Apricot Barbecue Sauce with Gochujang

In my family, barbecue sauce is a contentious condiment. My dad loves it so much that he once invested in his buddy’s sauce-making business. Then you have my mother, who could happily live the rest of her days without so much as a drop of the stuff. I’m not always a fan of the store-bought varieties, but I do love having a few homemade jars in the pantry for summer cookouts and slow cooked pulled chicken thighs. This fruity version with a kick of Korean spice paste is a particular favorite.

June 01, 2016


Combine the apricots, apple cider vinegar, agave nectar, onion, garlic, and Gochujang in a wide, non-reactive pot with a tight-fitting lid and stir to combine. Place the lidded pot on the stove over medium-high heat and cook for approximately 10 minutes, until the apricots and onions have softened.

Using a potato masher, break down the apricot pieces into a chunky pulp. Continue to cook, with the lid off, until the mixture has reduced by approximately half.

About 15-20 minutes before the sauce is done cooking, prepare a boiling water bath canner and 4 half-pint/250 ml jars.

Remove the pot from the heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until smooth (you may have to tip the pot a little in order to do this without splashing). If you don’t have an immersion blender, scrape the mixture into a blender or food processor and blend that way.

If the sauce is nice and thick, it is done. If it’s still a little watery, return it to the pot and cook it a bit longer.

When it is finished cooking, remove the pan from the heat. Funnel the sauce into the prepared jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.

Note: Gochujang can be found at most Asian markets. It is inexpensive and flavorful, and it adds a nice punch to this recipe.

Makes 4 (half-pint/250 ml) jars

Recipe adapted from Natural Sweet Food in Jars (Running Press) by Marisa McClellan


  • 4 pounds/1.8 kg apricots, pitted and diced
  • 1½ cups/355 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup/340 g agave nectar
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Gochujang

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