Grape Jelly Barbecue Sauce, Updated

Grape Jelly Barbecue Sauce

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There’s a reason this oddity of a recipe, Grape Jelly Barbecue Sauce has stood the test of time…it’s super easy & insanely delicious! Add a few “modern ingredients” and it’s even better!


  • 1 bottle Heinz chili sauce
  • 1 small jar (10 to 11 ounces) of grape jelly or equivalent (see note)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider or white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke


In a medium-sized saucepan over low heat, combine the Heinz Chili Sauce and the jelly. Thoroughly warm and once the jelly is melted, add the vinegar. Frugal tip: pour the vinegar first into the empty chili sauce jar and shake to encourage the rest of the sauce left in the bottle to come out.

While stirring, add the mustard powder, chipotle powder, and black pepper. Heat through and simmer three to four minutes or until close to desired thickness. Remove from heat, add liquid smoke and remove to another container to cool; it will thicken as it does.

Optional: If you’re cooking any barbecue to go along with this sauce, add a tablespoon or two of the cooking liquid/drippings to this sauce. It will add a little complexity.


For a variation, try another jelly; Cherry jelly or preserves are wonderful; just don’t use anything too chunky.

In a pinch sub in ketchup for the chili sauce. Use about 1 1/2 cups. Sauce will be a little thinner.

Keywords: Condiments, Barbecue, Barbecue Sauce