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Smoked Cherry BBQ Sauce with Ribs
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5 from 1 vote

Smoked Cherry BBQ Sauce with Ribs

Easy to prepare, sweet and sticky Smoked Cherry BBQ Sauce makes the ideal lacquer for a meaty rack of baby back ribs.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 5 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: BBQ
Servings: 6 servings


  • 2 racks Smithfield Extra Tender Back Ribs
  • 2 tbsp Mustard
  • 1 recipe BBQ Dry Rub
  • 1/4 cup Apple juice divided
  • 4 Hickory chunks for smoking

Cherry BBQ Sauce

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted dark cherries frozen are fine
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup juice from 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 honey
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke



  • Remove membrane from under the ribs.
  • Rub a light layer of mustard around all sides of the ribs.
  • Dust liberally with BBQ dry rub (mustard helps it stick)
  • Heat smoker or grill to 225 and add hickory chunks on top of charcoal.
  • Cook ribs for three hours.
  • After three hours, wrap the ribs in foil with apple juice and cook for 2 hours.
  • Unwrap ribs, and continue cooking for 30 minutes, slather in Smoked Cherry BBQ Sauce and cook for additional 30 minutes, or until done.
  • Serve with additional BBQ sauce for coating if desired.

Smoked Cherry BBQ Sauce

  • Melt butter in medium sauce pan and add onions. Saute until onions turn golden brown then add garlic, cooking till fragrant.
  • Add all remaining sauce ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.
  • Let cool and store in mason jars in the refrigerator.


If using a grill rather than a smoker, be sure to set the charcoal off to one side so the ribs cook gently in indirect heat. Always use a thermometer to monitor cooking temperatures.
The meat on properly cooked ribs should be tender and gently pull away from the bone, but should NOT fall off the bone. If you're meat "falls off the bone" it is because it is overcooked. Properly cooked ribs are more akin to a tender steak than pulled pork.