Rhubarb BBQ Sauce Recipe

| |

Sharing is caring!

A little sour, a little sweet and a whole lot of smokey, yes Rhubarb BBQ Sauce. Grab this seasonal veggie next time you are at the store and make some delicious Rhubarb BBQ sauce.

Right in time for summer grilling, so let’s make this homemade Rhubarb barbecue sauce recipe.

rhubarb BBQ sauce in a glass jar, front view

Why you will love this Rhubarb BBQ Sauce recipe

Unique flavor – a combination of tangy rhubarb, smoky chipotle peppers, and savory spices creates a flavor, that is unique and irresistible. It is not your traditional bottled BBQ sauce.

Versatility – everyone has heard of strawberry rhubarb pie, but rhubarb is very versatile! it is so easy to make it into a sweet or savory dish. For example, this Rhubarb BBQ Sauce and my Rhubarb Butter recipe.

Homemade touch – making BBQ sauce from scratch gives it a homemade touch that’s hard to beat. Homemade sauces often taste fresher and more vibrant than store-bought ones.

Balanced flavors – sweet, tangy, smoky, and spicy flavors in this BBQ sauce ensure that it appeals to a wide range of palates.

Rhubarb BBQ Sauce Ingredients, Variations and Substitutions

Fresh Rhubarb – Rhubarb adds a tangy and slightly sour flavor to the BBQ sauce, complementing the sweetness of other ingredients. Ensure the rhubarb is fresh and tender. Remove any tough or stringy parts before chopping. If rhubarb is unavailable, you can try substituting it with tart fruits like green apples or cranberries, though the flavor profile will differ.

ingredients to make Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

Ketchup – provides a tomato base and adds sweetness and tanginess to the sauce. Tomato sauce or tomato puree can be used as a substitute, though you may need to adjust the sweetness and acidity levels with additional sugar or vinegar.

Brown Sugar – adds sweetness and helps to caramelize the sauce during cooking. You can substitute with granulated white sugar or coconut sugar for a slightly different flavor.

Apple Cider Vinegar – provides acidity and adds a tangy flavor to the sauce. Choose unfiltered, organic ACV for the best flavor and health benefits. White vinegar or red wine vinegar can be used as substitutes.

Honey – natural sweetness and helps balance the acidity of the vinegar. Maple syrup or agave nectar can be used as substitutes, though they will impart slightly different flavors

Worcestershire Sauce – adds savory depth and umami flavor to the sauce. Soy sauce or tamari can be used as a substitute.

Soy Sauce – adds salty richness and enhances the savory flavors of the sauce. Choose low-sodium soy sauce if you’re watching your sodium intake. Tamari or coconut aminos can be used as substitutes.

Balsamic vinegar – adds sweet, sour, and savory notes. Its flavor can be quite dominant, so use it in moderation. Sherry vinegar, Red Wine Vinegar + Sugar, Rice Vinegar can be used as an alternative.

Orange juice – adds a natural acidity to dishes, which helps balance flavors, especially in sweet and tangy recipes like BBQ sauce. You can also use apple, lemon, lime, or pineapple juice.

Cinnamon and cloves – provide a warm, sweet, and slightly spicy flavor to the BBQ sauce. You can substitute with Allspice, Nutmeg, or Cardamon spice.

Mustard Powder – adds a subtle tanginess and helps to emulsify the sauce. Dijon mustard or prepared mustard can be used as substitutes, though they will impart stronger flavors.

Smoked Paprika – adds a smoky flavor and depth to the sauce. Regular paprika can be used as a substitute.

Cayenne Pepper – adds heat and a spicy kick to the sauce. Chili powder or red pepper flakes can be used as substitutes. Adjust the amount to achieve the desired level of heat.

Salt and Pepper – Salt enhances the flavors of the ingredients, while pepper adds a subtle spiciness.

Olive Oil – Olive oil adds richness and depth to the sauce. Butter or another type of oil, such as avocado oil or grapeseed oil, can be used as substitutes for a different flavor profile.

rhubarb BBQ sauce in a glass jar, front view

Equipment you will need

  • Cutting board and knife
  • Large saucepan or pot
  • Baking sheet
  • Spatula, wooden spoon for stirring
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Immersion blender or regular blender
  • Jar or airtight container

Top Tips for making Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

Use fresh ingredients – Opt for fresh rhubarb and good quality ketchup, vinegar, and spices to ensure the best flavor in your sauce.

Balance sweetness and acidity – adjust the amount of sugar and vinegar to achieve the perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess in your sauce. Taste as you go and make adjustments accordingly.

