Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce

May 23, 2016(updated on March 31, 2022)

This apple butter barbecue sauce is a quick, homemade substitute for store bought versions. Try it on meatloaf or use it to braise meat in the slow cooker.

The lid of an All Clad d5 pan.

Back in the Fall, I did a little project with the folks at All-Clad, in which they sent me the NS1 Chef’s Pan from their their new line of NS1 Nonstick Induction cookware and I used it to make a batch of really delicious batch of Kabocha Squash, Coconut, and Wild Rice Stew.

In March, I did it again. That time, they sent me an NS1 Stock Pot and I make a pot of roasted tomato and basil soup to brighten up a cold winter day.

Ingredients for apple butter barbecue sauce, and the handle of the pan.

I always enjoy these cookware challenges because they give me opportunities to play with a really fabulous pans and push myself outside my regular culinary patterns. So, when they got in touch again back in April and asked if I might want to do it again, this time with their d5 Stainless Steel All-In-One Pan, I said yes.

apple butter barbecue sauce ingredients - apple cider vinegar, apple butter, minced onion, gochugang, and honey - in a stainless steel pan.

The particular challenge with this piece of cookware was to design a recipe that only used five ingredients, to mimic the five layers of metal that makes up the pan. I decided on building a five ingredient barbecue sauce, using a jar of apple butter as the base.

Finished apple butter barbecue sauce in an All Clad skillet. The sauce is a deep reddish brown.

The result was a tasty, tangy, spicy sauce that is perfect for summer cookouts and slow cooker pulled pork. And it’s always useful to be able to make a sauce like this from scratch with pantry ingredients for those times when you don’t have any ready made in the pantry.

painting barbecue sauce on roasted chicken legs in an stainless steel All Clad pan.

To make the sauce, you combine a pint of apple butter with apple cider vinegar, finely chopped onion, honey, and a couple heaping spoonfuls of gochugang in the pan and cook until it is thick and the onion is tender (also, add some salt and pepper to taste).

I like to scrape the finished sauce into a large measuring cup and zap it with an immersion blender to smooth it out, but that’s totally optional.

Roasted chicken legs in a stainless steel All Clad pan.

As you can see, I also used the pan to roast off some chicken legs that I then painted with my tangy sauce. I’d also use this sauce on top of turkey meatloaf, on grilled burgers, and will happily combine it with some chicken thighs in the slow cooker for pulled chicken sandwiches.

Disclosure: All-Clad sent me the pan you see pictured above and they’re provided a giveaway unit, both at no cost to me. No additional compensation was provided.

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Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce


  • 1 pint apple butter
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small onion finely chopped (I use a mini food processor)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2-3 heaping tablespoons gochugaru it’s a fermented Korean chili paste
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine the apple butter, vinegar, chopped onion, honey, and gochugaru in a low, wide pan.
  • Set the heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring regularly, until onions are soft.
  • Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Scrape sauce into a deep measuring cup or bowl and puree it with an immersion blender until smooth.
  • Funnel into a jar and refrigerate.

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360 thoughts on "Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce"

  • Is bathing in that beautiful sauce an option? No, really, I’d put it on almost everything, and, in fact, have some homemade apple butter that could go into a batch tonight!

  • I would love to try this barbecue sauce recipe with my Maple Bourbon Apple Butter, and put it on slow cooker pulled pork.

  • I’d make chicken picatta in that beautiful pan, and then slow cook a pork shoulder with that Delicious bbq sauce.

  • It’s narrow minded of me but I would use that sauce on pork. Yum. I’m going to try and make it with apple sauce.

  • Wouldn’t this be the perfect pot to reduce a no-pectin marmalade to the right thickness and texture? Or finish off some homemade ketchup to a rich consistency? Oh, wait! It has to be slow cooked Panang Curry.

  • I used to make pretty much everything in my similar pan. Including caramel popcorn, which ended up being the end of that pan, thanks to the boyfriend. The All-clad one would be a great replacement (and no boyfriend allowed near it!).

  • I would use the barbecue sauce for pork chops, putting it on before finishing them in the oven so that it would get nice and caramelized.

  • With it’s sweet-hot flavors, Korean chili paste is the perfect base for barbecue sauce—what a great idea! I plan to try this recipe on seitan strips!

  • The BBQ sauce sounds a bit sweet for us but I’d love to use the all-in-one pan for kale with poached eggs or my kids favorite meal – – Brick (eggs in a parsley bed with onions wrapped in an eggroll wrapper then fried in about 2″ of oil)

  • The sauce sounds phenomenal and we would definitely use it on a smoked boston butt. The pan on the other hand would be pressed into service in a variety of ways in my kitchen. It would be an awesome opportunity to try out such a high quality piece!

  • I’d probably use that for a lot of different things, but I would definitely do a batch of mattar tofu in it. It’s the perfect size for that.

  • I would probably put the BBQ sauce on pork chops (my favorite grilled meat!!!) and use the pan for jellies and such. Send it to me!

  • The barbecue sauce sounds lovely. I’d marinate tofu or tempeh and then grill or broil it. The all clad pan would be useful for lots of different kitchen tasks – except frying an egg!

  • The sauce sounds heavenly! My husband loves apple butter (: First, I’ll try it on pork. Yum!!

  • We raise Ossabaw pigs and the pork is wonderful! I would use this sauce to make pulled pork- one of our favorite meals 🙂

  • I would make pasta sauce and throw the pasta into the pan to finish it with pasta water and make the dish come together! Such a beautiful pan!

