Apricot BBQ Sauce for Canning

Apricot BBQ Sauce for Canning

Craving a sauce that’s both uniquely sweet and satisfyingly smoky? Meet your new favorite: homemade Apricot BBQ Sauce for Canning. This delightful concoction merges the fresh, tangy zing of apricots with classic BBQ spices to create a year-round staple for your pantry.

Whether you’re a grilling guru or a canning connoisseur, this sauce will elevate your culinary creations. Ready to whip up a batch and enjoy the taste of summer all year long? Let’s get started and I’ll guide you through every step!

What is Apricot BBQ Sauce?

Apricot BBQ Sauce for Canning
Credits to The Spruce Eats

Apricot BBQ Sauce is a delicious twist on traditional barbecue sauces. Instead of relying solely on tomatoes for its base, this sauce uses ripe apricots to infuse a sweet, fruity flavor that complements the tangy and smoky notes typical of BBQ sauce. Apricots make the sauce slightly thicker and give it a vibrant, inviting color.

It’s versatile too—you can use it just like any other BBQ sauce for grilling, dipping, or marinating. Whether you’re basting ribs, jazzing up a burger, or adding a unique twist to pulled pork, Apricot BBQ Sauce brings a delightful and unexpected pop of flavor to the table. It’s a fantastic way to mix up your barbecue routine with something a little different and a lot delicious!

How Do You Preserve Apricot BBQ Sauce?

Preserving Apricot BBQ Sauce through canning is a fantastic way to enjoy its vibrant flavors year-round. Here’s a friendly guide to help you seal in that summer taste:

  1. Sterilize Your Jars: Start by sterilizing your canning jars and lids to eliminate any bacteria. This can be done by boiling them in water for about 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare the Sauce: Cook your apricot BBQ sauce according to your favorite recipe, ensuring it’s piping hot when you’re ready to can.
  3. Fill the Jars: Carefully ladle the hot sauce into the sterilized jars, leaving about 1/2-inch headspace at the top. This space is essential for creating a vacuum seal later.
  4. Remove Air Bubbles: Gently tap the jars or use a non-metallic spatula to slide down the sides to remove any trapped air bubbles.
  5. Seal the Jars: Wipe the rims clean, then place the sterilized lids on top and screw on the bands until they are fingertip tight.
  6. Process in a Water Bath: Place the jars in a canner or large pot of boiling water, ensuring they are completely submerged. Boil for about 20 minutes to process.
  7. Cool and Store: Remove the jars and let them cool undisturbed for 24 hours. Check the seals before storing them in a cool, dark place.

Can Barbecue Sauce Be Canned?

Absolutely! Canning barbecue sauce is not only possible but also a fantastic way to preserve its rich flavors for year-round enjoyment. When you can your own BBQ sauce, you get the dual benefits of long shelf life and the pleasure of homemade taste in every jar. Here’s how to ensure your sauce is both delicious and safe:

Check the Acidity: Barbecue sauce typically contains enough vinegar, which is acidic, to make it safe for water bath canning. However, it’s crucial to follow a recipe that balances the ingredients to maintain a safe pH level below 4.6.

Use Proper Techniques: Always use clean and sterilized jars, and follow the correct filling and sealing procedures to avoid contamination and ensure a good seal.

Process Correctly: Process your filled jars in a boiling water bath according to the recipe’s recommended time, which varies based on the jar size and sauce ingredients. This step is vital for killing any remaining bacteria and securing the seal.

By following these guidelines, you can successfully can barbecue sauce at home, ensuring that every barbecue or meal has a touch of homemade magic, no matter the season.

Easy Apricot BBQ Sauce for Canning

This straightforward recipe combines the natural sweetness of apricots with the robust flavors of a classic BBQ sauce. Perfect for canning, this sauce will become a staple in your pantry.

