This is one of the easiest BBQ Sauces you can make and it can be used a ton of different ways! Pork chops, chicken, ribs, burgers, and don't forget the ice cream!
I love making fruit-based BBQ sauces and made this for the first time years ago. Jeff was intrigued by it and decided to create a burger using the apple bourbon BBQ sauce. It might be the best burger I've ever had!
It's also good on ice cream! I prefer it warmed up a bit so the spice really comes through. There is something about the cold, sweet ice cream with the warm apple butter bourbon BBQ sauce that is a match made in heaven!
There are tons of different ways to use this bbq sauce and I'll give you some suggestions later in this article.
Frequently Asked Questions
I only recommend using approved canning recipes from a reputable source for any time of canning. This is recipe was not developed for canning and I have no idea if it meets the requirements to be safe for canning.
It lasts several months, at least.
Yes, it freezes fine. Just make sure you let it cool all the way before freezing.
What is Apple Butter Bourbon BBQ Sauce?
It's the combination of apple butter with some bourbon or whiskey and a few other spices that turn it into a BBQ sauce that can be used on so many different things!
The flavor of the bbq sauce is like a spiced-up version of apple butter, because that is essentially what it is.
You take a base apple butter and add a few more things and voila... apple butter bourbon bbq sauce is born!
What Apple Butter is Best in this Recipe?
It really makes no difference. You can use store-bought or homemade. I prefer the flavor of homemade because the store-bought varieties can be a little too sweet for me.
I made my own the other day and it was so easy to make in the pressure cooker, there really isn't any need to buy it!
If you want to make your own, here is my recipe:
Otherwise, just use whatever apple butter you have and it will be fine!
What Type of Bourbon Should I Use?
Any kind you have or like is fine. I use a combination of Crown Apple and a bourbon, but you don't have to do that.
You can use all Crown Apple or another type of apple-flavored whiskey. The bourbon is in there for good measure because Apple Butter Whiskey BBQ Sauce just didn't sound as good!
I don't use a lot of it in the recipe, but you can increase the amounts until you get the flavor you want. This is that kind of recipe!
You can make it spicier by using more chipotle, make it mild by leaving it out.
You can use all bourbon, all whiskey, or skip the alcohol all together.
Do I Have to Use Bourbon or Whiskey?
Nope! You can skip it, but I would definitely add in at least 3 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar in its place. Otherwise, the flavors may not be balanced well enough.
What can I use the Apple Butter Bourbon BBQ Sauce With?
This where you can get so creative and just have fun with it! It goes great on pork, chicken, burgers, and even ice cream. I'm sure that's not all though!
I bet it would be great on Salmon, too!
Here are some of our suggestions for using the Apple Butter Boubon BBQ Sauce
Pork Chops: Breaded or unbreaded, simply pour the sauce over and bake. If you want to grill the pork chops, I would add the bbq sauce towards the end of cooking.
Chicken: Any kind of chicken works here, but I love it on boneless chicken breasts. You can either bake the chicken with the sauce on it or add it towards the end of cooking.
Ribs: Jeff thinks it would be great on ribs, but we haven't tried it that way yet!
Vanilla Ice Cream: I know that it sounds kind of odd, but it is really good served slightly warm over ice cream!
Baked Apples: You can also use this as a sauce for baked apples. YUM!
Last, but certainly NOT least... The Apple Sauced Burger!
Apple Sauced Burger: This is Jeff's absolute favorite way to serve the apple butter bourbon bbq sauce. He loves it so much that a few years ago he wrote a recipe up for it.
The photos aren't that great, but it is one terrific burger!
You can find all the instructions and details right here ⬇︎⬇︎⬇︎
Apple Sauced Burgers
What other Fruit-Based BBQ Sauces are Good?
I mentioned earlier that I love making fruit-based BBQ sauces and we used to feature a lot of them at my BBQ restaurant.
My hands-down favorite is the Raspberry BBQ Glaze. It's unreal how good it is. It's wonderful to use on ribs!
I also love this blueberry BBQ sauce. I use it as a wing sauce and also made a ham and brie grilled cheese from it. So yummy!
