Chipotle Cherry BBQ Sauce


This is a big recipe for me. I’ve always had my dads sauce recipe, and I still use it often to this day, but in the summer of  2015, I had an abundance of frozen cherries(still do) and wanted to do something with them. When I had an early weekend of nice weather, I called the guys and fired up the smoker, then got to work in the kitchen with this recipe. It has been a hit everywhere it goes, and has become a staple gift already from requests. To the point I feel leary about posting this recipe, but I think it needs to be out in the wild.

This sauce is still evolving, every batch is a little bit different, so feel free to experiment a bit. I haven’t  quite gotten the flavor that I want, but this is a great sauce none the less.

This makes just shy of 2 quarts. Scales up and down very well though.

CAUTION: This recipe is spicy, while I’ve not personally had problems with it, I’d be careful with children, the elderly, or people with aversions to spicyness. 



The spices. I use dixie cups to measure ahead of time due to low counter space

  • 1 lb frozen tart cherries
  • 2 cups juice
  • one can 7oz of chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 2 large onions
  • half head of garlic
  • 20 pepper corns, 10 crushed 10 whole
  • 10 allspice berries, 5 crushed 5 whole
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2-3 TBSP Mesquite honey
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 tsp course sea salt
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Montreal steak seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 14oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes


  • Onions

  • Cut your onions and garlic. For large onions, I dice, small onions sliver. For the garlic, take half and set it aside. The remaining cloves, slice thin.
  • Add fat to the pan, I used beef fat this time, when the fat shimmers, add the onions. Toss to coat, and let cook until translucent, about 5 minutes
  • Sprinkle the onions with brown sugar, mix it in trying to cover everything. Stir until all sugar has melted.
  • Add the sliced garlic and the crushed pepper and all spice berries, cook until the garlic is translucent
  • Sauce
    • Put the strained cherries into a large pot on medium heat, spread as thin as possible. Let cook 5 minutes or so, then stir and keep heating.
    • Once signs of cooking begin to show on the cherries, stir in the canned tomatoes, whole cloves of garlic, and adobo peppers and bring to a simmer.
    • When the onion and garlic mixture is ready, pour it into the middle of the pot, then add the rest of the spices and pour in the honey. Stir to combine, then turn up the heat and bring the whole thing to a boil.
    • When the peppers swell, add the cherry juice from the thaw, or 2 cups if using fresh cherries, and reduce heat to simmer.
    • Simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. At this point, you can have a very chunky sauce, or use an immersion blender, and blend everything up to your desired texture. Stop to stir while blending to bring big chunks to the surface.
    • I like to simmer an extra half hour to reduce a little bit and fine tune the flavor if needed, but it’s ready to serve or store right now.


  • This comes on sweet, then ends HOT. that’s the joy of it.
  • I have a much quicker recipe I will be posting later for the time pressed.
  • Instead of cherry juice, I’ve used cherry beer, orange, apple juice, experiment with the liquids to your liking.
  • I’m still experimenting with the spices. Old bay is different, Montreal Steak is a great addition, especially when sauteing the onions and garlic

2 responses

  1. […] 2 cups chipotle cherry bbq sauce […]


  2. […] 2 cups BBQ sauce, I use my cherry chipotle […]


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