How to Make BBQ Jackfruit For a Vegan Barbecue

BBQ jackfruit is the perfect dish for vegans who want a BBQ fix. Read on to learn how to make BBQ jackfruit.

Are you a vegan and proud? Or were you one of the 250,000 people who signed up to Veganuary this year? Or are you just looking for some funky recipes to try at your next BBQ bash?

Whether you’re vegan or not, you don’t want to miss the biggest trend in BBQ right now. What is it? BBQ jackfruit!

Exotic jackfruit is so popular, you can even buy a vegan jackfruit pizza at Pizza Hut right now. So, what are you waiting for? Get on board the jackfruit train right now.

But what is a jackfruit and what does it taste like? How to cook jackfruit and where to buy it? Read on for the ultimate guide to this mysterious trend.

A Mysterious Trend—What is a Jackfruit?

How to make BBQ Jackfruit
A ripe jackfruit.

You may have heard that jackfruit is the largest tree fruit EVER. But what exactly is a jackfruit?

The tropical fruit grows natively in South Asia where the temperatures are warm and humid. Jackfruit can weigh up to a massive 35kg. When jackfruit is ripe, it’s sweet like honey, but when unripe it’s more like a vegetable.

To be honest, on the outside, it looks and smells pretty gross. It’s covered in green spikes and emits a stench of rotting onions. On the inside of the leathery shell, there is a thick sticky substance. 

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But don’t judge a book by its cover. The funny-looking texture mocks the texture of meat perfectly. And it absorbs pretty much any flavor you want.

This makes it the perfect meat alternative for vegans, vegetarians, and all who want to reduce their meat consumption.

What Does Jackfruit Taste Like?

Jackfruit pulled pork is smoky, tender, succulent, full of flavor, spicy, yet simple to make. It’s also got a mouth-watering BBQ taste that will satisfy any desire you have for meat. In fact, it tastes so legit, you can fool your carnivore friends into thinking their eating succulent pulled pork.

If you really want to know the taste, the best thing you can do is to try it!

Where to Buy Jackfruit

If you’re ready to try out a jackfruit BBQ, you may wonder where you can buy jackfruit. It doesn’t exactly grow on trees in the US after all.

While you can’t usually get fresh jackfruit in the US, you can buy canned jackfruit at pretty much any Asian market store. But one of the best places to buy it is from Amazon, as you’ll be able to buy cans in bulk…

Seriously, after you try jackfruit pulled pork, you’ll be buying it in bulk!

You can find the rest of the basic ingredients at a grocery store.

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So now you know exactly how AMAZING jackfruit is, you may wonder how to cook jackfruit. It’s not as easy as throwing a few hotdogs on the fire. But it’s probably a lot simpler and quicker than you think.

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While jackfruit recipes around the world differ, jackfruit BBQ recipes are all pretty similar. Read on for our personal twist on this exotic superfood.


Obviously, the first thing you’ll need for your jackfruit BBQ sandwich is jackfruit! Use 2 20-ounce cans of young green jackfruit. Make sure the canned jackfruit’s packed in water, not in syrup or brine.

Here are the other ingredients you need:

  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 onion (sliced and diced)
  • 1 finely chopped tomato
  • Half of a finely chopped red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of olive or avocado oil
  • 1 cup of BBQ Sauce (plus some more for topping)
  • 2 tablespoons of water (or more depending on the thickness of the BBQ sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika (smoked)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder (if you like it spicy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke (if you’re not barbecuing for real)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 6 hamburger buns (whole-wheat or gluten-free)

And don’t forget the toppings! But we’ll give you some more ideas on the best toppings for a jackfruit BBQ later.

