Bruce's Hot Barbecue Sauce Recipe

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The heat is on when you brush on Bruce Fisher's tongue-tingling sauce! You'll also detect a hint of fruity sweetness, thanks to the apricots he adds. "It's known among my family and friends as 'Bruce's Hot Juice'," says this East Bloomfield, New Yorker. "I've been making this barbecue sauce for 20 years and get requests for the recipe every summer. I'm always happy to share it."
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 1 hour
MAKES:128 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 1 hour
MAKES: 128 servings


  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) apricot halves, drained
  • 4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 4 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 can (29 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup prepared mustard
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Liquid Smoke, optional

Nutritional Facts

2 tablespoon: 53 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 341mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (12g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.


  1. In a blender, puree the apricots until smooth. Pour into a large Dutch oven; add the next 17 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour or until flavors are blended, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in Liquid smoke if desired. Cool. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 4 quarts.
Originally published as Bruce's Hot Barbecue Sauce in Taste of Home June/July 2002, p13

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shannondobos User ID: 5115022 248268
Reviewed May. 15, 2016

"This BBQ sauce is FANTASTIC! I can't believe there haven't been more reviews here :) I love the sweet heat. I only made 1/4 of the recipe (in case I wasn't a fan), but I'll always make the whole batch going forward. My husband agrees!"

glibry User ID: 1480816 36024
Reviewed Nov. 18, 2012

"This is the best BBQ sauce I've ever made. Backed up on the red pepper a little bit to, but made the rest to the letter. Thanks for the recipe!!!!"

emhogan95 User ID: 3533336 42459
Reviewed May. 11, 2010

"I have been making this since it was in the annual Taste Of Home Cookbook Well worth the time keeps forever makes great gift around holidays and is fantastic on burgers also."

suwest User ID: 4738021 52909
Reviewed Apr. 14, 2010

"This is my families favorite on pork ribs on the grill. I can't believe no one has written a review on this great sauce! It is SPICY, so be sure how spicy your gang likes their sauce and if not sure go light, you can always add more pepper. I love this recipe especially since it makes enough to last me almost the whole summer."

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