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There isn’t much better than tender, juicy, grilled chicken thighs. Our Blackberry Homemade BBQ Sauce recipe, however, really brings it to a whole other level of flavor perfection. Bring something special to your next cookout with blackberry flavors on top of a great cut of chicken.

This berry sauce is very special. Liven up your grill our Blackberry Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe on Grilled Chicken Thighs!

Four grilled chicken thighs with a Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe.
This blackberry BBQ sauce is so tasty and chicken thighs are so good on the grill.

🍇 What makes this recipe special?

Sometimes we need to shake things up a bit in the kitchen, and that’s what this recipe for Blackberry Homemade BBQ Sauce with Grilled Chicken Thighs does. It’s special because it’s not your ordinary BBQ chicken.

What’s the secret? The homemade BBQ sauce. Instead of the same old sauce, we’ve added blackberries. They give the sauce a fun, sweet twist and bright color that makes the dish look great.

Then there’s the way we grill the chicken. Grilling it first over indirect heat keeps the chicken juicy inside. And finishing it over direct heat gives the outside a yummy, caramelized finish.

This recipe shows that BBQ can be creative and fun. And trust me, the combination of the sweet and tangy blackberry BBQ sauce with the perfectly grilled chicken is a game-changer. It’s BBQ but with an exciting new taste. Give it a try; it might just become your new favorite!

You might also like this BBQ Spatchcock Grilled Chicken recipe and this sauce would work great for that. As sides, think about this German Potato Salad or an Easy Coleslaw recipe. No mattter what you make, make sure to treat yourself!

🍗 Ingredients

Well, blackberries are in the title, and so is chicken, but it will need just a bit more. Here is a list:

  • Blackberries
  • Ketchup
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Cider vinegar
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Molasses
  • Chicken Thighs

See the recipe card for quantities.

🍲 Instructions

First, mash the blackberries and strain the juice out. Combine this juice with ketchup, onion and garlic powder, salt, black pepper, chili powder, cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and molasses in a pan. Let this mix simmer for at least 15 minutes to create your homemade BBQ sauce.

While the sauce is simmering, preheat your grill to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, with both a direct and indirect heat area. Place the chicken thighs skin side up on the indirect heat, cooking for 10 minutes before flipping to cook skin side down for another 10 minutes.

After the chicken is cooked on both sides, brush them with the BBQ sauce. Move the sauced chicken to the direct heat area, grilling each side for three minutes. Keep an eye on the chicken’s temperature, ensuring it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once done, remove the chicken, let it rest for a few minutes, and serve with the remaining BBQ sauce on the side. Then, enjoy your meal!

🤷 Substitutions and variations

There are a few ways that this can be changed.

  • Berries: If blackberries aren’t available or if you just want to experiment, you can use other types of berries like raspberries or blueberries. Each will bring a different kind of sweetness and color to the sauce.
  • Sweeteners: Molasses gives the sauce a rich, deep sweetness, but you could also use honey or brown sugar if you prefer.
  • Spices: Feel free to play around with the spices. Smoked paprika could add an extra smoky kick, or a pinch of cumin could introduce a warm, earthy flavor.
  • Protein: While this recipe calls for chicken thighs, you could use chicken breasts, drumsticks, or even pork chops. Just remember to adjust the cooking times as necessary.
  • Vinegar: The recipe uses cider vinegar, but for a different tang, you could try red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan option: For a meat-free version, you could use the blackberry BBQ sauce with grilled tofu or seitan. Be sure to press the tofu first to remove extra moisture and allow it to absorb the sauce better.

Remember, the fun of cooking can be in making a recipe your own. Don’t be afraid to get creative and adjust the ingredients to suit your taste!

📦 Storage

Storing leftovers properly can ensure you get to enjoy this delicious dish for a few more days. Here’s how you should store each component:

  • BBQ Sauce: Once cooled, store any leftover blackberry BBQ sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should stay good for up to one week. If you have a lot left over, you can also freeze it. Just pour it into a freezer-safe container or bag, leaving some room for expansion, and it should last for several months.
  • Grilled Chicken Thighs: Store leftover grilled chicken thighs in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should be eaten within three to four days. If you want to keep them for longer, you can also freeze the cooked chicken thighs. When properly stored in a freezer-safe container or bag, they can last up to three months.

To reheat, thaw frozen leftovers in the refrigerator overnight. You can then reheat the chicken in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until heated through. Heat the sauce in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until warm.

🎓 History tidbit

BBQ sauce, as we know it today, has roots that go as far back as the first American colonies. Each region developed its own style of sauce, from the vinegar-based sauces in North Carolina to the sweet, tomato-based ones in Kansas City. Our blackberry BBQ sauce adds a creative twist to this longstanding tradition.

