Smoky Jalapeno Apricot Sauce

Smoky Jalapeno Apricot Sauce

Smoky Jalapeno Apricot Sauce, made by smoking jalapeno peppers and combining them with fresh apricots, sugar, and white vinegar, is the perfect blend of sweet, smoky, and spicy. It’s versatile enough to be used as a glaze for grilled fish or chicken, or as a bold topping for brie or cream cheese on a charcuterie board. Let’s dive into the recipe and explore the magic behind this fantastic sauce.

If you’ve never experienced what smoking food can do to a recipe, you need to put that on your to-do list. I’ve been enamored with smoking for several years now, and so far there isn’t anything I’ve thrown in my smoker that I haven’t absolutely loved.

How to Make Smoky Jalapeño Apricot Sauce

The first step in creating this sauce is smoking the jalapeno peppers. Smoking adds a depth of flavor that elevates the sauce to a whole new level. 

  1. Prepare the Grill: Preheat your smoker or grill to 225°F (107°C). Use wood chips like hickory or applewood for a balanced smoky flavor.
  2. Prep the Jalapeños: Wash and dry the jalapeno peppers. Cut them in half lengthwise, and if you’re a fan of heat keep the seeds and ribs intact, but for milder sauce get rid of them.
  3. Smoke the Jalapeños: Place the jalapeno halves on the grill grates, cut side up. Smoke them for about 1-2 hours until they are soft and have absorbed a good amount of smoky flavor.

Smoky Jalapeno Apricot Sauce

Prepping the Apricots

While the jalapeños are smoking, prepare the apricots:

  1. Pit and Chop: Wash the apricots, cut them in half, and remove the pits. Dice them to ensure they cook down as evenly as possible.

Making the Sauce

With your smoked jalapenos and chopped apricots ready, it’s time to make the sauce.

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the smoked jalapenos, chopped apricots, sugar, white vinegar, and a pinch of salt.
  2. Cook the Mixture: Place the saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir the mixture occasionally to ensure the sugar dissolves and the ingredients are well combined.
  3. Simmer and Reduce: Once the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and reduced slightly. This should take about 30-45 minutes.

Smoky Jalapeno Apricot Sauce

I am now in the market for a new smoker because I have completely used mine until it’s on its last leg. I’ve been looking at this one because it’s so different than what I’ve had, and this one also caught my attention.

A friend of mine has this and raves and raves about it. I have even been contemplating giving in and doing the indoor thing with this one. But, I don’t know.

Decisions, decisions.

Achieving the Perfect Consistency

The key to a great sauce is achieving the right consistency. You want it to be thick enough to coat a spoon but not too thick that it becomes a paste. If your sauce seems too thin, continue to simmer it until it reaches the desired thickness. Conversely, if it becomes too thick, you can add a little water or more vinegar to thin it out.

Blending the Sauce

For a smoother texture, you can blend the sauce once it’s done cooking – 

  1. Cool Slightly: Allow the sauce to cool slightly before blending.
  2. Blend: Use an immersion blender or transfer the sauce to a regular blender. Blend until smooth.
  3. Strain (Optional): If you prefer a completely smooth sauce without any bits, strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove any remaining pieces of jalapeno skin or apricot.

Storing the Sauce

Once your Smoky Jalapeno Apricot Sauce is ready, it’s time to store it –

  1. Cool Completely: Allow the sauce to cool completely at room temperature.
  2. Transfer to Jars: Pour the sauce into sterilized jars or airtight containers.
  3. Refrigerate: Store the jars in the refrigerator. The sauce should keep for up to 2 weeks.

How to Serve Jalapeno Apricot Sauce

This versatile sauce can enhance a variety of dishes. Here are some serving suggestions to get you started:

Grilled Fish or Chicken

Use the Smoky Jalapeno Apricot Sauce as a glaze for grilled fish or chicken. Brush it on during the last few minutes of grilling to create a deliciously caramelized crust. The sweet and smoky flavors pair perfectly with the char from the grill, adding a gourmet touch.

Charcuterie Boards

For a sophisticated appetizer, pour the sauce over a wheel of brie or a block of cream cheese. Serve it alongside crackers, toasted baguette slices, and a selection of cured meats, cheeses and fruit. The combination of creamy cheese, spicy jalapeños, and sweet apricots will impress even the picky eaters in your household.

Smoky Jalapeno Apricot Sauce

Sandwiches and Wraps

Spread the sauce on sandwiches or wraps for an extra kick of flavor. It pairs especially well with roasted turkey, ham, or grilled vegetables. Add some fresh greens and a slice of cheese, and you have a sandwich that’s anything but ordinary.

Tacos and Burritos

Drizzle the sauce over tacos or enchiladas for a kickin’ new flavor. It complements both meat and vegetarian fillings, adding a unique twist to your favorite Mexican dishes.

Tips and Variations

  • Adjust the Heat: If you like a real kick, leave the seeds (and ribs) in the jalapeños or add an extra pepper or two. For a milder sauce, remove the seeds and use fewer jalapeños.
  • Sweetness Level: Adjust the amount of sugar to your taste. If you like a less sweet sauce, reduce the sugar by a quarter cup.
  • Vinegar Swap: You can use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar for a slightly different flavor profile.
  • Add Depth: Consider adding a clove of garlic or a small piece of ginger to the sauce for extra depth and complexity.

Smoky Jalapeno Apricot Sauce

This Smoky Jalapeno Apricot Sauce is delicious addition to any dish or appetizer. The balance of sweet, smoky, and spicy flavors makes it a versatile condiment that can enhance almost anything you put on the table.

Whether you’re grilling, entertaining, or just looking to elevate your everyday meals, this sauce will definitely be a crowd pleaser.  

Smoky Jalapeno Apricot Sauce
Yield: 4 cups

Smoky Jalapeno Apricot Sauce

Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

A very easy to make sauce that is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy - baste chicken or fish with it, put it over cream cheese or use it as a dipping sauce for wontons or eggrolls.

Ingredients

  • 3 fresh jalapeno peppers
  • 2 pounds fresh apricots, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat your smoker or grill to 225°F (107°C)*.
  2. Wash and dry the jalapeno peppers. Cut them in half lengthwise and remove the ribs and seeds if you prefer a milder sauce.
  3. Place the jalapeno halves on the grill grates, cut side up. Smoke them for about 1-2 hours until they are soft and have absorbed a good amount of flavor.
  4. Cut apricots in half and remove the pits. Dice/chop them to ensure they cook down as evenly as possible.
  5. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the smoked jalapeños, chopped apricots, sugar, white vinegar, and a pinch of salt.
  6. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir the mixture occasionally to ensure the sugar dissolves and the ingredients are well combined.
  7. Once the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and reduced slightly. This should take about 30-45 minutes.

Notes

* Smoking is not necessary; you can still make the sauce by skipping this step if you don't have a smoker.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1/2 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 155Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 2gSugar: 36gProtein: 2g

The provided nutrition calculated may not always be accurate.

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Author

  • Shea

    Shea Goldstein is a writer and the voice behind Dixie Chik Cooks. She's also a recipe developer and brand ambassador. She has been published in several media platforms such as Redbook, Parade, Food Blogger Magazine and more. She has been developing recipes and writing since 2009. Shea is a Southern Belle Who's Thinking About What's For Dinner While Eating Lunch

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