Fireball Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce Recipe


Enjoy the flavors of this tangy, sweet Fireball Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce where the apple butter is the shining star with a hint of cinnamon from the Fireball whiskey. Excellent basting sauce for pork or chicken barbecue dishes.


Jar of Fireball Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce


Last summer my youngest daughter made a Fireball Whiskey Barbecue Sauce that was a huge hit. This year for Mother’s Day she is planning a barbecue and wanted to come up with a new sauce for the ribs. She has been noticing recipes for Amish apple butter barbecue sauce that caught her attention since she loves the taste of apple butter. She decided to take her original Fireball recipe and incorporate apple butter. Per Brenda, “I wanted this sauce to be heavier on the flavor of apple butter with a hint of sweet cinnamon from the Fireball whiskey. I also decided to reduce down the tomato and vinegar flavors to make the sweetness of the apple butter more prominent. I tested this recipe out on my husband and grilled up some baby back ribs. He really enjoyed the sauce and gave it big thumbs up. This recipe made it to the big show for the Mother’s Day barbecue menu!”


How about serving either Fireball Cider Party Pops (Cocktail Popsicles) (Cocktail Popsicles) or Fireball Cider Cocktail Recipes with these delicious ribs? More great Pork Recipes and also Pork Ribs/Sparerib Tips.

Check out Linda’s Butters, Condiments, Sauces, Relish and Jelly Recipes for more great sauce ideas.


Fireball Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce Recipe:
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Fireball Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce Recipe
Servings: 3 cups
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil,  extra-virgin
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey*
  • 1 1/2 cups apple butter**
  • 1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard***
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and tilt sauce pan until bottom is coated with oil.  Add onion and garlic and sauté for a couple minutes until onions are translucent.

  2. Pour in the Fireball Whiskey and stir together to combine.  Bring just to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 10 minutes (the onions should become soft).

  3. While the onions, garlic, and whiskey are simmering, in a medium bowl, combine the apple butter, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, mustard, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.  Stir to combine.

  4. When the onions have finished cooking in the whiskey, add the sauce mixture and stir together.  Turn the heat back up to medium high and bring back to a boil.  Once the barbecue sauce is boiling again, turn the heat back down to medium-low and let simmer for approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

  5. Taste the sauce and salt and pepper to taste.  If you would like the sauce a little sweeter, then add 1 tablespoon at a time of brown sugar.

  6. Baste on grilled pork or chicken.

  7. YIelds: 3 cups

Recipe Notes

* Can substitute another brand of cinnamon whiskey.

** Use homemade or store bought apple butter.

*** Use ground mustard powder or prepared yellow mustard



Canning Question:

Canned Fireball Apple Butter Barbecue SauceI have had many readers ask if it is safe to can my Fireball Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce recipe. After consulting with canning expert, Mary Marshall, of Cooking With Mary And Friends, she recommends to omit the oil during the stage of sauteing the onions. Oil in canning has a risk of causing botulism and preventing lids from sealing properly, so it’s safer not to use any oil in a canning recipe. Instead saute the onions in the Fireball whiskey to soften them. The acidity content in this recipe is also high enough for safe canning. Check out some of Mary’s fantastic canning recipes and more on her website!  She also adapted our recipe for her own version of Cinnamon Whiskey Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce.

Canning Instructions:

Start with sanitized 8 ounce mason jars, rings and brand new lids.

Pour in Fireball Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce to mason jars leaving 1/2-inch head-space. Make sure the mouth of the jar is wiped cleaned. Cover jars with lids and rings and process 20 minutes in a water bath or steam canner.

Remove jars and allow them to sit 24 hours undisturbed on your kitchen counter-top. Jars are sealed when button on top of lid is fully depressed and won’t flex up and down.

Storage:  Store in pantry up to one year. Open jars must be refrigerated.

Yield: 3 – 8 oz jars

Canning Instructions and canning photo courtesy of Mary Marshall



Fireball Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce on baby back ribs


Fireball Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce

Comments and Reviews

19 Responses to “Fireball Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce Recipe”

  1. Teresa Jackson

    I would love to try this

    • Nancy Hartman

      You should! Let us know what you think 🙂

  2. Kayla

    Can this be canned or saved for later?

    • Whats Cooking America

      You can refridgerate the left over sauce for up to 7 days. Otherwise to keep longer, I would not recommend to can this recipe since it’s unclear if the acidity level is high enough for safe canning. I would recommend instead to freeze the sauce in freezer safe containers for up to 3 monnths.

  3. Ruth

    Haven’t tried it yet, but suuuuure does sound good. Looking forward to making it.

  4. Lynnette

    I made this recipe AND canned it. Wow, this is some good stuff! I highly recommend trying this! I made it with homemade apple butter.

  5. Sue

    This is delicious and we have b=n using ours for over a month with no problem. Just keep it refridgerated.

  6. LA

    This is a dumb question, but is this recipe ok to serve to kids?

  7. Blake

    Spur of the moment want for a bbq sauce with apple butter in it and it’s in the midst of finishing up now but wow I will defiantly make it again!

  8. Rachel

    I made this with peach butter. Mmmmm. Love this recipe.

  9. Kellee

    I love this recipe. It’s very good in Dutch oven baked beans. This recipe is the best. Thanks

  10. Tegan Yelton

    Im going to attempt to make this this week but I will be canning it. I believe it should be fine since my apple butter I made is ok to can and will be adding more acidity with the vinegar, mustard and ketchup.

    • Gretchen davis

      How did the canning work?

  11. Connie Sintobin

    I would like to can this but would like to know the safest procedure.

  12. Mary Marshall

    I am totally making this with my homemade apple butter and I am canning it. I would just omit the oil, the rest of the ingredients are fine to process in a water bath or steam canner. Thanks for a great recipe! Can’t wait to make it.

  13. Christine Chai

    I made this recipe today. I doubled it and canned it. To me it’s way too much apple butter. I used my own home made apple butter. Made it to the recipe. Then after tasting it. I felt it was missing a smoky flavor so I added smoked chipotle and a little liquid smoke. (I should have added more as I could tell the difference afterwards) It’s not bad but not what I expected. If I make again I will half the apple butter. Definitely fireball worthy as it was spicy. All I can taste is my apple butter then spicy.

  14. Bruce

    Fantastic recipe. I made a slight change and used my own chipotle mustard and omitted the cayan flakes. Bottled the sauce in the Fireball bottle.

  15. Don

    Darn good stuff, my whole family loves it so much in order to get some for myself I have to make a double batch. They use it on everything grilled.


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