Ancho-Cherry Baby Backs

This past weekend I made up an ancho-cherry BBQ sauce that I used on two cooks.  On Saturday we had stuffed hamburgers for a get together celebrating a good friend’s B-day.  We had a bunch of mouth-watering ingredients to stuff the burgers with (I used my Burger Pocket Press of course 🙂 ), but the ancho-cherry BBQ sauce we topped them made them out of this world.  We were all having a really great time hanging out, enjoy a couple drinks, playing with the kids, etc…but when we sat down and dug into those burgers, most of the talking ceased 🙂

So there I was after having just annihilated my massive burger and while I was recovering I thought to myself…”What should I use the rest of the sauce on?”….Needless to say if you’ve already peeped the pics below…baby backs!  The next day was going to be a chill day for us and we hadn’t had ribs in a few weeks so it was a no-brainer at that point.  On top of that…I’ve recently received several viewer requests on my YouTube channel (please subscribe!!) to perform an indirect cook on my 2013 model Weber Jumbo Joe.  The Jumbo Joe (or “JJ”) is an 18.5″ portable charcoal kettle/grill which has quickly become my go-to portable charcoal setup (my Weber Smokey Joe hasn’t been too happy about that….).  It’s primary purpose is on-the-go portable charcoal grilling ideal for camping, tailgating, etc….but it is large enough to actually perform an indirect “low and slow” smoke on.

I have a video at the bottom of this post with step-by-step instructions from start to finish for making the sauce and setting up the JJ to smoke on, but here are the ingredients/instructions written out for ya:

Ancho-Cherry BBQ Sauce Recipe

2 large dried ancho chiles stemmed and seeded (Ancho chiles are dried poblano peppers and you may have to look around for them…)
3/4 cup dried tart cherries (I used the Sun-Maid brand that I picked up at Publix)
1 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp molasses
2 garlic cloves (minced)
Pinch of ground cloves

Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the chiles and cherries begin to soften.  Next, pour the sauce into a blender or food processor and purée for 15-20 seconds.  At that point, if the sauce isn’t as thick as you would like you can put it back on the stove and simmer a bit more until desired consistency.  Set aside and use as a basting and finishing sauce for pork or beef ribs.

Enjoy the pictures!  I hope these entice you to try this sauce recipe out some time soon!

Ancho-Cherry Babyback Ribs Recipe

Ancho-Cherry Babyback Ribs Recipe

Ancho-Cherry Babyback Ribs Recipe

Ancho-Cherry Babyback Ribs Recipe

Ancho-Cherry Babyback Ribs Recipe

Ancho-Cherry Babyback Ribs Recipe

Ancho-Cherry Babyback Ribs Recipe

Ancho-Cherry Babyback Ribs Recipe

Ancho-Cherry Babyback Ribs Recipe


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10 Responses to Ancho-Cherry Baby Backs

  1. David March 25, 2013 at 10:57 pm #


    Great video and beautiful ribs! Did you have to add any extra charcoal during the cook or was the single load enough? What about refilling the water pan?

    Keep up the great work!


    • Steve March 26, 2013 at 8:33 am #

      I’ve had a lot of people ask me that already! I failed to mentioned that in the video…but no, I didn’t have to add any charcoal and I still had about 1/4 of the charcoal pile left. I cooked 4.5 hrs and probably could have made it 6 hrs easy. I love this grill!

  2. Rick March 29, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    where did you get the grill grate that divides 3 ways like this, and Im going to smoke 2 racks of baby backs on the Weber kettle for Easter gonna copy your technique I saw you use also Im going to try your ancho cherry sauce recipe have a good one

    • Steve March 29, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

      Those are the Craycort cast iron grates and they make them for all 3 of the different sized Weber kettles. You can get them straight from their site or grab a set off Amazon. I’ve never seen them in stores anywhere. Happy Easter man and enjoy those ribs!

  3. Troy June 13, 2013 at 6:59 pm #


    I wanna try this, but havent ordered any cherry rub yet ..what other rub or recipie for rub would you recommend

    Thanks Troy

    • Steve June 15, 2013 at 10:31 am #

      Well this recipe doesn’t actually call for a cherry rub, it calls for the ancho cherry sauce, which is really the main part of this recipe. For this recipe I just used a very basic BBQ rub on my ribs b/c I wanted the flavor of the sauce to really come out.

  4. Troy June 15, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    oh i thought in the video you said you used cherry rub

    • Steve June 15, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

      oh my bad, yeah, guess i did. I haven’t been able to find a recipe for making my own cherry rub yet (and you have to buy dehydrated cherry powder…) so it’s just cheaper/easier for me to order the Simply Marvelous stuff… But…like I was saying, for this recipe, you really don’t have to have cherry rub. Just use a standard rub and you’ll be fine.

  5. Troy June 15, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    got them smoking now ..i will let you know how they turn out

  6. Troy June 16, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    they turned out great to sweet for me but wife and kids loved them

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