Smoky Apricot Barbecue Sauce

Smoky Apricot Barbecue Sauce

Does barbecue sauce really need ketchup or tomatoes to be called a barbecue sauce?  If so, then I’m breaking the rules with this Smoky Apricot Barbecue Sauce.  This sauce has most everything that one would find in a BBQ sauce, except for a tomato or tomato based product.  The tomato is replaced with apricot, but other common BBQ ingredients – vinegar, mustard and a bunch of chile powders – remain, turning sweet apricots into a smoky and spicy sauce for topping BBQ sandwiches and basting for a variety of meats and possibly vegetables.

Using a few of pieces of meats we had leftover from this and that, Bobby and I did some taste testing to find the best and better matches for this apricot barbecue sauce.  For each test we made a BBQ sandwich with a simple slaw, dill pickles, a toasted bun, shredded meat and BBQ sauce.  We tested smoked pulled pork, smoked chicken, grilled flank steak and smoked ham.  Our favorite was the smoked chicken.  Apricot barbecue sauce was a nice complement for a BBQ smoked chicken sandwich.  The smoked ham was also a winner.  However, we both thought the smoked pulled pork and grilled flank were better with a traditional BBQ sauce. They were good, but the meat overpowered the apricot flavor in the sauce.

In the next couple of weeks I plan to replace the tomato red chile jam with apricot barbecue sauce for the marinade on these pork kabobs.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Smoky Apricot Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Recipe Author:  MJ of MJ’s Kitchen

Yields about 2 ½ cups sauce


  • 1 Tbsp. light olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ginger ale
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp New Mexico red chile powder
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked Serrano powder
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
Read the whole recipe on MJ's Kitchen