Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce is crazy easy to make & it tastes AMAZING! Make some ASAP so you’ll have it ready for all your grilling needs!
Grab your grilling tongs and chef’s hat, it’s time to get outside and cook up some barbecue! During the summer, I prefer ALL my meals grilled to perfection. The way I do that is with this delicious Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce. It’s the ideal marinade for any kind of meat and even my kids love to dip their chicken tenders in it!
Homemade BBQ sauce is absolutely the way to go this summer. While you’ve got the grill fired up, go ahead and make some grilled peaches for dessert. They’re the perfect treat after a delicious barbecue meal!
SWEET AND TANGY BARBECUE SAUCE
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Grilling season is OFFICIALLY upon us! Although you can absolutely find me braving the elements in the winter to grill up some steaks, summertime grilling is one of my all-time favorite things to do. There’s just something so delicious and nostalgic about a whole meal cooked to perfection on the grill.
Any good grill master has a go-to barbecue sauce. Some like it spicy, some like it sweet. There is no wrong way to use barbecue sauce, but I’ve found that homemade barbecue sauce is by far my favorite! Store-bought bbq sauce, while super convenient and yummy, is packed with preservatives and ingredients I can’t even pronounce.
When I make my own homemade sweet and tangy barbecue sauce, I know exactly what ingredients are going into it. (Including my secret ingredient – apricots!) This sweet and tangy barbecue sauce recipe is rich and tangy perfection that pairs flawlessly with almost ANY kind of meat you’re looking to cook up!
I always have a batch of this tangy barbecue sauce stored in a mason jar in my fridge, especially during the summer for any last-minute grilling. It’s perfect to baste your meat with or simply served as a dipping sauce on the side!
Apricots – yup… you read that right. Apricots are my secret ingredient for this BBQ sauce recipe. The tart sweetness of these yummy fruits gives this barbecue sauce its delicious tangy flavor. You’ll need three pitted apricots for this recipe.
Apple Cider Vinegar – while any variety of vinegar will work, I’ve found that the best vinegar to use for tangy barbecue sauce is apple cider vinegar. The bitter flavor of the vinegar balances out the sweetness from the apricots, molasses, and brown sugar. It also helps to keep your meat nice and tender!
Cayenne Pepper – I’m a BIG fan of a little bite at the end of my barbecue sauce. Nothing that’s going to make me go running for a glass of water because my mouth is on fire. But, you know, just a little kick! That’s why I always add some cayenne pepper into my homemade barbecue sauce.
How to make barbecue sauce
The beauty of this sweet and tangy barbecue sauce recipe is how SIMPLE it is to make. With just a little mixing and some simmering on the stove, you’ll have the perfect bbq sauce to share with friends and family. Sometimes I’ll even make a double batch so I can give it as a gift to a neighbor!
- Start by pureeing your pitted apricots, water, and vinegar together. You can do this either in a food processor, blender, or my personal favorite – an immersion stick blender (super easy clean-up!).
- Next, grab a medium saucepan and strain the puree into it. Discard any chunks or pulp you’ve got leftover. You want your tangy barbecue sauce as smooth as can be!
- Stir in the rest of your ingredients into the puree and place your pot over medium heat.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat and simmer your barbecue sauce for 15 to 30 minutes. Give it a stir every few minutes just to make sure none is scouring on the bottom!
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and transfer your homemade barbecue sauce to your storage container. Let it cook down to room temperature and then refrigerate it until ready to use.
How to fix tangy barbecue sauce
To me, this barbecue sauce has the perfect balance of sweet and tangy (thanks to those apricots and apple cider vinegar!). But if you were maybe a bit heavy-handed with the vinegar, it’s possible that your barbecue sauce has a bit too much tangy taste for your liking.
If that’s the case, don’t fret! Simply mix in a little bit more brown sugar to your simmering sauce. The brown sugar will help to cut back on the tangy taste and balance it out to the sweeter side.
Need inspiration for how to use your Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce?
- Easy BBQ Chicken Potato Skins
- Cheesy BBQ Chicken Quesadillas
- BBQ Pork Loin Sliders
- Grilled BBQ Chicken Wings
- BBQ Ranch Chicken Tacos
- more SIDE DISH recipes…
Tools used to make Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce
Food Processor: Slice, chop, and grate anything you need with this food processor. I’ve had this model for years and use it all the time. It’s a great workhorse in my kitchen and I’d recommend it to anyone!
Mesh Sieve: Great for straining everything from pasta to purees and sauces!
Medium Saucepan: no kitchen is complete without a trusty saucepan. We’ve had this one for years and I love it!
*This post originally posted on 06/09/2014.
- 3 apricots pit removed and rough chopped
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 cup ketchup
- ½ cup molasses
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons mustard powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper (add up to 1 tsp for a spicier sauce)
- Puree the apricots, water, and vinegar together in a food processor.
- Strain the puree through a mesh sieve into a medium saucepan.
- Stir the remaining ingredients into the puree and place the pan over medium heat.
- Simmer for 15 to 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Stir occasionally.
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the barbecue sauce in an air-tight container until ready to use.