  • Looks like a super useful pan—and a delicious barbecue sauce! I’d try the sauce on ribs. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  • Looks like a super useful pan—and a delicious barbecue sauce! I’d try the sauce on ribs. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  • Everything from apple sauce to chili to fried potatoes to lentil soup. This pan has no boundaries!

  • Yes I would make a chicken dish too—all slathered in the bbq sauce
    . During the canning season I could use it as a water bath pot

  • I love this barbecue sauce recipe! I’d use it just for simple shredded crockpot chicken. We love to make a salad out of that.

  • I’d use the pan for one pan dinners one week nights. I can see this being a favorite pan, for sure! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • I would love to try the sauce on meatballs- stuff them in some naan with some red cabbage slaw. Perfect summer meal paired with an ice cold IPA.

  • I’d use the pan to make an extra big batch of homemade mac and cheese for one last rainy spring day.

  • This would be perfect for cooking up my sugar free bacon balsamic bbq sauce. I love to make a double batch and freeze some.

  • I’ve been really into all things shredded meat these days, so heck yes to the using your delicious barbecue sauce on some pulled pork–would make a nice change from my regular recipe!

  • Gochugaru?!? That sounds intriguing, so maybe I would attempt a recipe with that. I’m always up for a new ingredient…

  • This pan would solve a lot of problems in my kitchen. Lately I have been doing a lot of one-pot meals, and this pan would be brilliant for braises. Also, it would be awesome for risotto. Oooh, and curries.

  • I would love to try your BBQ sauce on tofu that would be cooked in the fabulous looking All-Clad d5 . The All-clad pans do clean up well and that is half the battle

  • My mom is teaching me how to cook some of her special meals. I would like to cook her chicken cordon bleu without cream. Just fabulous with an All-Clad pan and its tight fitting lid

  • I like to make Thai curries — this looks like it would be the perfect size and style of pan for making a good curry.

  • I would most DEFINITELY make paneer Chana masala in this pot, one of my favorite dishes everywhere, and of course I would use my recently acquired skill of making the paneer cheese from scratch! While I’m skilled at paneer, I’ve never been lucky enough to try and all-clad, the stuff of my dreams!

  • I would make apple butter in it this fall. I am going to try this bbq sauce recipe and see what it tastes like it would go with. Thanks.

  • This pan is perfect for Mediterranean chicken with olives, lemon and garlic. Put 6 bone-in chicken thighs skin-up in the pan, dribble with olive oil, and season with sea salt, chopped rosemary, fennel seeds and red pepper flakes. Nestle slices of a whole lemon and 6 halved cloves of garlic between the thighs. Roast uncovered at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes until the chicken skin is well browned. Add a handful of pitted Kalamata olives and a cup of chicken stock. Cover and bake for 1 hour. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve over toast with a dry white wine.

  • It’s getting to be summery outside and that means cooking on the grill! I’ve been wanting to make turkey burgers and your sauce would be a great addition!

  • I love a 4 qt pan for so many things. I can see cooking chili or soup in this pan, or a nice small braise for two.

  • I really am a sucker for a good pot roast and this looks like one would nestle into it quite nicely!

  • So looking for a pan without a handle so I can go from stove to oven easier. This one would be a lot of fun to own!

  • As a single veghead household, I would use this pan for risottos or soups. I love making soups and reducing them for flavor. I love the wider bottom for browning the veggies first. Myfirst meal would be a butternut squash soup. I would brown onion, garlic, carrots, celery, squash, granny smith apple, sweet potato and russet potato before adding the liquid. Season and cook everything and then blend with an immersion blender Yum!

  • Two handles, manageable size … what wouldn’t I make in this pot? Perfect for reducing, can go in the oven: braises, jams, truly an everyday pot.

  • A summer risotto would be lovely in this pot. The bigger base will be good for the evaporation. Maybe a corn and green chili risotto might need to be made in this pot.

  • I love All Clad pots & pans! I m poking for a smaller pan to use for small batches. This sounds perfect. I. An’t wait to try the Apple Butter Bar-B- Que sauce. Thanks so much for the fantastic blog.

  • Would be a good pot for making sauces and such. Would love to replace the non-stick one I have now.

  • Ohhhh, I love that pan! I would make a braised chicken for dinner or maybe get it super hot and make smashed burgers.

  • I would use the pan top make some home fries. We have a bbq planned for this weekend, and adding some home fries to the mix would be a nice alternative to chips.

  • I’d love to use this pan for all my one pot dinners and the bbq sauce sounds amazing on a pulled pork roast!

  • I have been going through my old recipes lately and found a chicken, cream, pecans etc with vermouth. I used to make it quite often but haven’t made it in about 15 years so I would try that one again.

  • I would brown roasts for sure and cook down sauces quickly, would be a great addition in my kitchen

  • I’m a big fan of All Clad – their steamer is one of the best cooking items I have ever bought. Love the idea of all in one – risotto would be in order here and some stews!

  • I love your recipes so I’d like to try the APple Butter Bar-b-que sauce with some chicken !!


  • That barbecue sauce sounds good! I would use it to make sure all my apple butter gets eaten. I always make a lot, but people are only excited about eating it in fall. This recipe makes apple butter sound amazing for a hot summer night.

  • I’m intrigued by the double handles on this pan; it seems really easy to take it from stovetop to the oven. And I’d use that lovely BBQ sauce on burgers, since we’re just starting grilling season.

  • That BBQ sauce sounds delicious! I’d definitely try it on chicken, but think it would work well for pulled pork as well.

  • I’ve been making a ton of risottos lately with whatever veggies are fresh at the market — this pan would be perfect for that!