Spicy Honey BBQ Sauce is equal parts sweet and heat! Honey bbq sauce recipe is sweetened with honey and brown sugar, and made nice and spicy with both jalapeño and habanero peppers. And don't worry, you can easily adjust the heat levels to your own personal preferences.
Spicy Honey BBQ Sauce Recipe
If you love your barbecue sauces a little bit sweet and a little bit (or a LOT) spicy, this is the recipe for you, my friends. I've made a lot of homemade bbq sauces over the years, and there's nothing better than making it yourself.
Most bbq sauces on the market just aren't spicy enough for my personal tastes. That is why I'm cooking with habanero peppers for this recipe.
There are also some jalapeño peppers in there for good measure! To balance out all of that heat is the perfect amount of honey.
Oh, and I have a not-so-secret ingredient that really ties it all together... tequila. Yes, tequila! If you have a good bottle on hand, make yourself a spicy jalapeño margarita and thank me later.
Ingredients in Spicy Honey BBQ Sauce
- Jalapeño peppers
- Habanero peppers
- Olive oil
- Tomato paste
- Apple cider vinegar
- Worcestershire sauce
- Spicy chili flakes
- Ground mustard
- Smoked paprika
- Brown sugar
- Salt and pepper
How to Make Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce
Cook the onion and pepper. Heat up a large saucepan to medium heat and add olive oil with onion and peppers. I used my cast iron pan for this because I love the way it conducts heat, so everything cooks nice and evenly. Cook them down about 5 minutes or so, until everything softens.
Add garlic. Toss in the garlic and cook another minute, until garlic becomes fragrant. You'll be able to smell its awesomeness. I LOVE the smell of cooking garlic.
Stir in your remaining ingredients. Mix in the tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, honey, spicy chili flakes, ground mustard, smoked paprika, tequila, brown sugar, and a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes. You can simmer longer if you'd like, but don't let the sauce reduce too much.
Give it a taste. Good? Great! Add it to a food processor and process until it is nice and smooth. You can serve this right away, or let it sit awhile to allow the flavors to more fully develop.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- You can switch the vinegar. Apple cider vinegar brings an additional sweetness along with the welcomed tang, but you can use other vinegars if you'd like.
- Tame it. For a NO HEAT version of this recipe, use a sweet bell pepper instead. Any color will do, though I prefer a red bell. You will still get amazing flavor.
- Make it spicier. Add in more habanero peppers, or use hotter peppers. Ghost peppers or 7-pot peppers are GREAT here. You can also add a few splashes of your favorite spicy hot sauce.
- You can swap the honey. If you prefer to skip the honey, agave nectar is a good alternative. Molasses is popular for barbecue sauce recipes as well. Or, just double up on the brown sugar.
How should I use spicy honey bbq sauce?
This spicy honey bbq sauce recipe is GREAT on pretty much any grilled foods - figure chicken, pork, shrimp - though I LOVE it with chicken wings. Heck, I love it on almost anything. It's so sweet and tangy.
Here are a few recipes to get you thinking.
In an airtight container in the fridge, sweet and spicy bbq sauce should stay fresh for up to 1 week. Be sure to use a clean spoon every time you reach for some! Any new bacteria will cause the sauce to spoil quickly.
If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you'll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don't forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I'll be sure to share! Thanks! -- Mike H.
Spicy Honey BBQ Sauce Recipe
- 2-3 jalapeno peppers diced
- 4 habanero peppers diced
- 1 sweet onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons spicy chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 ounces tequila
- ½ cup brown sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a large saucepan to medium heat and add olive oil with onion and peppers. Cook about 5 minutes, or until everything softens.
- Add the garlic and cook another minute, until garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir until everything is combined.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes.
- Strain into a storage container. You can serve this right away, or let it sit awhile to allow the flavors to more fully develop.