This apple cider BBQ sauce is sweet, tangy, and just a little spicy. The apple cider adds some natural sweetness and makes it perfect for fall, and it's sweetened with maple syrup, which gives it a great maple flavor. Best of all, it comes together in less than 30 minutes and tastes way better than store-bought sauce.
I'm originally from Kansas City, so I firmly believe that BBQ sauce should be tomato-based and sweet. Michael is more of a vinegar-based sauce kind of guy, and I respect that, but quite frankly, he's wrong. I've been craving some of the good stuff lately, but none of my favorite sauces can be found here on the east coast. That's where this apple cider BBQ sauce comes in. It's so so tasty and super easy to make.
Try pairing it with our Easy Marinated Pan-Seared Chicken Breast, chicken wings, or BBQ Salmon Bowls with Mango Avocado Salsa. If you have leftover apple cider, try our apple cider bourbon latte or apple cider old fashioned!
- Apple cider. If you don't have any apple cider, apple juice would be an ok substitute.
- Canned tomato sauce
- Apple cider vinegar
- Worcestershire sauce
- Maple syrup
- Corn starch
- Spices: Ground cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, mustard powder, black pepper, and salt
Step 1: Add apple cider and cornstarch to a medium saucepan. Don't put it over heat yet--it's best to mix the cornstarch with a cold or room-temperature liquid to prevent gummy clumps. Whisk the apple cider and cornstarch until they're combined and there are no clumps.
Step 2: Put the saucepan over medium-high heat and add the rest of the ingredients, whisking to combine everything. Then allow the mixture to come to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce thickens your desired consistency. Stir every couple of minutes to prevent the sauce from getting too hot and to scrape any sauce off the edges of the saucepan.
Step 3: Once done, turn off the heat and allow the sauce to cool, then transfer it to a jar or other air-tight container. This recipe makes about 2 cups of BBQ sauce.
Frequently asked questions
Yes! This is a tomato-based, sweet BBQ sauce. It has a little bit of spiciness too, thanks to the cayenne powder. If it's too sweet for your taste, omit some of the maple syrup.
I'd recommend using all of your sauce within 5 days. If you want to freeze it, store it in an air-tight container and freeze for up to 6 months.
Sure! To make it thicker, add another tablespoon of cornstarch to the recipe. To make thinner, subtract a tablespoon of cornstarch.