Homemade Apple Cider BBQ Sauce

Sweet and tangy, Apple Cider BBQ Sauce is quick and easy to make. This BBQ sauce is perfect for grilled turkey breasts and pulled pork.

Bowl of apple cider bbq sauce.

Because this sauce is so easy to make, it has become one of our most made sauces. The ingredients are simple and it can be made quickly, so when a sauce is needed this recipe is perfect.

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Ingredients to Make Apple Cider BBQ sauce

The ingredients for this sauce is typical of a BBQ sauce: tomato base, acid and spices.

  • Apple Cider. Not to be confused with apple juice which is sweeter, apple cider is thicker and more concentrated. Apple Cider used to be a fall drink, but now it can be found in produce sections of the grocery store year round.
  • Ketchup. The base of this sauce is ketchup. The tomato is ketchup helps to balance out the vinegar in BBQ sauces.
  • Brown Sugar. This sweetener adds a caramel like flavour that complements the apple cider.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. All BBQ sauces need an acid, and apple cider vinegar adds not only the acid needed in the sauce but also goes well with the apple cider.
  • Worcestershire Sauce.
  • Paprika.
  • Chili.
  • Garlic Powder.
  • Onion Powder.
  • Salt. We like to use fine sea salt in this sauce because it dissolves better than kosher but either one can be used.
  • Cayenne pepper. To add a touch of heat to the sauce. This ingredient can be omitted if desired.
  • Cornstarch. This is an optional ingredient. It is added only when the sauce needs to thicken quickly.

Uses For Apple Cider BBQ Sauce

Apple Cider BBQ Sauce has many uses. It can be used on any type of meat but it complements pork and turkey best.

  • Pulled Pork. The apple cider in this BBQ sauce adds a sweetness that goes well with pork and pulled pork is no exception. When making pulled pork, we like to spray it with apple cider to keep it moist and then add this BBQ  sauce after pulling the meat and before adding it to sandwiches.
  • Turkey Breasts. Baste grilled turkey breasts with this sauce about 3-4 minutes before removing from the grill for a tangy sweet finish.
  • Beer Can Chicken. One of the best ways to barbecue chicken. Beer can chicken is moist and juicy. This sauce is perfect for the outside of the chicken while cooking to seal in the juices and add flavour.
  • Dipping Sauce. Whether its chicken strips or nuggets, this BBB is great for dipping.
  • Pork Roasts. Basting a pork roast on the BBQ with this sauce adds flavour and seals in the juices. Try this sauce on our Apple Cider Brined Pork Loin.

Storing Homemade BBQ Sauce

Once cooled, this sauce keeps well in the fridge for up to one month. Store Apple Cider BBQ Sauce in a mason jar or air-tight container.

The sauce can also be made in batches and canned using the procedure to can high acid foods.


Bowl of apple cider bbq sauce.

Homemade Apple Cider BBQ Sauce

Sweet and tangy, this is the perfect BBQ sauce for pork or turkey.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Sauces


  • cup apple cider
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper


  • Whisk all ingredients together in a medium sized pot.
  • Heat over medium heat until mixture reaches a simmer.
  • Simmer stirring for 5 minutes or until desired thickness is achieved.
  • Allow to cool before storing in the fridge for up to one month.
Keyword bbq sauce

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