There are tons of other fruit-based BBQ sauces that you can try. I've made a roasted strawberry BBQ sauce and a peach honey habanero before.
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If you haven't tried a fruit-based BBQ sauce yet, you don't know what you are missing! So good!
How to Make Apple Butter Bourbon BBQ Sauce
There are several ways to make this sauce. You can make it on the stove, in the Ninja Foodi PC & AC, the Instant Pot, any slow cooker, or in the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender.
I chose to make it in the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender because it made everything so simple. Literally, you dump the ingredients in and press a button and without having to stir or anything, it's done in 30 minutes.
Instructions for the Hot & Cold Blender
Add the water, lemon juice, Crown Apple Whiskey, bourbon, garlic cloves, apple butter, and spices. Then select the sauce/dip function and when the cycle is done, your bbq sauce is done. Easy Peasy!
I do recommend adding in the liquid ingredients before the apple butter so the apple butter doesn't scorch on the bottom when the blender begins to cook.
Slow Cooker Instructions
Mince the garlic and add the remaining ingredients and stir. Slow Cook on low for 1 hour and you're done! I do suggest checking it after 30 minutes just to make sure it isn't getting too thick. If it is, add in a little more bourbon or water.
Ninja Foodi, Instant Pot, or Stovetop Instructions
Turn the pressure cooker on medium sear/sauté or turn the stove on medium.
Add a little oil and mince the garlic into the pot. Sauté it for a few minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Keep an eye on it and lower your heat as needed.
Serve with whatever you choose and enjoy!
Apple Butter Bourbon BBQ Sauce
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp Crown Apple Whiskey
- 1 Tbsp Bourbon
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup apple butter
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp fine grind sea salt
- ½ tsp chipotle powder
- 2-3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar Optional, see notes in recipe
- Add the ingredient is the order they are listed and select the Dip function.
- When the time is up, carefully remove the lid and Enjoy your BBQ sauce!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
She published her first cookbook in the Fall of 2018 and is very interested in writing several more.
Louise is also the creator of an online Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooking Course with over 100 instructional step-by-step videos. People absolutely rave about the course and all the value they have received from it.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can. Get more Information about Louise & contact information
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Hi Louise.. Love all your recipes and now I'm trying this sauce.. How long does the BBQ sauce keep for?
In the refrigerator it will keep for weeks. I hope you enjoy it!
If you don't have that blender, would you blend in another type of blender then put on stove to reduce?
stovetop directions are in the written post above the recipe. You don't have to blend it unless you want it completely smooth. Enjoy!
Can the apple butter be made in the foodi hot and cold?
I have been trying to get jams, jellies, and butters to work in the blender and it just doesn't get hot enough for me. I was successful a few times, but can't recreate it.
Not quite sure where to leave this because I took a little bit of this and a little bit of the country style rib recipe and had a awesome dinner tonight!! Since I wanted to try the Apple Butter Bourbon BBQ sauce on my ribs, the rub you had didn't sound like its profile would go well, so I seasoned my ribs on 3 sides *left the bone side unseasoned) with salt, pepper, garlic powder, ground rosemary, and paprika. In the bottom of my Foodi I poured 8 oz of beer then added several shakes of liquid smoke. Then I lined my ribs around the edge of the basked, took my 5 small yellow gold potatoes, drizzled with oil and medium ground sea salt and wrapped in foil and put them in the center of the basket. Set it to PC for 22 minutes. While that was cooking I made this BBQ sauce on the stove top and set it to simmer. I let the PC rest 10 minutes then released the rest of the steam. Removed the potatoes and slathered the ribs with the APB sauce and air crisped at 400 for 5 minutes. Served the remaining sauce at the table and added a salad! Hubby said it was a delicious meal!! Thank you, Louise!!
Your instincts are spot on! The carolina BBQ rub would not pair well with the Apple Butter Bourbon BBQ sauce. I'm thrilled you made those changes and made an awesome dinner for you and your husband!
What if you don't drink? Can you make it without the whiskey and bourbon?
Yep and I give my suggestions in the recipe post.