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Posted by on Jun 12, 2014 in Featured, Sauces, Southern | 0 comments

Sticky Chipotle Barbecue Baby Back Ribs

Sticky Chipotle Barbecue Baby Back Ribs

It’s grilling season!!  I LOVE that it’s grilling season.  During the warm months I use my grill as much as possible.  I use it to cook all kinds of meats and vegetables and even sometimes fruit.  Some of my favorite things to grill are salmon, this buttermilk brined chicken, or this amazing grilled slaw with tangy lime dressing!  As much as I use my grill you would think that I’d have all kinds of recipes for sauces and rubs but I really don’t.  There are so many good options out there for store-bought barbecue sauce that I’ve always taken the easy road.  This time I decided to make my own and I’m so happy with the results I got with these Sticky Chipotle Barbecue Baby Back Ribs.

barbecue ribs

I talk about it a lot, I know.  What I think is the best flavor profile.  I love spicy and sweet together.  I also love sweet and salty but that’s another subject.  I decided this time to make my own barbecue sauce because even though there are those out there that are amazing (Whole Foods has sells one that’s heavy with mustard that is my favorite savory sauce) none hit on exactly what I want.  I was surprised at not  only how easy it was but how good it turned out.  From now on I’ll keep my own sauce on hand and will probably never buy store-bought again.

I made the sauce by just adding several ingredients to a stock pot and simmering for several hours.  I was making ribs this week.  I wanted to do some recipe testing for the upcoming Father’s Day holiday and I’d also never cooked ribs at home before.  It must sound odd?  All these things I’ve never made that seem like they’d be very common in a foodie household.  We normally go to a restaurant we love called Dreamland and eat ribs so why go through the bother, right?  Well it wasn’t any bother!  It can seem a little time consuming but they were really very simple and I have to say even better than restaurant ribs!  They were tender and close to falling off the bone but still intact which is what I wanted.

Since I was testing I only made a single slab.  Didn’t want to mess up a whole ton of meat.  Looking back we all wished I had made more!  I took the ribs and boiled them for about an hour.  It was odd to me at first.  I’m not normally a fan of boiling meat in water but I needed to get them tender.  I boiled them just until they became fork tender but not overly so, they’ll get cooked some more.  I wanted them to begin to pull back from the bone.  I then took my sauce and slathered them up really well and refrigerated them for about 24 hours.  It probably does’t take this long but it’s good to get this step out of the way anyway.  I then wrapped them in foil and baked them low and slow for a few hours.  At this point they were super tender and pretty much done but I wanted that caramelized char on the outside so I slapped them on the grill for 5-10 minutes with lots more sauce and they were done!  Like I said it seems time consuming because there are several steps involved but none are difficult at all and you can mostly just get them started and walk away to work on something else.  And I would think all the steps could be done a day ahead so that the grilling could be done when you’re ready to serve and leave you free to work on other parts of your meal like DESSERT!!!

chipotle ribs

If you’re planning a cook out or barbecue for Father’s Day this weekend, definitely put these on the menu!!  What’s better than sweet, sticky, spicy barbecue ribs?


Sticky Chipotle Baby Back Ribs

Yield: 6-8

3-4 ribs

Sticky Chipotle Baby Back Ribs

These ribs have just about 15-30 minutes actual active time while preparing and anywhere from 10-30 hours of inactive time depending on whether you refrigerate overnight. Don't let that hold you back. They're very simple and the result is fantastically tender ribs that are amazing in flavor as well. Recipe makes about 2 1/2 to 3 cups of BBQ sauce.


  • 3 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, blended into a paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper
  • 3 slabs baby back ribs


  1. Combine all ingredients (excluding ribs) in a large stock pot and simmer for 3 hours on low heat.
  2. Place ribs in a large stock pot (you may have to cut to get them to fit) and cover with water over medium-low heat. Simmer for approximately 1 hour until the meat begins to pull away from the bones and are fork tender. Don't boil until they are falling off the bone though.
  3. Remove from water to a sheet pan and brush with a heavy coat of sauce. Cover with foil and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  4. Place sheet pan in a 250 degree oven and bake for 3 hours.
  5. To caramelize: brush ribs with more sauce and broil uncovered for several minutes or place on a hot grill grate for 5-10 minutes until they are the color you're after.



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