Skip the condiment aisle and celebrate the end of summer and Labor Day with your own homemade barbecue sauce. Plum Barbecue sauce is so good, you’ll be putting it on everything!
I love using stone fruit, especially plums, in savory food, such as my Sheet Pan Chicken and Plums. Their natural sweetness is a perfect balance to big, bold flavors while also standing out on their own.
Not only is making your own homemade barbecue sauce easy, but you also already probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry. The best part of making Plum Barbecue Sauce is you have control over every ingredient.
- Plums – These add both a distinct sweetness to the barbecue sauce, and also a silkiness to the finished texture.
- Neutral Oil – Grapeseed oil, avocado oil, canola oil, and light olive oil are all great choices.
- Garlic – Freshly minced garlic makes builds a savory and aromatic layer to this barbecue sauce.
- Chili Powder – Not only does this give an earthy flavor, it also gives a deep and rich color to the finished BBQ sauce.
- Smoked Paprika – Smoked paprika gives an earthy and smoky flavor to the sauce.
- Ground Mustard – A little sharp and spicy, this adds a savory element to the barbecue sauce.
- Bourbon – While this is optional, it adds a layer of smoke and sweetness to the sauce, concentrating as the sauce simmers away.
- Ketchup – This gives the familiar viscosity and texture to the sauce as well as sweetness and tang.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – A classic in barbecue sauce, this adds tang and balances out the sweetness.
- Worcestershire Sauce – This is the savory and salty element of the barbecue sauce that also adds a little complexity.
- Brown Sugar – Brown sugar has molasses in it which pairs well with the flavors of barbecue. It offers up more depth than white sugar.
- Black Pepper –
- Chinese 5 Spice – Warm and deeply aromatic, the combination of spices compliments the flavors of the plums. There are many variations; use your favorite. The common ingredients are star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, and Sichuan pepper.
- Water – The water dilutes the sauce and gives it body as it simmers and cooks down.
How to Make Plum Barbecue Sauce
Making your own barbecue sauce is both easy and rewarding! It’s also a great make ahead and something you can use in a variety of ways all week long.
Skip buying processed barbecue sauce and wow your friends and family with this fruity homemade creation!
- Mise en Place
Slice your plums into fairly equal sized pieces. While the final sauce will be blended, this will help them cook evenly.
- Simmer it Up
Add all of the ingredients to a saucepan on medium heat. Allow it to simmer for 15-20 minutes until the plums are soft and the sauce has begun to thicken. The plums will begin to break down.
- Blend it Up
Use an immersion blender or regular blender to blend the barbecue sauce until it is silky smooth.
- Get Creative!
Have fun using your barbecue sauce wherever you would use storebought barbecue sauce.
- Stone Fruit – Try swapping out the plums for other stone fruit such as peaches, apricots, or nectarines.
- Spicy – Add finely diced jalapenos, serrano peppers, or crushed red chili pepper flakes for a kick of heat.
- Blender/Immersion Blender – Once the sauce has cooked down, you can transfer the mixture to a blender to give it that silky, smooth texture. You can also use an immersion blender for this step of creating the sauce.
This barbecue sauce can last for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator. Keep it in an airtight container such as a glass jar.
Top Tip for Plum Barbecue Sauce
This is a versatile sauce that can be used in multiple ways. Use it as a base for your barbecue pizzas or to glaze grilled chicken or pork. It also pairs well with grilled seafood such as shrimp or salmon. Have fun trying it on different things!
Plum Barbecue Sauce
- 1 blender or immersion blender
- 1 saucepan
- 4-5 plums, sliced
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1/3 cup bourbon, optional
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice
- 1/2 cup water
- Add all of the ingredients to a saucepan on medium heat.
- Allow the mixture to come to a simmer and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the plums are very soft and the sauce has thickened.
- Either transfer the mixture to a blender or use an immersion blender to blend it until it is smooth.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.