Hibiscus Barbecue Sauce

Hibiscus barbecue sauce.

If you want to start slow with hibiscus flowers in savory cooking, try this condiment: You’ll get the cranberry color and the sweet-tart flavor in a basic pantry-style barbecue sauce. This one can go beyond chicken to beef, pork, sturdy fish and shrimp, and would be delightful brushed on grilled peach halves or pineapple slices.

Look for dried hibiscus flowers at your favorite local Asian or Latin market or online through major retailers.

Hibiscus Barbecue Sauce

Yields | 3 cups |

  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 1½ cups ketchup
  • ¾ cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper

| Preparation | In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat pineapple juice until bubbling. Add dried hibiscus flowers, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain out hibiscus flowers using a mesh strainer, pressing flowers to extract any remaining liquid.

Transfer hibiscus liquid to a large saucepan off heat. Add ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, salt, ginger and cayenne pepper, stirring to combine. Heat on medium until mixture comes to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. Transfer to canning jars.

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Shannon Weber is the creator, author and photographer behind the award-winning blogaperiodictableblog.com, and her work has appeared on websites such as Bon Appétit, Serious Eats and America’s Test Kitchen.

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