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October 04, 2022 4 min read

Grandma Jones’ Pepper Jelly isn’t just a delicious condiment; it’s also a highly versatile cooking ingredient that can be used to make a diverse range of tasty dishes, including snacks, appetizers, sandwiches, entrees, and even desserts!

If you want our opinion, though, one of the best things you can make with pepper jelly is pepper jelly BBQ sauce. Our extensive line of  pepper jelly dips and spreads pairs especially well with juicy, slow-roasted meats like beef and pork. Its natural mix of sweet, spicy, savory, and slightly sour flavors complements the savory umami of hot and tender barbecue straight off the grill.

If you’re going to do something, you might as well do it right. Right? In that case, you may be wondering what the secret is to creating the perfect pepper jelly BBQ sauce recipe. After decades spent toiling away in the Jones family kitchen, we think we know a thing or two about making both BBQ sauce and pepper jelly.

Keep reading to find out what we learned, and don’t forget to order yourself a jar of Grandma Jones’ Pepper today!

The 2 Main Pillars of Making Homemade Hot Pepper Jelly BBQ Sauce

Close-up of meat coated with homemade hot pepper jelly bbq sauce

The most important step when trying to make the perfect pepper jelly BBQ sauce is to recognize that there is no single perfect sauce that suits everyone. In this way, BBQ sauce and pepper jelly are very similar; every one is unique in its own special way.

The perfect pepper jelly BBQ sauce, then, is whichever one you like most. Do you like it more sweet? More spicy? More savory? Do you like it thin and vinegary or thick and rich? Would you rather make a simple sauce with just a few ingredients or a complex one that combines a wide variety of flavors?

The two main pillars of any good pepper jelly BBQ sauce recipe are its sauce style and its heat level. As you experiment with different taste combinations, like some mad scientist in search of backyard cookout greatness, the most important decisions you can make are what kind of regional style you want to take inspiration from and how much fiery pain you want to put your taste buds through.

Choose Your Sauce Style

If you think that all BBQ sauces are created equal, think again. In fact, there Is a healthy rivalry between several different regions all across the United States as to just who does BBQ best.

While many, many variations exist, traditional American BBQ sauce can roughly be divided into four many regional styles. Each one utilizes different ingredients, has a distinctive consistency, and comes with its own unique flavor profile.

Style Description
Kansas City A thick, tomato-based sauce sweetened with molasses and brown sugar
North Carolina A thinner, vinegar-based sauce made with hot peppers for a spicy kick
South Carolina A tangy, mustard-based sauce with a peppery heat and a thin consistency
Alabama A white, mayonnaise-based sauce that is creamy, rich, and flavorful

 

Choose Your Heat Level

Not all BBQ sauces are meant to be spicy. Some are more smoky, sweet, or savory. That said, if you’re reading this blog about pepper jelly BBQ sauce recipes, it’s probably safe to assume you’re looking to give your condiment a little extra burn. But how much exactly?

The spiciness level of peppers is measured using a system called Scoville units. The number of units corresponds with the number of times a pepper’s capsaicin content has to be diluted with water in order to remove all traces of heat.

Pepper Type Spice Level
Bell Pepper 0 Scoville units (mild heat)
Jalapeno 2,500–8,000 Scoville units (medium heat)
Chipotle 2,500-8,000 Scoville units (medium heat)
Habanero 150,000 to 575,000 Scoville units (extreme heat)

 

Note that the peppers listed above are the four varieties used to make Grandma Jones’ Pepper Jelly. Our Traditional Pepper JellyCaribbean Mango Pepper JellyCranberry Pepper Jelly, and Pomegranate Pepper Jelly flavors are all made with bell peppers, for an appetizing balance of mild heat and lip-smacking sweetness.

On the other hand, our Jalapeno Pepper Jelly is made with fresh jalapenos, to provide a medium kick. Our Southwestern Chipotle Pepper Jelly is made with dried chipotle peppers, delivering a unique smokiness. Last but not least, our best-selling Habanero Pepper Jelly and Cranberry Habanero Pepper Jelly varieties are made with extra-spicy habanero peppers, packing in a fiery burn alongside a scrumptious, one-of-a-kind flavor.

Try This Tasty Pepper Jelly BBQ Sauce Recipe At Your Next Cookout

As noted previously, there is no one pepper jelly BBQ sauce recipe that’s sure to please everyone. The secret to making the perfect sauce is to be constantly experimenting and refining things until you find the right sauce style, the right heat level, the right Pepper Jelly flavor, and the right seasonings to fit your individual palate. 

That said, if you want what we serve at our Jones family cookouts, here’s a homemade hot pepper jelly recipe that we think you’ll really enjoy. If you ask us, it’s… well… perfect.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces pepper jelly (your favorite flavor!)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 onion, chopped very fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon ancho pepper powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Whisk ingredients together in a large bowl until fully incorporated
  2. Pour mixture into a saucepan and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes, or until reduced
  3. Remove from heat and allow sauce to cool before serving

Close-up of chicken on a grill being brushed with red pepper jelly bbq sauce

You Can’t Make Red Pepper Jelly BBQ Sauce Without Pepper Jelly!

Thick and sweet or thin and spicy, dark rich red or creamy white, whatever your favorite style of BBQ sauce, Grandma Jones’ Pepper Jelly is the ingredient you need to take your pepper jelly BBQ sauce recipe to the next level. From pleasantly mild to tongue-torchingly hot, our wide array of homemade pepper jelly varieties is sure to add a fresh dimension to any dish or condiment.

Discover the taste sensation that everyone’s talking about. Try Pepper Jelly now!