❓ FAQ

Can I use frozen blackberries instead of fresh ones?

Yes, frozen blackberries can be used if fresh ones are not available. Just be sure to thaw them before mashing.

Can I make the BBQ sauce ahead of time?

Yes, the blackberry BBQ sauce can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for several months.

Can I cook the chicken in an oven instead of a grill?

Yes, you can bake the chicken in a preheated oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. For the best flavor, you should still baste the chicken with the BBQ sauce during the last few minutes of cooking.

What can I serve with this dish?

This dish pairs well with classic BBQ sides such as coleslaw, potato salad, corn on the cob, or a fresh green salad.

📝 Tips and tricks

  • Buy Fresh Blackberries – Fresh, ripe blackberries should be deeply colored and plump. They should be free from signs of being crushed or dented, and there should not be any mold. When picking from a bush, they should not be bright red, but a dark full reddish color and easily pulled from the plant, much like a raspberry.
  •  Clean your grill – Having a clean grill can help prevent sticking and just makes it a bit nicer.
  •  Indirect and then Direct Heat – Most of the cooking time should be spent on the indirect heat and then the last several minutes on the direct heat zone.
  •  Use a thermometer! – Use that meat thermometer to get your temp to a safe chicken temperature of 165° degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Double the sauce – If you like extra sauce, double the sauce ingredients.
Grilled BBQ Chicken Thigh on a plate with potato salad, macaroni salad, and a Hawaiian Bun.
For your cookout, give this blackberry BBQ sauce a try. Perfect for chicken thighs.

🛠 Products used in this recipe

😋 Did you make this recipe?

That is awesome, and thank you so much for giving this Blackberry Homemade BBQ Sauce with Grilled Chicken Thighs recipe a try. If you could leave a rating in the comment area below, it would be greatly appreciated. This lets me know how I am doing and also helps others decide if they want to make this recipe. Most of all, thanks for visiting Ramshackle Pantry.

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Four grilled chicken thighs with a Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe.

Blackberry Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe on Grilled Chicken Thighs

  • Author: Ben Myhre
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Thighs 1x
  • Category: BBQ
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American
Save Recipe

Description

This Blackberry Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe on Grilled Chicken Thighs are absolutely delicious and tasty. Get that grill out for some beautiful, special chicken thighs with this delicious barbeque sauce.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 12 Ounces, Blackberries
  • 1 cup, Ketchup
  • ½ teaspoon(s), Spices, onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon, Garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon, Salt
  • ½ teaspoon, ground, Black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon, Spices, chili powder
  • 2 tablespoon(s), Vinegar, cider
  • 1/8 teaspoon, Spices, pepper, red or cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon(s), Sauce, worcestershire
  • 2 Tablespoon, Molasses
  • 8 medium Chicken Thighs
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste

Instructions

  1. Mash blackberries in a bowl with a potato masher, bartending muddler, or another item appropriate for mashing.
  2. Place blackberry mush into a fine strainer and use a wooden spoon to help push the juice through the strainer
  3. Once strained, add all ingredients to a pan and mix
  4. Bring to a simmer
  5. Simmer and mix for a minimum of 15 minutes
  6. Remove from heat and set aside
  7. Preheat grill to 450° degrees Fahrenheit, making sure to have a direct heat zone and indirect heat area
  8. Place thighs (skin side up) on indirect heat for 10 minutes
  9. flip and cook skin side down for 10 minutes
  10. Brush both sides with BBQ and cook on each side over direct heat for 3 minutes
  11. Use a thermometer to measure the temperature. If thickest part of meat 165° Fahrenheit, remove. If not, keep cooking and regularly check until you hit 165° Fahrenheit.
  12. Remove and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes
  13. Add remaining BBQ sauce as a side for each thigh
  14. EAT

Notes

  • Buy Fresh Blackberries – Fresh, ripe blackberries should be deeply colored and plump. They should be free from signs of being crushed, dented, and there should not be any mold. When picking from a bush, they should not be bright red, but a dark full reddish color and easily pulled from the plant. Much like a raspberry.
  • Clean your grill – Having a clean grill can help prevent sticking and just makes it a bit nicer.
  • Indirect and then Direct Heat – The most of the cooking time should be spent on the indirect heat and then the last several minutes on the direct heat zone.
  • Use a thermometer! – Use that meat thermometer to get your temp to safe chicken temperature of 165° degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Double the sauce – If you like extra sauce, double the sauce ingredients.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 thigh
  • Calories: 271
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Sodium: 1120 mg
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 5 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 34 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 16 g
  • Cholesterol: 51 mg

Keywords: Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

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2 Comments

  1. This sounds so good! I just made blueberry bbq sauce, but I love the idea of blackberry bbq sauce which will be on my table soon.