Blueberry BBQ Sauce Recipe
Let's Talk BBQ Sauce!
There are two major schools of thought when it comes to BBQ.
- The best BBQ does not need sauce and should rely upon the spices and seasonings were during the cooking process.
- Sauce is ideal for maximizing BBQ flavor, offering a contrasting yet complementary flavor profile to the many herbs, spices and seasonings already present in the meat.
While there are plenty of different BBQ sauces, its best to start by highlighting the most popular types.
- Kansas City favors sauce mixing tomato and molasses.
- Lexington favors sauces kept hot, temperature, not spice; and vinegary.
- Texas sauces are dominant with ketchup but also feature Worcestershire sauce.
- Alabama's white sauce involves pepper, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and mayonnaise.
- Eastern North Carolinan sauces favor hot sauce, chili peppers and vinegar.
- South Carolinian "Mustard sauce" is a regionally-variable sauce whoseprimary ingredient is mustard instead of the usual ketchup.
- St. Louis-style sauce incorporates ketchup and a regional sauce known as "Maull's."
- Memphis-style sauce involves tomato, mustard and vinegar with little sweetness.
Despite all these approaches to BBQ sauce, I can think of one ingredient few ever consider: blueberries. Blueberry BBQ sauce is real, delicious and the people you feed will never see it coming.
A Step-By-Step Recipe for Blueberry BBQ sauce
Below you will find a quartet of approaches to go about making a blueberry BBQ sauce.
Basic Blueberry Sauce Recipe
- Blueberries, 2 cups.
- Vinegar, balsamic, 1/2 cup.
- Salt, Kosher, 1/2 tsp.
- Onion, red, roughly chopped, 2 tbsp.
- Pepper, cayenne, 1/2 tsp.
- Ketchup, 3 tbsp.
- Sugar, 3 tbsp.
- Cloves, garlic, roughly chopped, 2.
- Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tsp.
- Powder, chili, 1 tsp.
- Combine everything into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until it boils.
- Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer 15 minutes, just until the sauce starts thickening and the berries burst. Stir occasionally.
- Kill the heat and allow the mix to cool to room temperature.
- Empty the contents into a blender or food processor and blend until the mix you have a proper-looking BBQ sauce.
Blueberry BBQ Sauce With Onion and Maple Syrup
- Oil, olive, 2 tsp.
- Onion, chopped, 1.
- Cloves, garlic, minced, 3.
- Ginger, grated, one 1/2" piece.
- Blueberries, 3 cups.
- Syrup, maple, 1/4 cup.
- Vinegar, cider, 2 tbsp.
- Vinegar, balsamic, 2 tbsp.
- Worcestershire sauce, 2 tbsp.
- Molasses, 2 tbsp.
- Juice, lemon, 1/2 tsp.
- Cinnamon, ground, 1/2 tsp.
- Cumin, ground, 1/2 tsp.
- Powder, chili, 1/2 tsp.
- Paprika, 1/2 tsp.
- Paprika, smoked, 1/2 tsp.
- Salt, 1/2 tsp.
- Pepper, black, ground, 1/2 tsp.
- Pour olive oil into a skillet and set to medium heat.
- Stir in the onion, garlic and ginger until the onion softens; cook roughly 8 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients until everything combines evenly.
- Bring the heat to medium-low. Let the sauce simmer until it reduces and bubbles-roughly 6 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the sauce to cool a bit.
- Transfer the sauce to a blender, filling the vessel to no more than half. Cover and manually keep the lid on top, then make several pulses prior to switching to a proper blend setting.
- Repeat in batches until the sauce gains a smooth consistency.
Pork Tenderloin with Made-From-Scratch Blueberry Sauce
- Blueberries, 2 cups.
- Ketchup, 3/4 cup.
- Vinegar, cider, 1/2 cup.
- Sugar, brown, light, packed, 1/2 cup.
- Molasses, light, 1 tbsp.
- Powder, chili.
- Pepper, black, 1 tsp.
- Pork tenderloin, 1.5-2 lbs.
- Combine everything but the pork into a medium saucepan.
- Stir half a cup of water into the mix.
- Bring everything to a boil on high heat, making sure to constantly stir it up.
- Reduce heat to low and let the mix simmer. Give it a stir every 90-120 seconds until it thickens up a bit and has a chunky consistency.
- Take the sauce off the heat, allowing it to cool to room temperature.
- Refrigerate the sauce until you plan to use it.
- In a bowl or other vessel, coat the pork with 2/3 cup of the sauce.
- Cover the pork and allow it to marinate in the refrigerator for 1-4 hours.
- When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Place the tenderloins in a roasting pan and get rid of any remaining marinade.
- Roast the pork for 15 minutes.
- Turn the tenderloins and use a spoon to distribute 1/4 cup of the leftover sauce.
