Ancho Chili and Honey BBQ Sauce

Ancho Chili and Honey BBQ Sauce

By Mark Hinds | Updated September 22, 2023

With their dark color and rich, smoky flavor Ancho chilies are the perfect foundation for a great BBQ sauce. This Ancho Chili and Honey BBQ Sauce recipe uses dried Ancho, Chipotle, and Pasilla Chilies to create a sweet, smokey, sauce with a little heat on the finish.

The dried chilies and honey form a thick BBQ sauce with deep, complex flavors, and little texture that makes it feel like you’re eating real food and not another cloying sweet grocery store BBQ sauce chocked full of corn syrup.

Ancho chili and honey BBQ sauce goes great on pork, chicken, turkey, and beef. It’s fantastic on brisket, where the chilies bring out the brisket’s rich flavors.

A few of our favorite recipes to serve with this barbecue sauce are Smoked Pork Ribs, Grilled Ancho Chili Rubbed Chicken, and Smoked Beef Roast.

Ancho Chili and Honey BBQ Sauce

Ancho Chili and Honey BBQ Sauce

3.9 from 14 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 36 ounces of bbq sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 Ancho chilies
  • 1 Chipotle chili
  • 1 Pasilla chili
  • 1 cup chili water from soaking the dried chilies
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 3 clove garlic
  • 32 oz ketchup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 2 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Soak the dried chilies in 2 cups of hot water for at least 30 minutes, making sure to reserve the water.
  • Dice the onion and garlic and sauté them in the same pot the BBQ sauce is being made in.
  • Remove the chilies from the water, rough chop them, and throw them into the pot, seeds and all. Give everything a good stir and let it cook for 1 to 2 minutes, continue stirring.
  • Add the ketchup, 1 cup of chili water, honey, molasses, brown sugar, lemon juice, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire, and liquid smoke.
  • Let everything cook for ten minutes or so on low heat. Stir regularly to keep everything from boiling over. Use a blender to puree everything until it’s smooth
  • Add the salt and cook on a low simmer, occasionally stirring to prevent a mess, for at least 30 minutes, but better for an hour or two.

Notes

We recommend using a large pot when making BBQ sauce because whenever we use a small pot, the whole kitchen ends up full of BBQ sauce.
Tried this RecipeLet us know what you think of this recipe. Leave your thoughts and rating in the comments.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate based on available ingredients and preparation.

Mark is an experienced food writer, recipe developer, and photographer who is also Umami’s publisher and CEO. A passionate cook who loves to cook for friends, he can often be found in the kitchen or by the grill testing new recipes.

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Responses

  1. Heather Coleman

    I’ve made this recipe a couple times and now know how to modify it for my tastes. I added a couple of fresh chiles (habaneros or scotch bonnets) for a pop of heat and I also switched the honey and molasses amounts so the sweet doesn’t punch the taste buds.

    1. Mark Hinds

      Glad you’re enjoying the barbecue sauce and thanks for the ideas.