Habanero Pepper Barbeque Sauce

Yummy Spicy BBQ Sauce

I’m a pepper nut.  But I’m not too nuts.

I plant things that are useful.  My current pepper patch has about 50 plants, and the current line up is as follows:

  • Jalapeno – A workhorse pepper that is useful for many things.  I pickle them.  I stuff them.  I slice them and eat them fresh on my wife’s delicious Mexican dishes
  • Serrano – A nice complement to my jalapenos.  I pickle them.  I dry them and make a hot paprika.  I and them into my shoshito hash to give it some zing
  • Poblano – My current favorite pepper.  A rich dark green.  Perfect for chili rellenos.  Perfect for stuffing.  And I dry them to make an excellent ancho chili powder that I use in everything
  • Banana – A prolific pepper that makes tons of long yellow fruits that are moderately hot.  Perfect for stuffing, and for mixing with pickled jalapenos and serranos and chopping into relish
  • Cayenne – Great for drying and grinding into to flakes for use on pizza.
  • Shoshito – An insanely prolific pepper that makes literally hundreds of finger-sized peppers per plant.  Mildly hot, these are great to saute and eat for a snack, or fried up with ground sausage for a great breakfast hash
  • Bell – Any number of sweet peppers that we use mainly in salads

I stay away from the extremely hot varieties because they are really not that useful.  So keep your ghosts and reapers and any number of other ridiculously hot things, and I’ll stick with my old standbys.


Every so often I’m lured into planting habaneros.  These are gorgeous little lantern-shape peppers that are a very pleasant shade of orange.  They smell nice when cut open, and the taste is unique; a sweet, nutty taste that lasts about a milli-second until the heat burns your face off.

It’s all the fault of this guy named Scoville.  William Scoville was a pharmacist way back when who had an unnatural fascination with peppers.  He devised a scale of “hotness” which bears his name.  He used something called an organoleptic test which probably means he just bit into a pepper, then measured how many gallons per minute of water it would take to douse the flames.  Actually, this test measures the amount of capsaicin in a given pepper which is the stuff that makes them hot.

Scoville – The First Hot Pepper Freak

Here is the Scoville scale which shows where the various peppers land (thanks Wikipedia).  Habaneros are up near the top.  Only thing further up is genetically altered stuff designed by morons who want to say they have the hottest pepper.

Scoville Scale – Don’t Mess with Habaneros

Three Plants

Yep.  That’s what I planted, three habanero plants.  Too look at them from above, they don’t look that menacing.  Lift up the skirts and you see these pretty little orange lanterns.  You put on latex gloves even to pick these things.

Harmless Looking – But Under the Skirt…..

So how many habaneros is enough.  Most people would say “zero”.  A quick pick got me this many.

This Many Habaneros is Too Many Habaneros

So I scoured the internet looking for something to do with them.  Any recipe that incudes them says, “Carefully clean and mince one pepper”.  Well that just ain’t going to get it done.  I had made BBQ sauce out of them before, so I looked around for some good recipes.  Habaneros pair nicely with certain fruits.  Peaches and mangos come to mind.  So we’re going to make us some hot-as-hell BBQ sauce!  The rest I put into my dehydrator and dried, essentially just kicking the can down the road.

Habanero-Peach BBQ sauce

The recipe I found was pretty simple which is good for someone like me.   I tweaked it a little to fit my tastes.  It called for 12 peppers which I thought was excessive, so I cut it down to about 10.  We had everything else so I was good to go.  The other cool thing about this was that you didn’t need to cook it.  I did can it afterwards, so it got heated up pretty good.  Still, it was really good stuff.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 10 habanero peppers, cleaned (save seeds for pesky groundhogs – see below)
  • One large can of peaches in heavy syrup
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of molasses
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of allspice

Here are the instructions:

  • Throw everything into my wife’s Vitamix blender on steroids and throw the switch.  Blend until smooth
  • Pour into sterilized haft-pint jars, seal, and place into a boiling bath for 15 minutes
  • Remove, cool, and use, store, or give away.  Makes six jars.

