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Smoked Cherry BBQ Sauce

Smoked Cherry BBQ Sauce


This Smoked Cherry BBQ Sauce goes great with everything.


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon hatch chile powder
  • 1/2 cup pinot noir
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey (I used orange blossom)
  • 2 pounds pitted dark sweet cherries, pitted
  • Wood chips for smoking (I used cherrywood)


  1. Preheat your smoker and wood chips according to manufacturer’s instructions to 250 degrees. Set timer for 2 hours, if using electric. Place cherries in a medium-sized baking dish and smoke for 2 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot, saute the onions and crushed red pepper flakes in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add one teaspoon of kosher salt, and cook an additional minute. Add the black pepper, ground ginger, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and smoked paprika. Drizzle in a little more oil if needed. Cook until the spices bloom and become fragrant, about a minute. Add in the garlic, stir and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Pour in the pinot noir, and scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the ketchup, yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, worcestershire sauce, dark soy sauce, and liquid smoke. Stir until combined.
  5. Add the smoked cherries and let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the brown sugar, honey, and molasses, stirring until well combined. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, tasting and adjusting often. When the sauce tastes perfect to your standards, remove from heat. Use a hand-blender to break down and smooth the sauce, or use a regular blender in batches. Puree until it’s the texture you prefer. Pour the finished sauce in jars or tall plastic quart containers and keep in your fridge for up to a month. Alternatively, you can enjoy it right away on your favorite protein or veggies.
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
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