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Spicy Cherry-Apple BBQ Glaze

This gorgeous Spicy Cherry-Apple BBQ Glaze will make your taste buds do a happy dance. The combination of sweetness and heat makes this the perfect glaze for ribs and chicken wings. Not only is it delicious and easy to make, but also a budget-friendly alternative!


The best part about this recipe is that you can tailor the ingredients to suit your needs. Reduce spicy flavors. Adjust the amount of habanero jelly called for in the recipe, or replace it with a milder version like jalapeno or hatch chilis. Use this Spicy Cherry-Apple BBQ Glaze on wings, ribs, smoked pork belly or turkey burnt ends. It’ll take your outdoor cooking game up a notch!

Cherry Apple Habanero BBQ Glaze-ingredients


  • Cherry Jelly: If you cannot find cherry jelly, look for cherry jam or preserves that do not contain whole cherries. 
  • Apple Jelly: Do not use apple butter or apple jam. Smucker’s makes a simple, low-cost apple jelly that works perfectly for this rib candy.
  • Habanero Pepper Jelly: Use a basic habanero jelly for this recipe; however, you can substitute it with jalapeno or milder pepper jelly. 
  • White Vinegar: sub with apple cider vinegar
  • Honey BBQ Rub: Or a comparable sweet bottled rub.

Note on Pork Ribs:

If you plan to use this BBQ glaze as a rib candy, I’ve provided several comprehensive pork rib recipe guides below. Take advantage of the methods below to perfect your technique, and don’t hesitate to drop a comment if you have additional questions.

How to Make a BBQ Glaze

  • Gather your spicy cherry-apple BBQ Glaze ingredients
  • Place them into a small saucepan. Simmer over low heat, and stir to combine. Once melted through, remove from heat and use.
  • You can also melt the ingredients in a cast-iron pot in your grill or smoker. This version will take about 20-25 minutes for the sauce to melt through. However, the BBQ glaze will pick up a little smokiness as it cooks next to the meat. Stir the sauce well before using.

Applying the Glaze

  • For wings: Once they are cooked through, remove them from the grill and place them into an aluminum pan. Pour BBQ glaze over top, toss to coat, and serve, or place it back on the grill for another 10-15 minutes to caramelize.
  • For burnt ends: Coat in glaze toward the end of cooking, and place back on the smoker for another 20 minutes or more.
  • For ribs: Pour the heated spicy cherry-apple BBQ Glaze directly onto the rack of ribs (as pictured above). Use a sauce brush to even it out. Apply the BBQ glaze to all exposed meat, including the edges.  Close the lid of your smoker or grill, and let the ribs cook for 30 more minutes or until the ribs reach the target internal temperature.
Unglazed pork belly

Using BBQ Glaze on Pork Belly

We have an amazing recipe for Pork Belly Burnt Ends. Simply swap out the bourbon sauce ingredients and replace it with 3/4 C. of this spicy cherry apple BBQ glaze. You can also use it on pulled pork and smoked turkey breast.

Tips and Variations

  • Double, Triple, or even quadruple this BBQ glaze recipe and pour it into sterilized mason jars with a secure lid. Cool completely and store in your refrigerator for up to 1 month. Take out what you need, heat it on your stovetop or smoker, and use it as directed above.
  • Want it smoky? Add a 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika to the glaze.
  • For a deeper, richer, caramel flavor, add a 1/2 tablespoon of molasses or 1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar.
  • Use this spicy BBQ glaze as a dipping sauce.

Spicy Cherry-Apple BBQ Glaze

This gorgeous BBQ glaze is easy to make and a more cost-effective way to get that luscious sweet candied finish on smoked meats!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: cherry habanero rib candy, rib candy, rib candy recipe, rib glaze
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 0.75 Cups
Calories: 989kcal


  • 1/4 cup apple jelly not apple butter
  • 1/4 cup habanero jelly or a milder pepper jelly
  • 1/4 cup cherry jelly if using jam of preserves, remove the whole cherries, or melt and strain them
  • 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Honey BBQ Rub or your favorite sweet bottled rub


  • Place all ingredients into a small saucepan and heat for 5-7 minutes over medium-low to low heat. Stir until the mixture has melted through.
  • During the last 35 minutes of cooking time, place a large sheet of foil under the ribs (or a large aluminum pan under the cooking grate). Fold the edges of the foil.
  • Ribs: Pour glaze over the ribs. Use a sauce brush to even out as needed. Close the lid and continue cooking for 30 minutes.
  • For Burnt Ends. Use 3/4 C. of mixture during the last 30 minutes. You can also use this as a glaze for smoked turkey breast or turkey burnt ends.
  • Double, Triple, or even quadruple this recipe and store it in a large, sterilized glass jar. Store in your refrigerator for up to 1 month. Take out what you need, heat it on your stovetop or smoker, and use it as directed above.


Calories: 989kcal | Carbohydrates: 243g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 113mg | Potassium: 352mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 165g | Vitamin A: 346IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 200mg | Iron: 6mg

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5 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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