- Roast the tenderloins for another 12-15 minutes; just until they reach an internal temperature of 160°F
- Transfer the tenderloin to a serving platter, loosely covered with foil and allow it to rest for 5 minutes, just long enough for the internal temperature to reach 165°F.
- Slice the tenderloin into 1/2" thick pieces and feel free to serve with additional sauce.
Blueberry Baby Back Ribs
Ingredients for the Ribs.
- Ribs, baby back, 2 racks.
- Paprika, 1 tbsp.
- Powder, chili, 1 tbsp.
- Power, onion, 1 tbsp.
- Powder, garlic, 1 tbsp.
- Cumin, 1 tbsp.
- Coriander, 1 tbsp.
- Pepper, cayenne, 1 tsp.
- Salt, kosher, 1.5 tbsp.
- Pepper, black, 1 tsp.
Ingredients for the Sauce.
- Blueberries, 2 cups.
- Vinegar, balsamic, 2/3 cups.
- Honey, 1/2 cup.
- Pepper, red, flakes, 1/2 tsp.
- Pepper, cayenne, 1/2 tsp.
- Shallots, diced, 1/3 cup.
- Cloves, garlic, minced, 2.
- Molasses, 1 tbsp.
- Salt, kosher, 1/2 tsp.
- Pepper, ground, 1/4 tsp.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F, placing a rack along the center of the oven. Line a large, rimmed, baking sheet with foil and set it aside.
- Remove the membrane from the ribs.
- Combine all rib seasonings into a small bowl, using a spoon or whisk. Thoroughly sprinkle this rub over both sides of the rib. Place the ribs on the rack with their bone-side facing down and bake them for 2 hours, just long enough for them to go slack when lifted and the meat nearly falls off.
- While the rubs are baking, place a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir in the blueberries, honey and balsamic vinegar.
- Bring the mix to a boil and then lower the heat so that it can simmer, cooking until the blueberries explode and their juices are freed; roughly 5 minutes.
- Add the pepper flakes, cayenne, shallots and garlic, and let the mixture cook for roughly 6 minutes. If you have an immersion blender or masher, feel free to use it to puree the sauce into a smooth consistency.
- Add the molasses, salt and pepper, and continue simmering until the sauce has thickened up-roughly 15-20 minutes. Tweak the seasoning as needed.
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow the sauce to cool off and thicken.
- One the sauce and ribs are done, preheat the grill to medium-high.
- Remove the ribs from the oven and brush each of their sides with the blueberry sauce, remembering to save some of the stuff for serving.
- Grill the ribs, letting them cook for around 5 minutes, just long enough for the sauce to caramelize and stick to the meat, turning them every so often.
- Transfer the ribs to a chopping board and brush them with even more sauce. allow the meat to rest for 5-10 minutes and then cut them up.
- Serve with the reserved sauce.
While this article began highlighting a variety of different sauces used in BBQ cookery, not every one of those sauces is ideal for every type of meat-Alabama white sauce is perfect for BBQ chicken but is used far less often for other types of protein and Lexington-style sauce is almost exclusively used for pork. If you plan on using a blueberry sauce with your BBQ, I recommend you use it with grilled pork chops, chicken and any ribs recipe you might have in mind.
There are many types of barbecue sauce on the planet and while the majority of BBQ enthusiasts may differ on the role of sauce in BBQ, the fact remains that a good sauce is never a bad thing to have. Blueberries are hardly a common staple of a good BBQ sauce and you can probably see how sad that situation is. Use the information presented in this article for your own purposes, either fully abiding a recipe or putting your own spin on things.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of BBQ sauce?
There are many different types of barbecue, and each one comes with a signature sauce. There’s the mayonnaise-based sauce of Alabama, the vinegar-based sauce and mustard BBQ sauce from the Carolinas, and many different types of tomato-based sauces. They can be sweet, tangy, or spicy, depending on the ingredients.
How do you add flavor to BBQ sauce?
The basic components of barbecue sauce are ketchup, mustard, or vinegar. From there, you can add flavor by adding fruits like peach or blueberry, and you can also add variety of spices, including smoked paprika and cayenne pepper.
Can you add fruit to bottled BBQ sauce?
You can certainly flavor a store-bought bottle of barbecue sauce by adding fruit, but we think it’s better to make the barbecue sauce from scratch. It’s pretty easy, too, and you can make it in a variety of ways. Check out the recipes above for inspiration.
When should you use a fruit barbecue sauce?
Fruit-flavored BBQ sauces taste best on pork products, in our opinion. We love slathering it on a rack of ribs or serving it alongside grilled pork chops. You can definitely give it a try with other types of meat. Fruit barbecue sauce and chicken can go well, and it may even pair well with beef like smoked brisket. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
What are the health benefits of blueberries?
In addition to tasting great in barbecue sauce, blueberries are also really healthy for our bodies. They contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, including powerful antioxidants. Many people consider blueberries as a superfood because they may be able to reduce inflammation and remove harmful free radicals from our bodies.