Recipe: Habanero BBQ Sauce

Habanero BBQ Sauce

Last week I was lucky enough to receive some home grown habanero chilis from a friend.

After considering the possibilities I decided the first order of business would be to whip up a spicy BBQ sauce.

Truth be told, while I like chili, I’m certainly not a chili fiend and can’t handle these death sauces and guatemalan insanity peppers or whatever it is the kids are in to these days.  I had been warned these chilis were very hot so for the first batch I wanted to tread lightly and get a nice balance of heat and flavour.

The BBQ sauce is loosely based on a Memphis style BBQ sauce as I wanted some big vinegar flavours to go with the chili.  I also added in a whole lot of garlic because garlic is awesome.

Bear with me on this one as I am not particularly methodical with my cooking, I don’t always write things down properly and I’d been partaking in a number of beers.  Luckily it’s pretty straight forward.


3 habanero chilis (I removed the seeds but you can keep them in for more heat)
1 cup tomato paste
1 cup brown sugar
5 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups water (this will mostly get reduced back down)
whole head of garlic
juice of 2 tangelos (I was going to use oranges but the tangelos looked much nicer)
2 onions
1/4 cup rock salt



Finely chop the onions, garlic and habaneros and fry in a pan with some olive oil until everything has softened up.

Add in all remaining ingredients on a medium heat reducing out some of the water.

Let everything simmer for a good 15 minutes or so then begin tasting and adjust to your preferences.  The longer these flavours can simmer and combine, the better I think.


It’s important to keep tasting and adjust the vinegar/salt/sweet components.  The ingredients above are what I ended up with after a good couple of hours of tasting and adjusting.   I really wanted a lot of vinegar this time around but you can vary the flavours to suit your palate.

The sauce didn’t end up as spicy as I thought it might – it has a good bit of heat and a great tang from all that vinegar and garlic.

Do you have any killer sauce recipes?  I’m keen to try more than just drunkenly freestyling about in the kitchen (although this time it delivered).

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2 Responses to Recipe: Habanero BBQ Sauce

  1. Bill says:

    Looks good. Try one of those peppers straight if you want heat. You can do it!

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