Apricot BBQ Sauce for Canning
Credits to Sauce Fanatic


Here’s what you’ll need and how to make it:

  • Fresh apricots, chopped (4 cups)
  • Onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • Garlic, minced (2 cloves)
  • Tomato sauce (1 cup)
  • Apple cider vinegar (1/2 cup)
  • Brown sugar (1/2 cup)
  • Smoked paprika (1 teaspoon)
  • Mustard powder (1 teaspoon)
  • Chili flakes (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Salt (1 teaspoon)
  • Liquid smoke (optional, 1 teaspoon)

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Prep the Fruit and Veggies: Pit and chop the apricots; finely chop the onion and mince the garlic.
  2. Cook the Base: In a large saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the chopped apricots, stirring until they begin to soften.
  3. Add Remaining Ingredients: Pour in the tomato sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar. Stir well. Sprinkle in the smoked paprika, mustard powder, chili flakes, and salt. If using, add the liquid smoke now.
  4. Simmer: Let the sauce simmer on medium-low heat for about 20-25 minutes, or until it thickens to your liking.
  5. Blend (Optional): For a smoother sauce, use an immersion blender to puree the sauce in the pot until smooth.

Tips for the Recipe’s Success:

  • Acidity is key: Ensure your sauce has enough vinegar. This is crucial not just for flavor but also for safe preservation.
  • Texture preferences: You can adjust the amount of blending to get the texture you prefer, from chunky to smooth.
  • Taste as you go: Adjust the seasonings to your liking before canning, especially the sweetness and heat.

Canning Directions for Apricot BBQ Sauce

Canning your homemade Apricot BBQ Sauce is a great way to preserve its freshness and flavor. Here’s how to ensure that your sauce is safely stored:

Apricot BBQ Sauce for Canning
Credits to Peel with Zeal
  1. Prepare Your Canning Gear:
    • Start by gathering your canning jars, lids, and rings. Make sure everything is clean and in good condition.
    • Sterilize the jars and lids by boiling them in water for at least 10 minutes or using a dishwasher on a sterilize setting.
  2. Heat the Sauce:
    • While your jars are sterilizing, prepare your Apricot BBQ Sauce according to the recipe. Keep the sauce hot until you are ready to can to ensure safe preservation.
  3. Fill the Jars:
    • Carefully ladle the hot sauce into the hot jars, leaving about 1/2-inch headspace at the top. This space is necessary to allow for the expansion of the sauce during the canning process.
  4. Remove Air Bubbles:
    • After filling, use a non-metallic spatula or a bubble remover tool to slide down the inside of each jar to release any trapped air bubbles. Adjust the headspace if necessary after removing the bubbles.
  5. Wipe and Seal:
    • Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth to remove any sauce residue that might prevent a seal.
    • Place the sterilized lids on the jars and screw the bands on until fingertip tight, ensuring they are secure but not overly tightened.
  6. Process in a Water Bath:
    • Place the filled jars in a canning pot with a rack, ensuring they are completely submerged in water by at least an inch.
    • Bring the water to a boil and process the jars for 20 minutes (adjust time for altitude if necessary).
  7. Cool and Store:
    • Carefully remove the jars from the water and place them on a towel or cooling rack, ensuring they are not touching each other.
    • Allow the jars to cool undisturbed for 24 hours. As they cool, you should hear the satisfying “ping” of the lids sealing.
    • Check the seals by pressing the center of each lid. If the lid does not pop up and down, it is sealed properly.
    • Label your jars with the contents and date, and store them in a cool, dark place. Properly sealed jars can be stored for up to a year.

Following these detailed canning directions will help you ensure that your Apricot BBQ Sauce is preserved safely, allowing you to enjoy the fruits of your labor well into the future!

