Apricot BBQ Sauce

5 from 2 votes
5 from 2 votes

Easy homemade apricot BBQ sauce to pair with chicken wings, thighs, and more. This super simple sauce recipe combines apricot jam preserves with brown sugar and a hint of chili, and takes less than an hour to make. Get the recipe here.

apricot bbq sauce

This homemade apricot BBQ sauce is the perfect way to spruce up any grilled or smoked meat with a tangy flavor you won’t soon forget. The apricot preserves enhance your barbecued meat with an array of fruity sweetness, hints of tongue-touching tang, and a satisfying tartness.

The best part about this incredible sauce is that it is exceptionally easy to make. All you need to do is combine the ingredients and simmer cook until all the flavors are unified into one complex blend. Ready in just 40 minutes, you can make this on the day in no time.

This apricot BBQ sauce works best with pork chops, chicken, and grilled white fish. Plus, it’s just a great overall dipping sauce for, well, anything! If you’re ready to switch out your boring store-bought sauce for a fruity zing, discover how to make apricot BBQ sauce today.

apricot bbq sauce

Apricot BBQ Sauce Explained

This sauce is a twist on classic Kansas City-style sauces, which feature tomato as its base, and contain spice and vinegar. While the original Kansas City sauces don’t tend to be sweet, more modern takes on KC sauces have featured sugars and molasses. Taking this as our blueprint, we’ve taken a KC base and fused in apricot preserve for a fresh punch of flavor.

How to Make Apricot BBQ Sauce

This unique homemade barbecue sauce is quick and simple to make, taking less than an hour from scratch. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Temper the spices in a saucepan over low heat for a few minutes
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients, including the apricot preserves and molasses
  3. Bring the mix to a simmer and allow the sauce to reduce
  4. Once at a BBQ sauce-like consistency and thickness, remove from heat and allow to cool
  5. Store in airtight bottles or containers, or enjoy right away with pulled pork, ribs, or chicken


While this homemade sauce can be used immediately, it tastes much better the next day once the spices and sugars have had more time to absorb into the sauce.

Allow the sauce to cool completely before funneling it into sauce bottles (like these on Amazon) and storing in the refrigerator. Whatever container you use, ensure it’s airtight or has a tight-fitting lid.

While commercial sauces can be stored at room temperature, our homemade sauce doesn’t contain any preservatives, so our sauce will need to be refrigerated to stay good. Aim to consume within two weeks.

Quick Tips

  1. You can substitute the apricot preserves for smooth apricot jam. Preserves will result in a chunkier sauce, while jam will create a more level texture.
  2. Prefer spicy sauce? Try doubling the chili flakes and cayenne pepper for some mouthwatering sweet heat.
  3. Don’t worry if the sauce tastes a bit vinegary – this will balance out when applied to meat
  4. Sauce too thin? You can thicken barbecue sauce by leaving it to reduce over low heat for longer or stirring in half a teaspoon of cornstarch.
apricot bbq sauce
apricot bbq sauce

Apricot BBQ Sauce

5 from 2 votes
Easy homemade apricot BBQ sauce to pair with chicken wings, thighs, and more. This super simple sauce recipe combines apricot jam preserves with brown sugar and a hint of chili, and takes less than an hour to make.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings: 4



  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ½ cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce


  • Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, red chili flakes, and tomato paste. Heat over low heat for 3-4 minutes to allow the spices to bloom.
  • Add water, apricot preserves, apple cider vinegar, molasses, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes to reduce the sauce
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. Add more water if too thick.
  • Once done, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature
  • Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container or bottle for later use


Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 1328mg | Potassium: 357mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 974IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg

About the Author

Ben Isham-Smith

A BBQ obsessive, Ben is behind 250+ of The Online Grill’s recipes, as well as countless barbecue guides to help barbecue newbies get to grips with the world’s best form of cooking.

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