“Rhubarbecue” Homemade Rhubarb BBQ Sauce


 

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

This rhubarb barbecue sauce canning recipe is so quick and easy to make and preserve, and tastes delicious as a marinade for grilled meats or as a condiment for homemade burgers or anything else you might use regular bbq sauce on! #rhubarb #rhubarbrecipes #rhubarbbarbecuesauce #rhubarbecuesauce #victorianbarbecuesauce #homemadebbqsauceOver the past few years, I’ve come across different versions of this rhubarb BBQ sauce under various different names. Sometimes called Victorian or Victoria Sauce, other times called Rhubarbecue Sauce or the more literal Rhubarb BBQ sauce, this was one recipe that had always piqued my interest, but it called for a fair amount of rhubarb and we didn’t have a rhubarb plant of our own (and I didn’t really want to buy enough to try out the recipe).

But this year we bought our first house and were pleased to find that it came with three large, established rhubarb plants. Earlier this year I used a bunch of rhubarb to make this Rhubarb Juice Concentrate to add to drinks and cocktails, and I finally had enough to try some rhubarbecue sauce for myself.

I followed the recipe for Victorian BBQ sauce in my Ball canning book, but instead of using white vinegar I used apple cider vinegar to give it a slightly sweeter, “maltier” flavour.

*Safety note: If ever you decide to alter the type of vinegar in a canning recipe, make sure that the vinegar you are substituting has the same level or higher level of acidity as the one called for in a tested recipe. In this case, the white vinegar is a standard 5% acidity and I used store-bought 5% acidity apple cider vinegar in its place, maintaining a safe level of acidity in this recipe.

The end product was delicious! It was even better than I actually expected it would be, as I figured it would be a little overly fruity with all of the rhubarb and raisins in the recipe. But the fruitiness balances perfectly with the onions, vinegar and spices and makes this a beautiful homemade barbecue sauce to spread over grilled meats or spread on burger buns.

I got just under 3 pint jars of sauce with this recipe, so I canned two of them and put the other one in the fridge to enjoy this summer. Let me tell you, it didn’t last a week.

We didn’t just eat it with barbecue (although it was delicious spread on burgers with some One-Minute Homemade Mayo), we also used it as a condiment over eggs, macaroni and, yes, I even ate it straight out of the jar with a spoon.

That’s always a testament to a good canning recipe: Would you eat it straight with a spoon? In this case, hell yes. I’ve even taken to giving friends and family “sample tasters” on dessert spoons when they come to visit. But I’m definitely not giving any of these jars away!

I loved this recipe so much, in fact, that I decided having two jars put away was not going to cut it. So I harvested some more rhubarb (I just love that it has such a long growing season!) and made another batch of this sauce.

So now I have 4 pint jars put away and I’ve replaced the one in my fridge with a new one as this recipe always seems to make just under 3 pint jars per batch… even though the recipe in the book says it should make 4 pint jars. Maybe I just reduce mine a little too much? Please, let me know how many jars you get when you try this recipe out for yourself!

This rhubarb barbecue sauce canning recipe is so quick and easy to make and preserve and tastes delicious as a marinade for grilled meats or as a condiment for burgers and anything else you might use bbq sauce for.

 

How to Make Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

Start by preparing your jars and lids if you’re planning on canning this sauce to make it shelf-stable (otherwise store in the fridge). Then, for the ingredients you’ll need 8 cups of chopped fresh rhubarb (toxic leaves removed, of course), 3 ½ cups of brown sugar, 1 ½ cups chopped raisins, ½ cup of chopped white onion, ½ cup of 5% acidity apple cider vinegar (or substitute white vinegar) and 1 teaspoon each of salt, cinnamon, ginger and allspice.

This rhubarb barbecue sauce canning recipe is so quick and easy to make and preserve and tastes delicious as a marinade for grilled meats or as a condiment for burgers and anything else you might use bbq sauce for.

Throw it all in a large, stainless steel pot and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Then reduce heat to about medium to medium-high and boil the mixture gently until all of the ingredients begin to break down and mixture thickens up to the consistency of a standard store-bought barbecue sauce. This process of boiling gently and stirring frequently until the sauce thickens takes a total of about 30 minutes to get it to the right consistency.