Tips for Making and Using Apricot BBQ Sauce

To get the most out of your homemade Apricot BBQ Sauce, follow these detailed tips:

  1. Selecting the Right Apricots:
    • Choose ripe but firm apricots for your BBQ sauce to ensure the best flavor and texture. Overripe apricots may be too mushy and can result in a sauce that’s too sweet, while underripe fruit won’t provide enough apricot flavor. A good balance of ripeness will enhance the natural sweetness and tanginess of the sauce.
  2. Balancing Flavors:
    • When making your sauce, balance is key. Apricots are naturally sweet, so you’ll need to balance this with the acidic component, like vinegar, to ensure the sauce isn’t overly sweet. Taste as you cook and adjust the spices, sugar, and vinegar. A little extra mustard powder or a dash of cayenne can offset excessive sweetness and add a nice layer of complexity.
  3. Thickness and Texture:
    • The desired thickness of your BBQ sauce is important. If the sauce is too thin after simmering, allow it to cook longer to reduce further, or add a small amount of cornstarch slurry (1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water) to thicken it quickly. For a smoother sauce, blend it with an immersion blender or in a stand blender to break down any large pieces of apricot or onion.
  4. Sterilization and Canning Safety:
    • Proper sterilization of jars and lids is crucial for safe canning. Always start with clean, sterilized equipment to prevent contamination. Additionally, ensure your workspace and utensils are clean to maintain the integrity of the sauce. Don’t forget to leave the correct headspace when filling jars and remove any air bubbles before sealing.
  5. Storage and Shelf Life:
    • Once canned, store your Apricot BBQ Sauce in a cool, dark place to preserve its quality. Avoid direct sunlight or fluctuating temperatures which can compromise the seal and quality of the sauce. Properly canned and sealed, your sauce should last up to a year. Once opened, refrigerate and try to use within a month to enjoy its best flavor.

Best Ways to Use Apricot BBQ Sauce

Apricot BBQ Sauce is not only unique in flavor but also incredibly versatile in the kitchen. Here are some of the best ways to enjoy this delightful sauce:

Best Ways to Use Apricot BBQ Sauce
Credits to The Sage Apron
  1. As a Glaze for Grilling:
    • Brush this sauce over chicken, pork chops, or ribs in the last few minutes of grilling for a caramelized, flavorful crust. The sugars in the apricots and brown sugar help create a beautiful, sticky glaze that’s perfect for barbecue.
  2. With Slow-Cooked Meats:
    • Use Apricot BBQ Sauce as the base for a marinade or cooking sauce in slow cooker recipes. It pairs wonderfully with pulled pork or slow-cooked brisket, adding a fruity depth that complements the richness of the meat.
  3. As a Dipping Sauce:
    • Serve it as a dipping sauce with appetizers like chicken tenders, meatballs, or even spring rolls. Its sweet and tangy profile makes it a hit at parties and gatherings.
  4. In Sandwiches and Burgers:
    • Spread it on burgers or use it as a sauce in sandwiches. It’s especially good with smoked turkey or grilled chicken sandwiches, adding a moist and tangy element that elevates the whole dish.
  5. With Vegetarian Dishes:
    • Drizzle it over grilled vegetables or tofu to add some barbecue flair without the meat. It’s a great way to spice up plant-based meals with some bold, smoky flavors.
  6. As a Salad Dressing Base:
    • Mix it with a little olive oil and vinegar to create a unique salad dressing. It’s particularly good on salads that feature fruits like apples or peaches, nuts, and strong cheeses like blue or goat cheese.
  7. In Creative Cooking:
    • Experiment by adding it to different dishes for a twist of flavor. Try it in baked beans, over pizza as a sauce base, or even in your next chili for a hint of sweetness and smoke.

No matter how you choose to use it, Apricot BBQ Sauce is sure to add a deliciously unique flavor to your meals, making it a must-try for any BBQ sauce enthusiast!


Creating your own Apricot BBQ Sauce and preserving it through canning is a rewarding process that not only brings a burst of summer flavor to your meals but also allows you to enjoy the fruits of your labor all year round.

By following the detailed steps outlined, from selecting the best apricots to properly canning the sauce, you ensure that each jar is packed with quality and taste. This sauce is versatile enough to enhance everything from grilled meats to vegetarian dishes, making it a valuable addition to your pantry.

Remember the tips shared to balance flavors, achieve the perfect texture, and ensure safe canning practices. Enjoy the process and the delicious results—homemade Apricot BBQ Sauce is a testament to the beauty of crafting something uniquely your own in the kitchen. Happy cooking and canning!

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