Cherries! Bing Cherry and Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce

by Sarah on June 17, 2010

Yes, more cherries. There were a lot of them on the tree, and luckily, I got to them before the birds did.  But what to do?  How about some bbq sauce, sort of like the one featured last summer for Father’s Day?  It IS almost Father’s Day, y’all.

I know this sounds weird, but hopefully it will also sound good.  Good and weird.     Weird and good.  Baby back ribs with bing cherry-Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce.  Indeed.

This was most of the ingredients.  I was just making this up as I went along so not everything is pictured.

First, I sauteed the onion and the garlic in a bit of oil.  You can use yellow or white onion if you choose–I had just run out of yellow onions so this is what I had on hand.

After a couple of minutes, add the pitted cherries and any accumulated juice.

And 2 cups of Dr. Pepper.  Just plain old Dr. Pepper.  Not vanilla or cherry or diet.

Bring it to a boil and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes.  It will begin to get a little syrupy.

Add the other ingredients:  ketchup, chili sauce, mustard, a touch of vinegar, another touch of brown sugar, a pinch of cayenne and salt and pepper.

And a 14-oz. can of Ro-Tel, or the store’s generic version (tomatoes with jalapenos).

Bring back to a boil and let cook until thickened and the flavors have melded.

Now, it’s time for our old friend the immersion blender to come in and do it’s job.  Blend away, until it’s as smooth as you want it.

Looks like BBQ sauce!  And once you blend it, you can really taste the cherries.

I don’t know if you remember from last year, but this is my quick and dirty method for making baby back or other ribs.  Put on a rub.  Any old rub.  This one has salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and whatever else I threw in there.  I like to make it in big batches and put it in a jar so I have it on hand whenever I need it.

Put the rib racks on a foil-lined baking sheet and cook them in the oven until they’re tender.  You can go low and slow–275* for 3-4 hours or in a more moderate oven if you’re in a hurry–350* for 2-3 hours.  Just make sure you keep an eye on them.  They’ll pull away from the bone when they’re done.   You can do this step well in advance, too, since we’re going to finish them on the grill.

Fire up the grill and cook over moderate heat until heated through and you get some good grill marks on there.

Then it’s time to brush them with the sauce.

Just remember that the sauce will burn, so once you put it on there, you’ll want to move the ribs to indirect heat and really keep an eye on them.

Looks good, don’t it?

Cut the ribs and just serve the sauce on the side for folks to brush on themselves.

We enjoyed our succulent Cherry-Dr. Pepper ribs with some nice grilled corn and a summer fruit salad.  Now this is what summer is all about.  I’m glad it’s finally arrived!

How the hell did this get in here?

Finger licken’, tooth picken’ good.

Bing Cherry Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups bing cherries, pitted
  • 2 cups Dr. Pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 2-3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 14-oz can tomatoes with jalapeno
  • cayenne, black pepper and salt to taste


  • In a saucepan, saute the onion and garlic over medium heat for a minute. Add cherries and saute until soft. Add the Dr. Pepper and bring to a boil. Let boil until slightly syrupy and reduced.
  • Add the ketchup, chili sauce, mustard, vinegar, sugar and tomatoes. Season with the cayenne, salt and pepper. Bring back to a boil and let cook until thickened and the flavors have melded.
  • Using an immersion blender, food processor or regular blender, blend the sauce until smooth. Taste again for seasoning.
  • Can be refrigerated until ready to use. Good for ribs, pork chops, or chicken.

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