Chipotle Apple Butter Barbecue Ribs

If there is one day a year I think that is all about grilling, it’s definitely Father’s Day!  What better way to celebrate the fathers and father figures in our lives than by pulling out the lawn chairs, sipping on a few cool beverages, firing up the grill and enjoying a relaxing meal with family and friends?  Father’s Day should be a day when the grill master gets to relax and enjoy the party too!  Cooking dinner at home doesn’t sound relaxing to you?  Have no fear!  This barbecue menu is a breeze and most of it can be prepared ahead of time.  It’s the perfect menu for backyard parties or nights when you are just planning on taking it easy!  Serve it up with some fresh corn on the cob or a nice side salad and you have a meal fit for a king without ever breaking a sweat!

The main course will be boneless pork ribs in a robust Chipotle Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce.  These tender, juicy ribs are sure to bring a little fire to the meal, but the apple butter mellows it out and makes it sweet enough that even my 3 year old will eat it!  If you still think that heat is not your thing, you can always adjust the recipe by omitting one of the chipotle peppers or even removing them completely.  Either way, you will have a winning barbecue sauce recipe that is sure to leave everyone at the gathering with sticky fingers!  This sweet and smoky rib sauce uses your favorite barbecue sauce as the base along with sweet apple butter and is then kicked up with some garlic, smoky chipotle peppers and the added zip of spicy brown mustard.  You can find canned chipotle peppers in the ethnic food section of most grocery stores.  One can contains about 12 chipotles peppers and because I hate to waste good ingredients, I have a quick tip.  You can freeze the leftover peppers in pairs so that you don’t have to throw away the rest of the can.  You can also make larger batches of the barbecue sauce because that freezes very well too!

Chipotle Apple Butter Barbecue Ribs

  • 2 pounds boneless ribs (or bone in, depends on your preference)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (use 2 teaspoons of the sauce from the can)
  • 1 large clove of garlic, fresh
  • ¾ cup barbecue sauce (I used KC Masterpiece – original)
  • ¾ cup apple butter (I used Mussleman’s)
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard



Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  In food processor, puree chipotle peppers and garlic.  Add remaining ingredients and blend until well combined.

Season ribs with salt and pepper.  Place in a greased glass baking dish.  Cover Ribs with sauce, cover pan with foil and bake for 1.5 hours.  Remove foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes.  Make sure internal temp has reached 155.  Remove pan from the oven and place ribs on plate.  Set aside.  Place remaining barbecue sauce in sauce pan, bring to boil over medium/low heat and reduce by half.  Preheat grill.  When ready to eat, brush ribs with barbecue sauce and grill on high heat for 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove ribs from grill and serve with additional barbecue sauce.  Enjoy!

Serves 4

2 thoughts on “Chipotle Apple Butter Barbecue Ribs”

  1. This was declared a winner last night. I don’t like to alter a recipe the first time I make it but I forgot to buy the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. So, I substituted by adding a half teaspoon of Penzey’s chipotle powder, which provided plenty of smokey heat. Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!

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