apple bbq sauce
apple bbq sauce

Easy Apple Barbecue Sauce

This tangy, sweet apple barbecue sauce is so easy to make, you'll have the good stuff ready by the time your grilled burgers, bbq pork ribs, or shredded pork sandwiches are ready.

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes
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Recipe Rundown

Star Ingredient: apple
Function: cooling
Tastes: sweet and tangy
Textures: saucy and smooth
Ease: easy
Method: stovetop (warm) and stir
Wisdom: To get the cleanest apple taste, use pure apple juice and look for raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.

I’m leaking this good, all-purpose barbecue sauce just in time for Memorial day to go with this Epic Texas BBQ Burger. This is a great sauce for juicy grilled burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, and bbq pork ribs (though I’d encourage a splash more apple cider vinegar in the case of ribs). When the weather is nice, I don’t like to spend a ton of time inside my kitchen. Enter this bangin barbecue sauce ready in a snap.

Unlike some barbecue sauces that take hours to make, you will have homemade barbecue sauce in 5 minutes (our little secret). If you ever wonder why your favorite barbecue joint gets customers, it’s all in how they set themselves apart with a kick ass sauce.

For your next grill out, skip the overly sweet store-bought crap that has preservatives, and make your own! I’m willing to bet that you have at least some of these ingredients already:)

Since this is an apple-inspired bbq sauce, let’s talk about that. In terms of apple juice, I like to look for just pure apple juice. No funny business. That means nothing too fakey or no mulled apple cider business.

Easy Apple Barbecue Sauce Steps

apple barbecue sauce in containers
You can store this bbq sauce in ketchup bottles.
  1. Combine all recipe ingredients in a small sauce pot.
  2. Warm over medium heat. No need to simmer here, just stir to combine.
  3. Transfer to a jar or squeeze bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Make Ahead

If you want to be chill as a cucumber at your outdoor barbecue party, make this sauce ahead. It will keep for up to 1 month, so there’s no need to make it the day of (even though it only takes 5 minutes).

apple barbecue sauce in containers

Easy Apple Barbecue Sauce

This tangy, sweet apple barbecue sauce is so easy to make, you'll have the good stuff ready by the time your grilled burgers, bbq pork ribs, or shredded pork sandwiches are ready.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple, barbecue, gluten free, sauce, vegan
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 27 people
Calories: 30kcal
Author: Chef Sara Furcini


  • 1 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire
  • 1 tbsp chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pot over medium heat. Warm and stir until smooth. No need to simmer, the idea is to warm it only so that the ingredients marry.
  • Transfer to a squeeze bottle or however you want to store it. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.


Sourcing the Right Apple Juice
Look for pure apple juice with no additives or other spices. You could use fresh squeeze apple juice if you want, but it is not necessary.
Heat Level
This is not particularly spicy in my world, but if you want to taste it first, then start with half the amount of chile powder and increase to your liking.
BBQ Ribs –
This is an excellent sweet sauce for ribs. I recommend adding a splash of apple cider vinegar to this sauce to thin it out. Then brush on the ribs during the last hour of cooking. It will thicken as it cooks.


Calories: 30kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 288mg | Potassium: 75mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 170IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.2mg

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Ginger Pope
Ginger Pope
23 days ago

I have been looking for a homemade bbq sauce for a while, none have hit the mark for us. This one did! My family of 6 LOVED it and everyone came back for seconds. I made it exactly as written (with apple juice) and it was so good. My hubby said it was a keeper. Thanks for the quick and easy recipe!

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