Victorian Barbecue Sauce (Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce)Victorian Barbecue Sauce (Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce)Victorian Barbecue Sauce (Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce)

Traditionally barbecue sauces were just a way to add favor to the meat as it cooked. In the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving under the recipe for one such “Brush on Sauce” it says:  

“Victorian cooks roasted their meat in huge kitchen fireplaces and enhanced it with homemade sauces concoted from garden staples such as rhubarb. Today’s barbecue chefs can add the same fruity complements to grilled foods as they cook.”

The recipe for this Barbecue sauce is fruity and earthy flavored with the sweetness of the rhubarb and brown sugar and savory of the onions and the spices.

Victorian Barbecue Sauce (Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce)

The sauce has just the right balance that will make any roast or even a rack of ribs shine! 
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 40


  • 8 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 3 1/2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Makes about four 1-pint jars
  • The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
  • In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine rhubarb, brown sugar, raisins, onion, vinegar, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.
  • Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture is thickened to the consistency of a thin commercial barbecue sauce, about 30 minutes. If you want it thinner you can use an immersion blender to break up more of the ingredients.
  • Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot sauce. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
  • Place jars in water bath canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5, minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
Keyword Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce