday’s, but I still think of those chicken strips often. So often, that I decided to recreate them at home!

Now the first step to making Jack Daniel’s Chicken strips is to make the delicious sweet and sticky sauce. So I did, and then I proceeded to put it on everything!

I smothered it on Instant Pot Ribs, tossed it with Air Fryer Chicken Wings, and eventually it made it’s way on to chicken strips. I couldn’t get enough of the sweet taste of this bbq sauce. It really is the perfect glaze for all kinds of grilled and smoked meats, and the perfect dipping sauce for everything from fried chicken to french fries.

The sauce is easy to make by simply simmering all of the ingredients together on the stove for about 30 minutes. Let it cool, then put that sauce on everything! It can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, and you can easily double the recipe to have enough sauce for glazing pork chops, tossing with chicken strips and brushing on ribs throughout the week!

ingredients for Jack Daniels bbq sauce on white wood board

Ingredients

  • Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey – the namesake of the barbecue sauce is a must for this recipe. It adds hints of spice and smoke to the sauce, and combines with the other flavors to make a well-balanced bbq sauce. Don’t worry, the alcohol is cooked out of the sauce, so there is no alcohol in the final product.
  • Onion – I recommend a yellow onion for this recipe, for it’s nice neutral flavor.
  • Garlic – I always recommend fresh-minced garlic for the best flavor.
  • Ketchup – as a tomato-based bbq sauce, ketchup is the base of the sauce.
  • Honey – this is the ingredient that gives this sauce it’s signature “sticky sweet” flavor and texture. For a more caramel-like flavor, you can use molasses in place of the honey.
  • Brown sugar – to add more sweetness to the sauce.
  • Apple cider vinegar – the acidity in the vinegar is the perfect counterbalance to the sweetness in the sauce. You can use white vinegar in it’s place, if that’s all you have, but the sauce will have a slightly different flavor. If you have white wine vinegar, that’s a better substitute for apple cider vinegar in this recipe.
  • Tomato paste – to add more tomato flavor to the base of the sauce.
  • Worcestershire sauce – this amazing condiment adds so much flavor to the sauce. It’s sweet, salty, tangy and adds a wonderful layer of umami flavor to the sauce. In a pinch, you can substitute soy sauce if you don’t have any Worcestershire sauce.
  • Yellow mustard – just a small amount of mustard added to the sauce gives it a tangy layer of flavor.
  • Salt + black pepper – to season the sauce.

Instructions

  1. Simmer onions and garlic in whiskey. Add diced onions and minced garlic to a saucepan with Jack Daniel’s whiskey. Place on the stove over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Cook until the onion is translucent and almost all of the liquid is cooked down. This will take about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add the other ingredients for the bbq sauce. Add ketchup, honey, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard, salt and pepper to the saucepan with the onions and garlic.
  3. Simmer the sauce. Stir all of the ingredients together and bring the sauce to a boil on the stove. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered on the stove, until the sauce has reduced down and thickened. This will take about 15-20 minutes, and you should stir the sauce occasionally during this time.
  4. Blend the sauce. Remove the sauce from the heat on the stove and transfer it to a blender. Blend the sauce until it’s smooth. Use the sauce immediately, or transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe notes

  • This recipe is gluten free. Per the Jack Daniel’s website “Jack Daniel’s Black Label Tennessee Whiskey has no carbohydrates (sugar or starch), gluten, fats, or cholesterol, as these are removed in the distilling process.” The other ingredients in this recipe should be naturally gluten-free. Always check the label on the Worcestershire sauce to make sure that it’s gluten free. The brand Lea and Perrins, used in this recipe, is gluten free. 
  • The alcohol in the whiskey cooks off during the cooking process, making it safe to serve this Jack Daniel’s BBQ Sauce to people of any age.
  • Store the bbq sauce in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, like a large mason jar. Label the sauce with a date, so that you know when it was made. Consume the sauce within 2 weeks.
  • This recipe makes approximately 4 cups of sauce. To double the recipe, click on the 2X button in the recipe card below. The ingredient amounts will automatically update for the new serving size.
cooked baby back ribs stacked up on a plate with a small bowl of bbq sauce on the side

Ways to use it

You can use this Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce anytime you would use another bbq sauce. It’s great slathered on smoked or grilled meats. And delicious tossed with chicken wings. It’s also tasty as a dipping sauce with air fryer chicken tenders! Try it brushed, dipped or tossed with any of these recipes.

bbq sauce in small bowl with spoon

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Jack Daniel’s BBQ Sauce

If you're looking for a homemade bbq sauce that's sticky sweet and delicious, look no further than this recipe for Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce! The whiskey is simmered down to add a hint of spice and smoke to this sweet barbecue sauce that's rich in flavor. It's easy to make and delicious brushed on ribs, tossed with chicken strips, or used as a dipping sauce!

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Combine the Jack Daniel's whiskey, diced onion and minced garlic in a saucepan on the stove. Turn the heat on the stove to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Cook until the onion is translucent and almost all of the liquid is cooked down. This will take about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the ketchup, honey, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Bring the sauce to boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until reduced and thickened. Stir occasionally, this will take about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat and transfer it to a blender, blend until smooth.
  • Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

  • This recipe is gluten free. Per the Jack Daniel’s website “Jack Daniel’s Black Label Tennessee Whiskey has no carbohydrates (sugar or starch), gluten, fats, or cholesterol, as these are removed in the distilling process.” The other ingredients in this recipe should be naturally gluten-free. Always check the label on the Worcestershire sauce to make sure that it’s gluten free. The brand Lea and Perrins, used in this recipe, is gluten free. 
  • The alcohol in the whiskey cooks off during the cooking process, making it safe to serve this Jack Daniel’s BBQ Sauce to people of any age.
  • Store the bbq sauce in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, like a large mason jar. Label the sauce with a date, so that you know when it was made. Consume the sauce within 2 weeks.
  • This recipe makes approximately 4 cups of sauce. To double the recipe, click on the 2X button above. The ingredient amounts will automatically update for the new serving size.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 61kcal (3%)Carbohydrates 13g (4%)Protein 0.3g (1%)Sodium 225mg (9%)Potassium 79mg (2%)Fiber 0.2g (1%)Sugar 12g (13%)Vitamin A 72mg (1%)Vitamin C 2mg (2%)Calcium 10mg (1%)Iron 0.3mg (2%)
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