Your BBQ Sauce Might Taste Good, But This Fruit Will Make It So Much Better

bbq sauce on grill
bbq sauce on grill - Nwphotoguy/Getty Images

BBQ sauce is so varied and can be associated with so many different textures, tastes, and applications, that you may actually need a guide to regional variations to keep them all straight. But their adaptability also means there's almost no limit to what ingredients you can incorporate for a fresh take, and one fruit you may be sleeping on for your BBQ sauce is the mighty flavorful prune.

Prunes are one of those culinary treasures that could really use a re-brand. Their association with more functional uses and baby food has made it tough for them to find a place in broader cooking repertoires. And that is a shame because they have so much to offer.

In a BBQ sauce, their concentrated sweetness is a perfect counterpoint to the tang, smoke, and spice common of so many iterations. When added to your sauce in a pureed form — (or even from that jar of baby food — you get all the best elements of this dried fruit in terms of flavor and texture, which can seriously make your sauce so much better.

Read more: The Unexpected Meat You Need To Avoid Grilling At All Costs

Why Prunes Belong In Your BBQ

Prunes in wooden bowl with plums
Prunes in wooden bowl with plums - Ligora/Getty Images

Prunes have so many desirable qualities for a BBQ sauce. For one thing, they're deeply and naturally sweet, which is an element that the best of these condiments require to round out standard savory elements like alliums and spices, as well as vinegar. This also makes them a great option if you're trying to reduce your refined sugar intake without sacrificing flavor. In terms of taste, perhaps unsurprisingly, they are reminiscent of plums, but thanks to dehydration, you get a concentrated fruit oomph, not dissimilar to raisins and dates. Those "dark fruit" flavors are ideal with many BBQ sauce flavor profiles. Prunes are also pleasantly chewy and sticky, and in puree form, can help add viscosity to your sauce.

A prune-based BBQ sauce is delicious simply as a finishing touch spread over your meal after it's been prepared or served on the side as a condiment, but it's also super useful in the cooking process. By slathering your ribs, chicken, brisket, or veggie dish with this stuff before cooking, the natural sugars will help promote caramelization. Just be cautious as sugars can always burn at high temperatures, so the low and slow BBQ mantra is one you'll likely want to apply in this case, too.

Putting Your Prune BBQ Sauce To Use

BBQ baked beans in skillet
BBQ baked beans in skillet - Bhofack2/Getty Images

When it comes to creating your prune-based BBQ sauce, you can lean into flavors that pair well with this tasty dried fruit. From chiles to spices like cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and clove, there's a major range of combinations that can add complexity to your finished product, depending on how you plan to use it.

And on that note, when it comes time to apply your prune sauce, it'll be right at home with just about any BBQ dishes you can dream up. Prunes bring balance to super umami-rich ingredients like mushrooms (which is perfect for those meatless BBQ creations) and tomatoes and are ideal with proteins from pork to chicken. Give everybody's favorite baked beans a boost, and even keep a theme going and make savory bacon cheddar cornbread studded with sweet chopped prunes

If you feel up for branching out from the more classic condiments, you can experiment with dark chocolate savory-sweet sauce that's perfect with everything from crispy pork belly to grilled veggies. No matter what you're craving, the prune promises to bring your BBQ sauce even more flavor.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.