This rhubarb barbecue sauce canning recipe is so quick and easy to make and preserve and tastes delicious as a marinade for grilled meats or as a condiment for burgers and anything else you might use bbq sauce for.

Now, you could can it just like this as the ingredients do break down quite well during the boiling process. But personally I prefer a really smooth barbecue sauce, so to ensure there are no lumps or clumps of rhubarb or raisins in my sauce, I use my beloved Breville immersion blender to blend the sauce to a really smooth consistency.

Then it’s time to can it up! Be sure to leave ½-inch headspace and process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove and let cool completely before storing.

Enjoy it as a marinade on chicken or pork (I think it would be fantastic on pork ribs) or as a condiment on, well, pretty much anything if you’re at all like me;)

I’m all about using sauces and dips with pretty much every meal, and I find this particular sauce really versatile! So it’s definitely worth the effort of collecting 8 cups worth of rhubarb for, even if you have to buy it at the market:)

 

Canning tools I use and love:

This rhubarb BBQ sauce canning recipe is so quick and easy to make and tastes delicious as a marinade for grilled meats or as a condiment for burgers or anything else you might use regular bbq sauce on. A great way to use up your rhubarb and make your own homemade BBQ sauce for all your summer barbecues! #rhubarbrecipes #rhubarbbbqsauce #rhubarbecuesauce #homemadebbqsauce

“Rhubarbecue” Homemade Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce

Yield: 6 half pints

Ingredients

  • 8 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 3 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups chopped raisins
  • ½ cup chopped white onion
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar (5% acidity or substitute white vinegar)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground allspice

Instructions

  1. Prepare your canner, jars and lids. Wash your jars and bands in hot, soapy water, rinse and bring to a simmer in your water bath canner to sterilize. Always use new lids for safe preserving.
  2. Combine rhubarb, brown sugar, raisins, onion, vinegar, salt and spices in a large, stainless steel pot and bring to a boil on high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium/medium-high and boil gently, stirring frequently until ingredients break down and form into a thick sauce.
  3. Use an immersion blender to blend sauce until smooth (or omit this part if you don't mind a few chunks of rhubarb and raisins in your sauce).
  4. Ladle into hot Mason jars leaving ½-inch headspace at the top. Slide a knife around the inner "edge" of the jar to remove any air bubbles. Adjust headspace as needed. Wipe rims, place lids on top and screw bands on.
  5. Place jars in canner and bring water to a boil. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes, then turn heat off, remove lid and let cool in your canner for another 5 minutes. Remove jars and allow to cool completely before storing.

 

Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂

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HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

34 Comments

  1. Kathi Hoornbeek

    Hi! This looks really good! I’m wondering if it would be safe to lower the amount of sugar some? I know that rhubarb goes well with a lot of sugar, I just am curious about starting with a bit less and then adding more to taste.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Kathi,

      Yes, you can lower the sugar with no worries about safety. The sugar is more just to preserve the quality of the sauce and help it to thicken into a sweet barbecue sauce:)

      Reply
  2. Nora

    Can I omit the ginger unfortunately I’m allergic to it.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Yes, feel free to omit the ginger:)

      Reply
  3. Caitlin S

    Thank you for posting this. We had so much Rhubarb last summer and ended up making a batch (8 pint jars). We cranked up the spice a little bit per our personal preference, but its really a great recipe! We’ve only made smoked ribs and crockpot meatballs for Christmas Eve with it so far but both times it was a hit! We’ll be making this every year. Bye bye storebought bbq sauce!

    Reply
  4. Roberta Novak

    I was blessed to be able to harvest additional rhubarb today and made a double batch of this sauce. Used my lovely new immersion blender- definitely have a smooth sauce. I wound up with 2 pints and 10 half pints. I cannot rave about this sauce enough!!

    Reply
    • Ashley Constance

      That’s wonderful to hear, Roberta! Enjoy!

      Reply
  5. Roberta Novak

    I just made this yesterday and absolutely love it. I also ended up with just under 3 pints. The next time I will utilize 1/2 pints as I opened my big mouth and promised a jar to my grandson and my sister!!
    Next season this will be the first thing I make (multiple batches)!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      So glad you enjoyed this recipe! It’s one of my favourites too:)

      Reply
  6. Leanne

    I made this earlier today with my homegrown rhubarb. Very delicious and such a creative way to use it up. I would think this would taste good on just about anything you put it on. I plan on trying it out on grilled pork chops but I could easily put this on yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies or on a tea biscuit or scone. Really good stuff.

