One thing I love about living on the farm is the wild berries, flowers, and vegetables. Out behind my grandpa’s old workshop we have a huge row of wild blackberry bushes. We like to call them black caps here in Michigan but they are also referred to as brambles, in addition to the term blackberry.
When I was younger I would walk up to the farm and eat handfuls of these littles babies. Luckily my grandma couldn’t see from the kitchen window or she would have yelled at me for eating her crop. When I pick them now, I often think about her and how lucky I am to be harvesting off the same bushes and cooking with them in the same kitchen she did.
This year I had so many blackberries! I kid you not, I picked probably 10 pounds or more over the course of a month. They were made in everything from cheesecake bars to infused Tequila and of course blackberry barbecue sauce. I love making homemade condiments so naturally, I created this Blackberry BBQ Sauce.
Why This BBQ Sauce Recipe Is The Only One You’ll Need:
Blackberry BBQ Sauce Ingredients
Homemade blackberry barbecue sauce with just 8 ingredients, 10 if you include the salt and pepper! Below is everything you will need, plus a few notes and potential substitutions.
- Saucepot: medium sized. I love my 1.5 quart stainless steel pot from Cuisinart.
- Silicone Spatula
- Fine-Mesh Sieve: it needs to be able to catch all the small seeds. I use this one and it does a great job, they also cleanup well.
- Lidded Glass Jar: or other airtight glass container. These 16 ounce jars are the perfect size and because they are wide mouth jars it is easy to scoop into them.
How to Make Blackberry BBQ Sauce
1. SAUCE AND STRAIN THE BLACKBERRIES- In a medium sized saucepot boil together the blackberries and water for 5 to 10 minutes until the berries are broken down. Sieve the seeds from the blackberry liquid
2. COMBINE THE BBQ SAUCE INGREDIENTS- Pour the blackberry liquid back into the saucepot and add ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, sriracha sauce, finely minced garlic, salt, and black pepper. Stir everything together and allow it to come to a rolling boil.
3. SIMMER THE BBQ SAUCE- Once the mixture boils, reduce the heat and allow the BBQ sauce to thicken over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Be sure to stir your sauce every 5 to 10 minutes so it does not stick and burn to the pot.
4. SLIGHTLY COOL AND REFRIGERATE- When the BBQ sauce has thickened, remove from the heat and allow to cool a bit before pouring it into a lidded glass jar or container. Store in the refrigerator between uses for up to one month.
How to Use Blackberry BBQ Sauce
The great thing about this barbecue sauce is it can be used for dipping or a spreading and it goes with a variety of foods. Here are a few ways I use mine:
- on chicken wings- I have a baked wings recipe that is super crispy and tastes great with this as a dip or sauce.
- a dipping sauce for French fries, chips, onion rings, tater tots, or my Smashed Fingerling Potatoes
- for smothering pulled pork sliders- You can use my recipe for slow cooker BBQ pork sliders (just substitute the sauces).
- spooned over meats like Smoked Pork Butt, grilled chicken, pork chops, or even steak and leftover turkey.
- spread on sandwiches, burgers, quesadillas, or paninis
- on a fresh salad or vegetables as a dressing
- smoked cream cheese- use my recipe and smother it with this sauce instead.
- the base to holiday meatballs (substitute the sauce for this)
4 Recipe Tips
1. Remove the seeds after the blackberry and water liquid base is made. Straining them out after the blackberry barbecue sauce has thickened is super messy and not as easy. This is optional but highly recommended for a super smooth barbecue sauce. Nobody wants tiny seeds stuck in their teeth.
2. Keep a close eye on your simmering sauce. As the barbecue sauce cooks down it has a better chance of sticking to the pot and burning. So stir it often and monitor the heat, you may have to turn it down or up as it reduces.
3. Refrigerate your Blackberry BBQ Sauce overnight. Again, this is optional step but it helps the barbecue sauce to thicken up and build in flavor.
4. Worried about the spice level in this barbecue sauce? No problem! Remove or reduce the amount of sriracha sauce used. So you don’t miss out on the smokey flavor profile of sriracha, you can add a 1/4 teaspoon of liquid smoke or even a teaspoon of smoked paprika. If you want it spicier add more sriracha sauce or even adobo sauce.
What To Do When Blackberries Are Out Of Season
You have 2 really great options for when blackberries are no longer in season or even if they are too expensive. This means you can have spicy sweet Blackberry BBQ Sauce all year long!
BLACKBERRY JAM OR PRESERVES. Keep in mind the sweetness level of preserves and jams tend to vary. Taste test it prior and reduce the amount of added brown sugar by half or even more. Doing this ensures your barbecue sauce will not be overly sweet.
FROZEN BLACKBERRIES. No need to thaw them either! Just add them to your pot with half the amount of water and follow the directions as written. Reducing the amount of added water is essential because the blackberries will give off liquid as they boil down.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Watch This Quick Video Tutorial
More Homemade Condiment Recipes You Might Like:
Blackberry BBQ Sauce
- 3 ½ cups blackberries
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup ketchup - sugar free
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce - omit or reduce amount for less spice*
- ½ tablespoon garlic - minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt - or to taste preferences
- ¼ teaspoon pepper - or to taste preferences
- To a medium sized saucepot add the blackberries and water. Bring to a rolling boil and then reduce to medium heat.
- Using a silicone spatula, smash the blackberries until they are well broken down. Continue simmering and smashing the berries for 5 to 10 minutes. NOTE: During this time the blackberries will steep with the water and create a flavorful blackberry liquid base.
- Remove from heat. Using a fine mesh sieve remove the seeds from the blackberry liquid base.
- Discard the seeds and pour the blackberry liquid base back into the medium sized saucepot.
- Add the ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, sriracha sauce, finely minced garlic, salt, and black pepper (to your taste preferences).
- As the mixture is brought to a rolling boil, continue to stir until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Reduce heat to a medium low simmer and allow the barbecue sauce to thicken for 20 to 30 miutes. Be sure to stir it in 5 to 10 minute increments or it will stick and burn to the saucepot.NOTE: The barbecue sauce will be done when you run your finger up the silicone spatula and the sauce does not fill back into the space you trace.
- Remove the Blackberry BBQ Sauce from heat and allow it to slightly cool before pouring it into a clean glass jar or airtight container.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to one month.NOTE: Refrigerate overnight prior to serving. This helps the barbecue sauce to set up and amplify in flavor.
*Omitting the Sriracha Sauce:
- So you don’t miss out on the smokey flavor profile of sriracha, you can add a 1/4 teaspoon of liquid smoke or even 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika.
Substituting for Fresh Blackberries:
- BLACKBERRY PRESERVES OR JAM. Taste test it prior and reduce the amount of added brown sugar by half or even more. Skip steps 1-4 and add all the ingredients to a saucepan.
- FROZEN BLACKBERRIES. Add them to saucepot with half the amount of water and follow the directions as written.
Metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.