Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce Recipe

Dr Pepper Bbq Sauce

This Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce is a great way to add some bold and unique flavor to your next BBQ dish. Perfectly suited for any grilled meat, this sauce combines the classic taste of BBQ sauce with a subtle hint of sweetness from the popular soda brand. The resulting flavor is one-of-a-kind and sure to impress your family and friends at your next cookout.

Who would have thought that the iconic Dr. Pepper soda could be used in making BBQ Sauce? Well, once you try it, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t think of it sooner! Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce is a unique twist on a classic BBQ sauce with an extra depth of flavor.

This easy, homemade barbecue sauce is a popular sauce in the Southern United States and has become a staple in BBQ cuisine. The sweetness from the Dr. Pepper soda makes it a perfect complement to traditional BBQ meats like chicken, beef, and pork. The sauce has a tangy flavor that is enhanced by the sweetness of the soda, resulting in a well-balanced and flavorful addition to any BBQ dish.

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What Is Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce?

Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce is a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce that’s made with everyone’s favorite soda, Dr. Pepper. It’s a popular sauce that’s used in many parts of the United States, particularly in the Southern and Midwest regions.

The sauce is typically made with a base of ketchup and brown sugar, which is then mixed with spices like garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika, as well as a few other key ingredients. The most important ingredient, of course, is the Dr. Pepper soda, which gives the sauce its unique flavor and sweetness.

The sauce is perfect for grilling or slow-cooking meats like pork, chicken, and beef. The sweetness of the sauce pairs particularly well with pork, making it a favorite among many barbecue enthusiasts.

How To Make Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce

Combine Ingredients

Gather all the necessary ingredients, measure, and set aside. In a medium saucepan, pour in Dr. Pepper, Worcestershire Sauce, and ketchup, and whisk until smooth. Make sure there are no lumps. Add the brown sugar, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground black pepper to the saucepan. Stir until the ingredients are well combined.

Bring to a Boil

Heat the saucepan on medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add Vinegar and Cornstarch

Add the apple cider vinegar to the saucepan and stir well. In a separate small bowl, mix the cornstarch and water until smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan and whisk to combine.

Simmer and Thicken

Increase the heat to medium and let the sauce simmer for another 5-10 minutes, or until it thickens to your desired consistency. Stir frequently

Remove from Heat and Serve

Once the sauce has thickened, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool down to room temperature. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

What To Serve With Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce

Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce is a versatile sauce that pairs well with various types of meat. The sweet and slightly tangy flavor of the sauce can elevate any dish and give it a unique twist. Here are a few types of meat that go best with Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce.

Pulled Pork

Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce is a natural pairing for pulled pork. The sweetness of the sauce complements the smoky flavor of the pork, creating a mouth-watering combination. For the best results, slow-cook the pork shoulder until it’s tender and then mix in the sauce to give it a flavor boost. Serve the pulled pork on buns or with a side of coleslaw for a complete meal.


Ribs are another popular choice for Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce. The homemade bbq sauce helps to caramelize the meat and give it a nice glaze. You can use the sauce as a marinade before grilling the ribs or as a finishing sauce after they’re done. For an extra layer of flavor, sprinkle some rub on the ribs before applying the sauce.


Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce can also be used with chicken. It’s particularly delicious with grilled chicken. Brush the sauce on the chicken during the last few minutes of cooking to create a flavorful glaze. You can also use the sauce as a dip for chicken wings or tenders.


While Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce is not a traditional sauce for beef, it can still work well with certain cuts. It pairs particularly well with smoked brisket, adding a touch of sweetness to the savory meat. You can also use it as a dipping sauce for beef jerky or steak bites.

Adjusting The Flavor of Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce

Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce is a delicious and unique sauce that can be used on a variety of meats, including ribs, chicken, and pork. While the recipe is perfect for most people, some may want to adjust the flavor to better suit their personal taste preferences. Here are some tips for doing just that.

Adjust the Sweetness

If you prefer a sweeter sauce, increase the amount of brown sugar used in the recipe. Conversely, if you prefer a less sweet sauce, use less brown sugar. If you’re worried about sugar consumption, try using diet Dr. Pepper instead!

Adjust the Acidity

The apple cider vinegar in this recipe adds a tangy kick to the sauce. If you want a tangier sauce, add more vinegar. If you want a milder sauce, use less vinegar.

Adjust the Thickness

If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can add a slurry of cornstarch and water to the sauce while it is cooking. This will help to thicken it up. Be sure to whisk the slurry thoroughly to avoid lumps.

Dr Pepper Bbq Sauce

Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce Recipe

Easy to make Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • Large Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Bowl
  • Airtight Container


  • 1 Can (12 oz) Dr. Pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch (optional)


  • In a medium-sized saucepan, combine Dr. Pepper, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and reduced by about one-third.
  • If you want a thicker sauce, you can add cornstarch. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water until smooth.
  • Slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the saucepan, whisking constantly until the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency.
  • Remove from heat and let the sauce cool to room temperature.
  • Once cooled, transfer the sauce to a glass jar or airtight container and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce FAQs

What is Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce?

Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce is a sweet and tangy sauce made with Dr. Pepper soda, tomato paste or ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and spices. It’s not like spicy sauce.

What can I use Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce for?

Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce is perfect for grilling or smoking meats, such as chicken, pork, or beef. It can also be used as a dipping sauce or marinade.

Can I use regular soda instead of Dr. Pepper?

Dr. Pepper pepper is the star of this recipe, if you substitute this soda you will change the entire flavor profile. If you’d like to experiment with other sodas, try Root Beer or Cherry Dr. Pepper.

Is Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce gluten-free?

Yes, this recipe is gluten-free.

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