Last week we shared a group of recipes inspired by cooking over open flame. We’ve written extensively on the subject of BBQ and its respective sauces in the past, and even barbecued wedding dresses for the Southern Foodways Alliance. And though winter isn’t the ideal time to BBQ, we bring you a seasonal take on BBQ sauce created by our chef, Ray Nichols. We love to serve this Apple BBQ sauce over meat and roasted vegetables at The Factory Café.

Though this recipe calls for apples, it can be altered to include any similar fruit like pears, persimmons, plums, and pineapples. This versatile recipe can also be adapted to suit your mood or the season—add more or less sweetness, heat, or acidity to personalize it.



1 28-ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thin
6 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, and cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Juice from 1 orange
1/4 cup sorghum
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon of your favorite hot sauce (we like Franks Red Hot)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Salt to taste

Heat the canola oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion and season with salt, cooking until translucent. Next, add the apples and cook for about one minute before adding the spices. Cook until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients and stir, bringing to a boil, and then turn down the heat and simmer for about an hour or until mixture has reduced by half. Take off the heat and let cool to room temperature. Blend in a blender in batches until you have a smooth sauce the consistency of ketchup. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve if desired. Adjust salt and chill in the refrigerator. The sauce will last up to a month in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

2 comments on “#RECIPES: APPLE BBQ SAUCE

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  1. Brunella B Rosser

    Okay. As I read the ingredients, I was reminded of a sauce that my dear Uncle Phillip made many years ago– maybe 60-65 years. He was a self-taught and really accomplished Chef who cooked and barbecued for family, friends, and for money for individuals, clubs, and organizations. Food was, and still remains the bridge builder that can bring all of us together to the table without any concerns about race, creed or color.
    I’ve emailed a link to my three adult children with the subject: Make This Apple Barbecue Sauce. I trust my Daughter, and both of my Sons to obey me as always. Thanks for sharing with all of our families!
    Brunella B R