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Smoky Cranberry Ribs

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. + chilling Grill: 2 hours


6 servings

I love cranberries and freeze them in season to enjoy all year-round. Living near New Jersey’s cranberry bogs inspires me to develop new and delicious ways to use them, as in this recipe.—Christine Wendland, Browns Mills, New Jersey
Smoky Cranberry Ribs Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 4-1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 6 pounds pork baby back ribs
  • SAUCE:
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
  • 1-1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup ketchup


  1. In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, combine the first nine ingredients; grind until fennel and caraway seeds are crushed. Set aside 4 teaspoons for sauce.
  2. Rub remaining spice mixture over ribs. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Wrap ribs in a large piece of heavy-duty foil (about 28 in. x 18 in.); seal tightly. Prepare grill for indirect heat, using a drip pan. Place ribs over drip pan and grill, covered, over indirect medium heat for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until tender.
  4. In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, brown sugar, vinegar, onion and reserved spice mixture. Cook over medium heat until berries pop, about 15 minutes; cool slightly. Transfer to a blender; add ketchup. Cover and process until smooth. Set aside 1 cup sauce for serving.
  5. Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using long-handled tongs, lightly coat the grill rack. Carefully remove ribs from foil. Place over direct heat; baste with some of the sauce. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 20-30 minutes or until browned, turning and basting occasionally. Serve with reserved sauce.

Nutrition Facts

1 serving with 2 tablespoons sauce: 1023 calories, 62g fat (23g saturated fat), 245mg cholesterol, 1936mg sodium, 63g carbohydrate (58g sugars, 3g fiber), 51g protein.

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