• October 7, 2014

    Baked Cranberry-Chipotle Barbecue Ribs


    I know that ribs are typically considered summer fare, but I personally almost never cook them outdoors on a BBQ – preferring, instead, a low and slow indoor method.

    My process combines a long simmer and a shorter blast of dry heat in the oven.

    The reason I first cook my ribs in water is because much of the fat is rendered away, meaning the end result is much lighter and leaner – without sacrificing any of the richness in flavour. Plus, it makes them incredibly fall-off-the-bone tender.

    Without this easy first step, I find ribs too heavy – not because I’m worried about the calories, but because more than a bite will actually make me feel ill. Such a delicate lady am I. (Burrrrrp.)

    I brought home an abundance of cranberries from the market the other day, and I was struck with the inspiration to use them in a barbecue sauce. The tangy berries take the place of vinegar and make for a gorgeous, rich sauce, nuanced with spicy chipotle, ginger and cloves. Very autumn.

    You’ll need little shame and a lot of napkins to devour these sticky-spicy ribs without utensils, but that’s how I recommend eating them!

    I used the same method before with these Sticky Dry Garlic Ribs, which are another favourite.


    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
    • 6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
    • 1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger, packed
    • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
    • 3/4 cup ketchup
    • 1/2 cup soy sauce
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 1-3 teaspoons chipotle powder (equals 1-3 chipotles in adobo sauce)
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1/8 tsp cloves
    • 2 racks pork back ribs, about 6 lbs total


    1. Cover ribs with water in a large stockpot and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until ribs are tender. Drain and arrange ribs meaty side up on foil-lined baking sheets.
    2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes, then add garlic and ginger; cook 1 minute more.
    3. Stir in cranberries, ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, 1/2 cup of water and spices. Simmer until cranberries start to pop and mixture thickens a bit, about 10 minutes. Puree barbecue sauce using an immersion blender or by cautiously blending 1/3 at a time in a standing blender.
    4. Slather ribs with the sauce and bake at 325ºF for 45 minutes, or until ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender and charred in spots (cover with foil if they are getting too dark).


    This oven baked, quick and easy Cranberry Chipotle Baked Barbeque Ribs Recipe is festive and totally delicious. Make sure to boil first to make them incredibly fall-off-the-bone tender, then smother them in the best sauce and enjoy!


    Hi, I'm Jennifer Pallian, BSc, RD. I studied cooking, baking and food chemistry in a university lab, have years of experience as a professional test kitchen recipe developer and providing technical baking support to bakeries and home bakers. Want to know why your bread didn't rise? I've got your back.I now work full-time as a blogger, putting the years of science and baking to work right here. On Foodess, I share the best recipes in my arsenal - tested-till-PERFECT recipes for cozy baking, easy recipes for weeknight meals and delicious globally-inspired comfort food, plus lots of science-based cooking and baking tips. Welcome!

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