How to Cook Jackfruit

Now you’ve got all your ingredients, it’s time to start cooking. How to cook jackfruit? These 10 steps will show you how:

  1. Rinse and drain the jackfruit.
  2. Many chop off the core (the hard center portion) and throw it out. If you want a jackfruit pulled pork texture, remove the core. But if you don’t mind it being a bit tougher and “meatier”, keep the core in.
  3. Break apart the rest of the jackfruit pieces by hand, until achieving a shredded texture. You can also use a potato masher or fork if you don’t want to get your hands dirty.
  4. Heat a skillet over a BBQ until hot. Add your oil of choice and temper the garlic and onion until fragrant. Make sure the garlic doesn’t burn.
  5. Season the jackfruit with all of the combined spices and brown sugar. Skip the chili powder if you want to lessen the heat.
  6. Add the seasoned jackfruit to the skillet. Toss and coat the jackfruit for 2-3 minutes.
  7. When you see the jackfruit browning in color, add the BBQ sauce and a little water to give it a “saucy” texture. Leave to simmer.
  8. Add the tomatoes and red pepper.
  9. After simmering a while, turn to medium-high and cook for 3 minutes. Once you see the jackfruit turning darker in color and it’s warm throughout, remove from heat.
  10. Serve hot on toasted hamburger buns and Bon Appétit!
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It’ll taste so yummy, you’ll want to eat it every day. But once made, you can only keep it in the fridge for 2 days maximum. It’s also not freezer friendly and tastes better fresh.

But as it only takes 10 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to cook, making a BBQ sandwich with jackfruit is easier than you think!

Best Sides for Your Jackfruit BBQ

No doubt, the main event of your BBQ is your jackfruit pulled pork. But what about the sides and toppings? A BBQ isn’t a BBQ without some killer sides and toppings, after all.

One of the best toppings for your BBQ sandwich is a handful of roasted cashews. They can add a bit of extra crunch and flavor to your sandwich. Here are some budget-friendly toppings:

  • grilled pineapple
  • lettuce
  • mango salsa
  • garlic sauce

But what do vegans (and pretty much all Millenials) love? Avocados of course! Make some cool avocado slaw for the ultimate side.

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All you need is some shredded cabbage, grated carrots, ripe avocado, and a sweetener of your choice. Mix it all together, add some lime juice, and add salt and paper to taste. If it seems overly thick and sticky, add a couple of teaspoons of water to thin it out.

And if you want an alternative to burger buns, it tastes just as mouth-watering stuffed in sweet potatoes. Or even in a taco!

For the Love of Pork

If you just can’t convince yourself to use veggies instead of pork, we’re not judging. Just use the recipe above for amazing pulled pork and make these adjustments:

  • skip the sugar and use 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce for the marinade
  • Use half the BBQ sauce before cooking and the other half after
  • let the pork marinate in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight
  • cover the pork with aluminum foil and roast for 4 hours (or until it’s falling apart)

Or try some of these awesome recipes for meat-based dishes.

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As you can see, barbequing actual pork takes a lot more time than jackfruit. It also requires marinating and contains a lot more fat. But it’s a guilty pleasure, right?

Jackfruit— A Superfood

Are you ready to skip the pork (at least once) for a jackfruit BBQ? If you’re still not convinced, you will be after reading the amazing health benefits.

Jackfruit contains nearly every vitamin and mineral you need for a healthy body. It also contains fiber and protein and is rich in antioxidants. Because of this, according to Healthline, jackfruit has these impressive health benefits:

  • may help to control blood sugar levels
  • may protect against diseases and inflammation
  • may prevent illnesses and reduce the risk of viral infections
  • may help to improve skin health
  • may reduce the risk of heart disease

And in some South Asian countries, such as India and Sri Lanka, they use jackfruit for other ailments. Such as asthma, diarrhea, and stomach ulcers. Although there is no scientific evidence to back it up yet.

It’s definitely worth a try if you want to improve your diet and overall health.

Time for Some Chillin and Grillin

Are you ready for your BBQ jackfruit burger? It certainly is a vegan;s delight. But even if you’re NOT vegan, your mouth is surely watering right now.

So, what are you waiting for? Get barbecuing today and try it out!

Of course, a BBQ master needs the best tools. But with such a variety of grills and smokers on the market, what are the best options? Find out all you need to know right here.

How to Make BBQ Jackfruit For a Vegan Barbecue

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