    Reply
    • April

      Hi there.
      I just made this today and it’s delicious.
      How long is this good to store in my pantry?

      Reply
      • Anna Sakawsky

        If you canned it according to the instructions in the post it will be good in your pantry for at least a year. I have some that’s a couple years old and is still fine. After a year the quality may start to degrade but it will still be safe to eat.

        Reply
  7. Lynda

    Could dried plums be substituted for the raisens?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      This should be okay (I presume you mean prunes). Prunes are slightly more acidic than raisins and since there is added vinegar it shouldn’t be a problem to substitute them. Just be sure to stick to the same amounts.

      Reply
      • Jasmyne

        Wondering if I might be able to sub frozen rhubarb. We live in a cooler climate so I often cut up and freeze my rhubarb for winter use.

        Reply
        • Anna Sakawsky

          Yes, absolutely! You can use frozen rhubarb in place of fresh:)

          Reply
          • Jasmyne

            Would you use the same measurements?

          • Anna Sakawsky

            Yes same quantities. Just measure from frozen:)

    • Beth

      Just got done making a batch and I am so pleased with the results. I made a few adjustments for my taste which included doubling the onion, doubling the vinegar, adding two large cloves of garlic, and adding 1 tsp smoked paprika to the spices. Because I doubled the vinegar, it may have needed a few extra minutes of stove-time. It is still sweeter than your average bbq sauce, but the spice combo definitely “says” grilled meat. Will be making this again soon!

      Reply
  8. Isabel M

    You inspired me to use up some rhubarb sauce languishing in the back of the fridge. Skipped the sugar since the sauce had it; added a little cumin because I can never leave well enough alone. So good!

    I’m allergic to tomatoes so alternatives are always welcome!

    Reply
    • Tish Painter

      Ooh! That sounds good! I like the idea of adding cumin. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Aimee

    Wondering if I can adapt this to a electric pressure cooker. Any tips?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Aimee,

      If you mean you’d like to adapt it to cook in a pressure cooker, that should be no problem. Since it’s a sauce, you can’t really overcook it. If you’re talking about canning in an electric pressure cooker, this is a no-no. You should never can in a pressure cooker. Only a pressure canner. While this is more important for foods that must be pressure canned (ie. meat, vegetables and other low-acid foods), I would jus steer clear of canning in a pressure cooker altogether. But to cook this in an electric pressure cooker would be just fine. Not sure if the timing but I would imagine it shouldn’t take more than about 5 to 10 minutes on high pressure to get it to a state where it’s soft enough to blend!

      Reply
  10. JACQUELINE

    I know this is all about canning but if you weren’t set on canning, I would think you substitute other fruit (mango’s anyone?) and add hot peppers but freeze it instead. Or have a celebration and BBQ massive quantities and don’t worry about the canning at all!!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Jacqueline!

      If you’re not canning this then you are free to get as creative as possible with this sauce! Mangoes sound delicious! and hot peppers too:) Just make sure if you are planning on canning it, you stick to a tested recipe for safety reasons. Otherwise the sky’s the limit!

      Reply
  11. Rochelle

    How long will this last in the fridge if it is not canned?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Rochelle,

      I’ve had extra leftover that I put in a jar without canning and it lasted us a good two or three weeks (probably closer to a month actually). Not sure how much longer it would last as we tend to go through it by then! But I’ve never had any jars spoil in the fridge, regardless of whether they were canned first or not.

      Reply
  12. Amanda

    Oh, thank you so much! This is exactly the recipe I’ve been looking for. We have such an abundance of rhubarb here and this will be perfect to use some up!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      No problem! This is one of my absolute faves. Just ran out of last year’s batch and have to make some more!

      Reply
  13. kathy

    Hi Anna,
    Can I add hot peppers to add some spiciness? Or would that change the ph enough to worry about?
    Thank you,
    kathy

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Kathy,

      It’s not recommended to add peppers to canning recipes as this can affect the PH balance. You can safely leave out peppers from a tested recipe, but adding them in can possibly be a cause for concern as peppers (even hot ones) are a low-acid fruit. I would love to say “go ahead and add one or two because you’ll probably be just fine,” but I also feel it’s better to err on the side of caution and stick to tested recipes.

      Reply
      • Amanda

        Or add a dash of cayenne pepper perhaps should be fine

        Reply
  14. Molly

    What else could I use in place of the raisins?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Molly,

      This recipe is adapted from a Ball canning recipe that calls for raisins, so I wouldn’t feel comfortable advising any type of swap in this case. The reason for this is that, while in normal cooking recipes, you might swap dates or dried cranberries or something for raisins, in canning this can affect the PH balance of the finished product which can make the recipe unsafe for consumption. I tried researching safe substitutes for raisins in canning but unfortunately didn’t find any trusted sources that could recommend a swap. I would advise sticking with the raisins in this case to be on the safe side. I will say, however, that if you’re on the fence about using raisins because you don’t like them, you would honestly never know there were raisins in this recipe when all is said and done. They get puréed completely and blended in. I hope this helps! Sorry I can’t suggest a safe substitute. Such is the science of canning though. Better safe than sorry.

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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Yes, you read that right…

Modern Homesteading Magazine is coming to an end.

This decision has not come easily, but there’s a season for everything, and more and more I’m feeling called to transition out of this season and into the next in both life and business.

And so this final farewell issue is bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s the first ever annual issue, with 100 pages packed with brand new content that celebrates the best of the past 32 issues!

And it’s the first issue I’ve ever offered in PRINT!

But on the other hand, it marks the end of an era, and of this publication that I’ve absolutely had the pleasure of creating and sharing with you.

If you’re a digital subscriber, you will not be charged a renewal fee going forward, and will continue to have access to the digital library until your subscription runs out. As part of your subscription, you’re able to download and/or print each issue of you like, so that you never lose access to the hundreds of articles and vast amount of information in each issue.

Rather than subscribing, you can now purchase an all-access pass for a one-time fee of just $20, which gives you access to our entire digital library of issues.

Plus, for a limited time, when you purchase an all-access pass you’ll also get a gift certificate for a second all-access pass to gift to someone else.

I’m also still taking preorders for the print version of this special edition issue, but only for a few more weeks!

When you preorder the print issue, you’ll also get a digital copy of the special edition issue (this issue only), and will receive a print copy in the mail later this year (hopefully by Christmas so long as there are no shipping delays!)

Click the link in my profile or visit modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to check out the latest issue, purchase an all-access pass to the digital library and/or preorder the print issue today!

Thanks to everyone who has read the magazine over the past 4 years. I’m humbled and grateful for your support, and can’t wait to share whatever comes next:)

#modernhomesteading #homesteading #homesteadersofinstagram
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It’s easy to romanticize homesteading, but the truth is that those homegrown vegetables, those freshly laid eggs, that loaf of bread rising on the counter, and that pantry full of home-canned food takes time, effort and dedication. It doesn’t “just happen” overnight!

But if you work on learning one new skill at a time and gain confidence in it before moving onto the next, one day you’ll be looking back and marvelling at how far you’ve come.

That’s where I’m at now. Life today looks a lot different than it did 10 years ago, when our homesteading and self-reliance journey was just beginning.

Back then we still lived in our city condo and were just beginning to dabble in all of this stuff. But my husband Ryan and I felt a sense urgency to start pursuing a more self-reliant lifestyle, and we committed to taking small steps, one day at a time to make that vision a reality.

Over the years we’ve continued to put one foot in front of the other, adding new skills and tackling new projects along the way that have helped us get to where we are today.

While there’s always more we want to learn and do, as I look around me right now, I’m so grateful that we took those first steps, especially considering what’s happened in the world over the past few years!

If you’re also feeling the urgency to take the first (or next) steps toward a more self-reliant life, this is your final reminder that today is the last day to join The Society of Self-Reliance and start levelling up your homesteading and self-sufficiency skills so that you’ve got what it takes to:

• Grow your own groceries
• Stock your pantry
• Create a natural home
• Get prepared
• Learn other important life skills like time management for homesteaders, goal setting and how to become your own handyman

And more!

If you’ve been feeling called to level up your self-reliance skills (because let’s be honest, we’re in for a wild ride these next few years with everything going on in the world), now is the time to heed that call.

Link in profile to enroll before midnight tonight, or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/society

#homesteading #selfreliance #selfsufficiency #homesteadingskills #preparedness
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