Adjust seasonings to taste – start with smaller amounts and gradually add more as needed.

Blend until smooth – for a silky smooth texture, be sure to blend the sauce thoroughly using an immersion blender or regular blender.

Simmer for flavor – allow the sauce to simmer over low heat for at least 30-40 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together and develop. This will result in a richer, more complex sauce.

Don’t overcook the rhubarb – if you’re roasting the rhubarb before adding it to the sauce, be careful not to overcook it. You want the rhubarb to be tender but not mushy to maintain its flavor and texture.

Experiment with heat – adjust the amount of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce or cayenne pepper to control the level of heat in the sauce. Remember, you can always add more heat, but you can’t take it away, so start with a conservative amount and adjust to taste.

rhubarb BBQ sauce in a glass jar,

How To Make Rhubarb BBQ Sauce (Step by Step)

  • Preheat your smoker to 400°F (200°C).
  • Wash and chop the rhubarb. Spread the chopped rhubarb on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil.
  • Roast for 15-20 minutes, until the rhubarb is tender and slightly caramelized. Remove from the oven and set aside.

  • Add the roasted rhubarb to the saucepan
  • Stir in the ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider, orange juice, vinegar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, mustard powder, smoked paprika, and chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

  • Bring the mixture to a simmer. Lower the smoker temperature to 250F and let it cook for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens.
  • Using an immersion blender (or transferring to a regular blender), blend the sauce until smooth.
  • Taste and season the rhubarb barbecue sauce with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Let the sauce cool to room temperature.
  • Transfer it to a jar or airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.

How to use this Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

Grilled Chicken – brush the sauce onto grilled chicken pieces during the last few minutes of cooking for a sweet and smoky glaze.

Ribs – slather the sauce generously over pork ribs and slow-cook them until tender and caramelized.

Burgers – spread the sauce on burgers for a unique and flavorful twist.

Grilled Vegetables – use the sauce as a marinade or glaze for grilled vegetables like eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers. The smoky sweetness pairs perfectly with the charred flavor of grilled veggies.

Pulled pork sandwiches – mix the sauce with shredded pork shoulder for mouthwatering pulled pork sandwiches.

Tofu or tempeh – marinate tofu or tempeh in the sauce before grilling or pan-frying for a vegetarian-friendly option packed with flavor.

Dipping sauce – serve the sauce as a dipping sauce for BBQ Meatballs, sweet potato fries, or onion rings for a tasty appetizer or snack.

Pizza topping – use the sauce as a base for BBQ pizza.

Stir-Fry Sauce – add a spoonful of the sauce to stir-fries for a sweet and spicy kick. It pairs well with chicken, shrimp, or tofu, along with your favorite veggies.

Breakfast hash – drizzle the sauce over a breakfast hash made with potatoes, bell peppers, onions, and sausage for a delicious sweet and savory breakfast option.

wooden cutting board with stuffed pork chops served with rhubarb bbq sauce, glasses with beer, pickles, cabbage salad

You may also like:

If you like this Rhubarb BBQ Sauce, check out these recipes:

How to store and reheat Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

  1. Allow the barbecue sauce to cool completely to room temperature before storing.
  2. Transfer the cooled sauce into clean, airtight jars or containers.
  3. Store the jars or containers in the refrigerator. The barbecue sauce will keep for up to two weeks when properly stored.
  4. Don’t forget to label the jars or containers with the date you made the sauce.

Freezing Instructions (Optional):

  1. Portion the sauce into smaller containers or freezer bags.
  2. Place the portions in the freezer. The barbecue sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  3. When ready to use, thaw the sauce in the refrigerator overnight or use the defrost setting on your microwave.

Reheating Instructions:

  1. Stovetop Method:
    • Pour the desired amount of barbecue sauce into a small saucepan.
    • Heat over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is warmed through.
    • If the sauce has thickened during storage, you can add a splash of water or apple cider vinegar to reach your desired consistency.
  2. Microwave Method:
    • Transfer the desired amount of sauce to a microwave-safe bowl.
    • Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid or a plate to prevent splatters.
    • Heat on medium power in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until the sauce is warmed through.
    • Adjust the consistency if needed by stirring in a small amount of water or apple cider vinegar.
  3. Reheating Frozen Sauce:
    • Thaw the frozen sauce in the refrigerator overnight, then follow the stovetop or microwave reheating instructions.
    • Alternatively, you can place the frozen sauce in a saucepan and gently heat it over low heat until thawed and warmed through, stirring frequently.

Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

Sylwia Vaclavek
A little sour, a little sweet and a whole lot smokey. This is your new favorite Rhubarb BBQ Sauce. Grab this veggie next time you are a the store and let's make some delicious BBQ Sauce.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
blending 7 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 22 minutes
Course sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 32
Calories 40 kcal

Equipment

  • saucepan or pot
  • cutting board and knife
  • baking sheet
  • spatula, wooden spoon
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • immersion blender
  • jar or airtight container

Ingredients
 
 

  • 4 cups rhubarb chopped
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mustard powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce chopped, adjust to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil for roasting and sautéing

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your smoker to 400°F (200°C).
  • Wash and chop the rhubarb. Spread the chopped rhubarb on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil.
  • Roast for 15-20 minutes, until the rhubarb is tender and slightly caramelized. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  • Add the roasted rhubarb to the saucepan
  • Stir in the ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, orange juice, honey, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, mustard powder, smoked paprika, cinnamon, cloves and chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the temperature to 250F and let it smoke for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens.
  • Using an immersion blender (or transferring to a regular blender), blend the sauce until smooth.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Let the sauce cool to room temperature.
  • Transfer it to a jar or airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It should keep for up to two weeks.

Notes

Balance sweetness and acidity – adjust sugar and vinegar to taste
Adjust seasonings to taste – start with smaller amounts (especially chipotle and paprika)  and gradually add more as needed.
Simmer – for best flavor, simmer low and slow
Blend until smooth – blend the sauce thoroughly using an immersion blender or regular blender

Nutrition

Serving: 2tbspCalories: 40kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 0.5gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.4gSodium: 125mgPotassium: 103mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 128IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 0.3mg
Keyword BBQ Sauce, rhubarb, rhubarb BBQ sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Did you make this recipe?

Rhubarb BBQ Sauce Conclusion

If you’re looking to add a unique twist to your summer grilling, this Rhubarb BBQ Sauce is a must-try.

This homemade barbecue sauce has a distinctive blend of tangy rhubarb and smoky chipotle peppers that brings a refreshing change from traditional barbecue sauce.

Whether you’re slathering this rhubarb BBQ sauce on ribs, brushing it on grilled chicken, or using it as a dip, the balanced flavors of sweet, tangy, and spicy will elevate your dishes to a new level.

So grab some fresh rhubarb and start experimenting with this delicious sauce—you’ll love the bold, vibrant flavor it adds to your favorite barbecue recipes!

rhubarb BBQ sauce in a glass bowl, bbq brush, few pieces of rhubarb

Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce Recipe FAQ

What does rhubarb chipotle BBQ sauce taste like?

A little tangy, slightly sour with the smoky, spicy kick of chipotle peppers. The sweetness from the brown sugar and honey balances the tanginess, creating a rich, complex sauce.

Can I make this BBQ sauce without chipotle peppers?

Yes, you can omit the chipotle peppers if you prefer a milder sauce. You can replace them with a small amount of smoked paprika for a bit of smokiness without the heat, or leave them out entirely for a tangy, sweet BBQ sauce.

How long does this BBQ sauce last in the refrigerator?

When stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, rhubarb chipotle BBQ sauce can last up to two weeks. Click HERE to read more about storing this sauce.

Can I freeze this rhubarb BBQ sauce?

Yes, you can freeze this BBQ sauce. Portion it into smaller containers or freezer bags and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

Is this rhubarb BBQ sauce vegan and gluten-free?

The sauce can be made vegan and gluten-free with a few adjustments. Ensure the Worcestershire sauce is vegan (some contain anchovies) and gluten-free. Use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari, and check that all other ingredients are free from animal products and gluten.

How can I adjust the spiciness of the rhubarb BBQ sauce?

To adjust the spiciness, simply increase or decrease the amount of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and cayenne pepper. For a milder sauce, use fewer peppers or omit the cayenne pepper. For more heat, add extra chipotle peppers or a pinch more cayenne.

What dishes pair well with rhubarb chipotle barbecue sauce?

This BBQ sauce pairs well with grilled chicken, ribs, burgers, pulled pork, grilled vegetables, tofu, and tempeh. It can also be used as a dipping sauce, a pizza topping, or a flavorful addition to stir-fries and breakfast hashes. Click HERE to get more ideas on how to enjoy this Rhubarb BBQ Sauce.

Can I make this rhubarb BBQ sauce sugar-free?

You can try using sugar substitutes like stevia or erythritol instead of brown sugar and honey. Keep in mind that the flavor and texture might differ slightly, so adjust the amounts to taste.

Check out the latest recipes from My Omni Kitchen

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments