Cherry BBQ Sauce – actually, a delicious smoked cherry chipotle BBQ sauce. Can it get any better than this? Well, maybe if it were bottled-up and made shelf stable to be used throughout the year.
July introduces cherry season and BBQs, this is means summer has finally arrived!
We’re a bit of a snobby bunch when it comes to our BBQ sauce. Don’t judge. How could we not be since a large percentage of our summer meals are grilled? Because of this very reason we took to making and preserving our own sauce. Cherry BBQ sauce to be exact. Actually, it’s a smoked cherry chipotle BBQ sauce. And man, is it ever delicious!
Once you’ve lathered this cherry BBQ sauce onto pork ribs or chicken you’ll know why I sing its praise. It is truly that delicious. After all, what’s better than a finger licking, all over the face, get into my belly kind of wonderful?
With this in mind, the key to making this sauce perfect is selecting the right kind of cherries, making Bing cherries the only true option. In truth, they are easy to come across since they are readily available throughout the summer.
If you’re buying BBQ sauce at the market, stop. In other words, don’t purchase pre-made sauce, it’s simply a glorified ketchup. To clarify, nothing will compare to this cherry BBQ sauce.
This recipe is easy to make and it can be eaten right away or canned to enjoy throughout the year. Let me warn you though, nothing, absolutely nothing, is better than opening a jar for a winter grilling session. Na-thing.
One final warning, this sauce does have a slight kick to it. Slight. Not a big one, just a little one. It’s also tangy and sweet in flavor. Oh goodness, y’all are going to have to give this a try, and once you do you’ll quickly realize that it doesn’t disappoint!
- 6 pounds Bing Cherries
- 2 medium Yellow Onions, diced
- 6 large Garlic Cloves, minced
- 2 cups Brown Sugar
- 2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
- 4 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Chipotle Pepper powder
- 4 teaspoons Smoked Applewood Salt or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried Mustard
- 3/4 cup Molasses
- 6 cups canned Tomato Sauce
- Using a cherry pitter, pit Bing Cherries then slice in half
- Combine all ingredients, including cherries, into a heavy bottom pot
- Place lid onto pot and cook on medium high for 20-30 minutes, or until the cherries and onions have soften
- Using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients until no large pieces of cherries remain
- If the sauce is watery return to medium low heat to reduce the sauce, stir often. Cook until the desired thickness has been met, remove from heat
- Prepare hot water bath or steam canner
- Laddle hot sauce into hot jars leaving a 1/2 headspace
- Wipe rims
- Apply warm lids and rings, tightening rings finger tight
- Place jars into hot water bath or steam canner
- Process pints for 20 minutes (NCHFP canning time)
- Remove from canner, allow jars to rest for 24 hours, verify jars have sealed
- Rinse and store jars in a cool dark location
- The tomato sauce used in this recipe is one that does not contain seasoning, and should not be mistaken for the ready to eat jars of sauce.
- Keep in mind, recipe can be made to be consumed the same day or canned to be enjoyed throughout the year!
Canning the Harvest
As I mentioned, this recipe can easily be made to be consumed fresh. Though canning a large batch of cherry BBQ sauce is going to be the most convenient thing to do. Purchasing a large amount of cherries while they are on sale will allow you to preserve the harvest for a the fraction of the cost.
Since I have yet to write up a ‘how to use a hot water bath canner’ tutorial, here are instruction from the National Center for Home Food Preservation‘s website. This is an excellent step-by-step guide on how to make this recipe shelf stable for up to 18 months.
More Amazing Cherry Recipes
We are lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest, otherwise known as the land of amazing cherries. The cherries we consume, (actually, devour) comes from a group of Northwest Cherry Growers who strive to produce a fruit which is meaty and packed full of juicy flavor.
Because of this we’ve been able to preserve some pretty delicious foods:
- Cherry Salsa
- Brandied Cherries
- Cherry and Raspberry Cordial – alcohol included
- Easy to Make Cherry Juice with a Steam Juicer
- Delicious Chunky Cherry Jam
Of course I needed to add these other delicious cherry treats:
- Creamy Cherry Clafoutis
- Chocolate-Cherry Black Forest Cake
- Rhubarb Cherry Wine
- Fruit and Fire: Cherry Chipotle BBQ Sauce (not shelf stable)
Y’all, enjoy the recipe, and make sure to hide a few jars for the winter months! In all honestly, you will not regret it.
Find more of our family’s favorite preserving recipes in our new book, The Farm Girl’s Guide to Preserving the Harvest. The guide is an easy to comprehend book regard the preserving foods using home methods, while providing you the confidence needed to properly store the harvest. Pick up your copy here!
The BEST cherry pitter on the market, hands down!