Habanero-Mango BBQ Sauce

This recipe is from the same source, and is a bit more complex as you have to cook the sauce before canning it.  Also, it called for shallots which I did not have so I substituted minced onions

Here are the ingredients:

  • 3 habanero peppers, cleaned (save seeds)
  • 2 mangos, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup of minced onions
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup of mango juice
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of molasses
  • 2 tablespoons of grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper

Here are the instructions:

  • Place the butter, onions, peppers and ginger into a medium pot and simmer for 2 minutes stirring constantly
  • Add the mangos, juice, tomatoes, molasses, spices  and vinegar and increase heat.  Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Put everything into the Vitamix and blend until smooth
  • Pour into sterilized haft-pint jars, seal, and place into a boiling bath for 15 minutes
  • Remove, cool, and use, store, or give away.  Makes six jars.
Habanero-Peach and Habanero-Mango BBQ Sauces
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins

Sweet and hot BBQ sauce that marries the tropical sweetness of peaches and mango with the fiery habanero pepper

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ sauce, habanero peppers
Servings: 12 Half-pint jars
For Habanero-Peach BBQ Sauce
  • 10 Habanero peppers seeded
  • 1 can Peaches in heavy syrup large can
  • 6 cloves Garlic Crushed
  • 1/2 cup Molasses
  • 1/2 cup Yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup Brown sugar
  • 2 TBS Grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup White vinegar
  • 1/8 cup Salt
  • 1 TBS Cumin
  • 1 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Allspice
For Habanero-Mango BBQ Sauce
  • 3 Habanero peppers seeded
  • 2 Mangos Peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup Onion
  • 1 can Crushed Tomatoes 14.5 oz
  • 1 cup Mango juice
  • 1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Molasses
  • 2 TBS Grated ginger
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 1 TBS Butter
For Habanero-Peach BBQ Sauce
  1. Place everything into the blender and blend until smooth

  2. Pour mixture into sterilized half-pint jars, and place in the canning pot for 15 minutes

  3. Remove, cool and use or store

For Habanero-Mango BBQ Sauce
  1. Place butter, onions, peppers and ginger into a large pot. Heat until butter is melted

  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil

  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes

  4. Pour mixture into the blender. Blend until smooth

  5. Pour mixture into sterilized half-pint jars. Close with lids

  6. Place jars in a canning pot and process for 15 minutes

  7. Remove from the canning pot, allow to cool

So that’s it.  I used a grand total of 11 of my peppers.  about 200 more to go.  This stuff turned out to be pretty good.  A a bit more partial to the peach, but both have a nice heat and a nice taste.  I waited a couple of days and opened one of the jars.  Tasted even better.

Yummy Spicy BBQ Sauce

I spread some mango on a piece of grilled salmon after the fact.  It was very nice.  Then I grilled some boneless/skinless chicken breasts with both types.  I really liked the way the peach came out.

So if you planted habanero peppers, then I feel for you.  But you can get rid of a few making these excellent sauces.  If you didn’t plant them, but still want to make the sauce, DO NOT BUY ANY.  Just come see me and I’ll give you all you want

Day-tripping with Rick in the Pepper Patch


Bonus – Chemical Warfare on Groundhogs

I have a resident groundhog family under my shed.  There might be 50 of them under there for all I know.  As long as they leave my garden alone, then I’m ok with them.  However, this year they took about half my tomatoes and nearly all my okra.  So this means war.

I read somewhere that groundhogs hate hot peppers.  So I take the seeds and membranes (the hottest parts) after I clean the peppers and throw them into the entrance to the hole.  In a day or two, there is a new hole, so I do it again.  Eventually, the groundhog will excavate the entire area to make new exit holes, and my shed will sink into the earth.  But I’m not stopping, and I’m sure he isn’t either.

Nice Marmot!






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