Making your own homemade BBQ sauce is so rewarding and when you can customize it like with this cherry BBQ sauce recipe, it just takes it to a whole new level. This easy BBQ sauce is the perfect sauce for pork and chicken and it is so delicious. It's healthier than BBQ sauce you buy from the store and it makes great use of cherries when they are in season!
I love making my own homemade BBQ sauce. I also love sweet BBQ sauce because it leaves a beautiful caramelization on the meats that it is added to.
If you have tried my brown sugar BBQ sauce, this ]BBQ sauce has the same idea of using sugar in the BBQ sauce except instead of adding sugar, we are relying on the natural sugar from the sweet cherries.
This sweet and fruity BBQ sauce is the perfect partner for grilled chicken or pork. I love adding this to my pork kabobs which grill up with a nice beautiful caramelized crust.
Making this is just like making a regular homemade BBQ sauce except we are adding in fresh cherries. Here is what you will need:
- Fresh cherries. I really love the idea of using fresh cherries in season when making this cherry BBQ sauce but frozen cherries that have been thawed work fine too.
- Shallots. Diced
- Garlic. Diced
- Worcestershire sauce. This is the background flavor for so many BBQ sauce recipes. It just works.
- Tomato paste. This is the tomato base to this cherry BBQ sauce.
- Red wine vinegar.
- Kosher salt
When you make a homemade BBQ sauce like this one, you are essentially making a jazzed-up version of ketchup. The tomato paste, vinegar, shallots garlic, and salt are the base of BBQ sauce recipes and ketchup.
It is the additional ingredients like the Worcestershire sauce and cherries that are going to make this have that BBQ sauce flavor.
You could essentially use ketchup as the base if you are short on time then just add the Worcestershire sauce and cherries to it. If you can, try to make it all from scratch though!
Once you master this cherry BBQ sauce recipe, you try swapping out the cherries for blackberry puree or any other fruit you love.
How to make cherry BBQ sauce
This sauce is so easy to make and will not take long at all. Once you are ready to make it, it takes about 20 minutes or so from start to finish.
Here is what it looks like:
- Prep the ingredients. Chop the shallots and garlic. Remove the pits from the cherries if you are working with fresh cherries. Frozen cherries that are thawed will already have the pits removed.
- Cook it up. BBQ sauce is cooked up on the stovetop so that all of the flavors come together. Here you cook the garlic and onions until soft then add the vinegar, cherries, and tomato paste. You will need to thin it out a bit with a little water since the cherries make a really thick sauce. You can thin the cherry BBQ sauce to your liking.
- Let it cool. You want to make sure that you let the homemade BBQ sauce cool before adding it to any meat.
- Add it to chicken, pork or any meat before cooking.
When to add BBQ sauce to meat
A lot of people get frustrated when they end up with charred meat or vegetables when they add BBQ sauce to them. The reason this happens is the BBQ sauce was added at the beginning of cooking and the sugars in BBQ sauce will burn when they are heated for too long.
When you are ready to use this cherry BBQ sauce, you want to cook the meat or veggies that you are using this with almost fully then during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking you brush on the cherry BBQ sauce.
Following these steps will ensure that the cherry BBQ sauce does not burn and that you make the perfect BBQ dish.
Best cherries to use for this BBQ sauce
When you go to the store to buy cherries, you will usually come across sweet cherries or tart cherries. You want to make sure you are using sweet cherries for this BBQ sauce recipe.
Tart cherries are very low in sugar and well, tart. That will not make for a great cherry BBQ sauce.
If you are not sure if the cherries at the store are sweet or tart, ask someone and they should be able to help you. If you are buying frozen cherries for this recipe to thaw later, they will be labeled sweet or tart on the bag.
If you are looking for ideas on how to use this cherry BBQ sauce, here are some of our favorites in addition to the ones listed earlier in the post.
More like this
If you love the idea of making your own homemade BBQ sauce, you may also like these:
The Best Cherry BBQ sauce
Tried the Recipe? We Would Love To Hear From You In The Comments Below!
- 1 ¼ cups fresh cherries (pitted) frozen and then thawed cherries will work too
- ⅛ cup red wine vinegar you can substitute with apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup water to thin bbq sauce as needed
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 small shallot finely diced
- 1 clove of garlic finely diced
- 2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- In a blender add your vinegar, worcestershire sauce and cherries and blend on medium speed until it becomes a puree and then set aside.1 ¼ cups fresh cherries (pitted), ⅛ cup red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat add your olive oil, garlic and shallots and cook for about 5 minutes or until the shallots are translucent.1 clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 small shallot
- Next, pour your cherry mixture from the blender into your sauce pan and mix well. The mixture will be thin at this point.
- Now add your tomato paste and carefully mix that in with a whisk or a fork until it is incorporated.¼ cup tomato paste
- Add your salt¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- At this point, taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. If the BBQ sauce is too thick you can add a tablespoon of water at a time until it reaches the consistency that it is spreadable. This is a very thick sauce.½ cup water to thin bbq sauce as needed
- Once the sauce is done, remove from the heat and set aside on the counter to cool to room temperature.
- Use after cooling on your favorite meat or store in the fridge for up to one week in a covered container.
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here