Ancho Chili and Honey BBQ Sauce

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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.

Ancho Chili and Honey BBQ Sauce

Ancho Chili and Honey BBQ Sauce

3.9 from 10 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


  • 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


  • 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.


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.
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