Cherry Habanero BBQ Sauce

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The rich flavor of cherries is a perfect foil for the more extreme end of the pepper scale. Here it’s the habanero pepper that drops the spice hammer in this fiery barbecue sauce recipe. Cherry habanero BBQ sauce is bold – sweet, tangy (from apple cider vinegar), earthy, lightly smoky (thank you chipotle powder) and of course spicy. Plenty spicy. Depending on how you choose to make it (see below), you’ll want to give your guest a little warning prior to eating.

Cherry habanero bbq sauce

Of course, you can remove the habanero from the sauce before using (since it’s roughly chopped), or if you’re like us, pull out that hand blender and incorporate that delicious sweet fire that habaneros are so well known for into the sauce. This option certainly is not for everyone, but it’s not exactly a family-friendly with option one either. While it’s not ghost pepper hot, this is a bbq sauce for more extreme eaters however you cut it.

Cherry habanero BBQ sauce is delicious with grilled pork and grilled chicken as a marinade or wet rub. Or try it as an fiery dipping sauce for chicken tenders. Really most fried foods can enjoy some extra zing from this hot sauce.

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Cherry habanero bbq sauce

Cherry Habanero BBQ Sauce

Delicious on pork and chicken, cherry sweetness meats extra-hot heat
4.82 from 22 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Sauce
Servings 16 servings
Calories 110 kcal



  • Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat, then add the diced habanero. Saute the habanero for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic to the pan and continue to saute the habanero and garlic for another 1 to 2 minutes. 
  • Add the cherry preserves, ketchup, orange juice, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, chipotle powder, onion powder, and salt. Stir well and bring to a quick boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, then allow the sauce to simmer for 15 minutes. 
  • Remove the sauce from the heat. For a milder sauce, remove the habanero pieces. For a spicier sauce, use a hand blender/food processor to process the habanero smooth into the sauce.
  • Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature, then use as a marinade, wet rub, or dip. 


Calories: 110kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 171mgPotassium: 99mgFiber: 1gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 99IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Habanero Pepper
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on June 26, 2022 to include new content.
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