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Blueberry Barbecue Sauce Recipe: Get Grilling America!

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This recipe for Blueberry Barbecue Sauce is absolutely delicious, and perfect to use with grilled ribs, and just so you know, the post itself was sponsored by Smithfield, and Collective Bias.

#GetGrillingAmerica Smithfield Extra Tender Back Ribs, Grilled, with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce Recipe

It’s once again time to #GetGrillingAmerica with Smithfield Extra Tender Back Ribs Grilled with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

Why I Used Smithfield Ribs

First of all, I used them because they sponsored this post. But, as you probably know by now, I am a huge fan of Smithfield ® Ribs. They are perfect for summer grilling season. They’re also readily available at your local Walmart store.

Smithfield Ribs are hand-trimmed, extra-tender and juicy, with no added hormones or steroids. This time I tried the Extra Tender Extra Meaty Pork Back Ribs. I liked them even better than the type I tried last time,  the St. Louis Style Ribs…and I loved those! The Extra Meaty Pork Back Ribs seemed a bit meatier to me. 

And since they are more tender and juicy, the pork that comes off your grill will be sure to impress – no matter your level of experience or expertise. Yes, you *can* grill great ribs!

I have a delicious recipe for a barbecue sauce to share with you, that you can baste on those Smithfield Extra Meaty Ribs. After that,  I’ll share a few tips with you from my husband, The Grilling Master, that will help you see how easy it is to grill ribs.

But Why Blueberry Barbecue Sauce?

Right before I found out I’d be writing this post, my husband and I had taken a trip up to my friend Teresa’s blueberry farm, in Kentucky. We picked a bunch of blueberries that day, but Teresa sent us back home with a lot more than we picked, I suspect! We drove back to Nashville with 15 POUNDS of blueberries!

(Pause and think about that sitting in YOUR fridge for a moment!)

Consequently, we’ve been enjoying making pies, and crisps, and all manner of preserves! 

When I found out I’d get the opportunity to write another post for Smithfield Fresh Pork, I thought, “Well, why not utilize some of those wonderful blueberries in a recipe with the ribs? Because pork loves fruit!” And by that I mean, of course, that the flavor of pork is really enhanced by a touch of sweetness. That’s why people love to barbecue those ribs, and glaze them with a sweet and spicy…but often tomato based…sauce.  

Blueberry Barbecue Sauce Recipe: perfect with Smithfield Extra Tender Extra Meaty Back Ribs

We used those blueberries to make one of the best barbecue sauces I’ve ever had! You can call it, “Blue Q” if you like. See the pink lines around the edge of the ribs? Those are the “smoke rings” I’m going to tell you about!

So here’s my absolutely outrageously scrumptious recipe for: 

The Recipe for Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

Yield: 4 cups of barbecue sauce

Blueberry Barbecue Sauce Recipe: Get Grilling America!

Grilled Baby Back Ribs with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce #grilling #blueberry #barbecuesauce #blueberrybarbecuesauce

An incredibly delicious fruit and vinegar reduction, with a touch of heat and savory spices that will beautifully enhance pork ribs.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes


  • 3 c. blueberries
  • 2 c. apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 t. hot chile flakes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Put the blueberries and about half of a cup of the vinegar into your blender and blend briefly to break up the berries and make things juicy.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine those crushed berries with the rest of the vinegar, sugar, chile flakes, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. You want those berries to simmer, covered, on low, for about an hour. Stir occasionally.
  3. Remove the cinnamon stick and the bay leaf from the mixture.
  4. Transfer the hot mixture to a blender - CAREFULLY. Remove the knob from the top of the blender lid, (this will allow steam to be released as necessary) and cover the blender top with a dish towel, to prevent the hot liquid from exploding, and being sure your hand is well protected, hold the lid and towel in place . Carefully blend the sauce till smooth.
  5. Return the blended liquid to the saucepan, to simmer and continue to reduce for about another half an hour. The sauce should continue to thicken. It should coat the back of the spoon and be about as thick as syrup when it's done.
  6. Allow it to cool, and rest, overnight if possible. The flavors of the vinegar and the blueberries will continue to mellow, marry, and improve as they mingle together. My blueberry barbecue sauce was even better after two days.


Any leftover blueberry barbecue sauce can be store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 28gProtein: 0g

A Tutorial on How to Grill Your Ribs

Before you begin grilling your ribs, apply your favorite spice rub. We like to apply ours the night before, but even an hour before will help the salt and spices penetrate the meat. I gave you the recipe for ours on the last rib post I wrote for Smithfield®, if you need a recommendation for a great one.

For the first two hours of grilling your ribs, you’re going to grill them low and slow, over indirect heat. That means the coals go on one side of the grill, and a drip pan filled with 2″ of water goes on the other side of the grill, underneath the ribs.

 Smithfield Extra Tender Extra Meaty Pork Back Ribs, on the Grill, over a drip pan/moisture pan with Kingsford Charcoal and Hickory Wood

The Smithfield Extra Tender Extra Meaty Pork Back Ribs are seen here on the grill, directly over my husband’s innovation: a drip pan/moisture pan containing a couple of inches of water. This kept the environment moist, and the heat indirect. He built the fire on the other side with Kingsford Charcoal, and added a stick or two of Hickory wood on top of the coals. This turned his grill into a smoker!

Add hickory wood chunks, or the wood of your choice, to the top of the coals. Congratulations! You just turned your grill into a smoker! If you follow these directions, you should see the pink smoke rings on your ribs, when you carve them.  You can see them on the finished pictures of my ribs: the pink ring is around the exterior of the meat. People who know great barbecue look for it! 

There’s no need to turn the ribs over during this portion of the grilling, because your grill is acting as an oven – roasting them – but also smoking them – over indirect, moist heat. 

Ribs on Foil After Being Sauced

Here you can see where my husband slathered the ribs with the Blue Q.

After two hours, place the ribs on a large sheet of foil, and slather them generously with the Blue Q (Blueberry Barbecue) Sauce. Seal the foil packet, and leave them over the foil pan (indirect heat) for 30 – 45 minutes, to help the ribs and sauce get to know each other. It’s a love match, believe me! 

Ribs And Blue Q are warming to each other.

Here we see the Ribs, and the Blue Q honeymooning together in conjugal bliss inside the Foiled Again Motel.

Remove the packet from the fire, and the ribs from the foil, allow the ribs to rest for 10 minutes, then carve, and serve. You can serve additional Blue Q sauce on the side, if you like. We didn’t need it. They were wonderful! 

#ad #GetGrillingAmerica Smithfield Extra Tender Extra Meaty Back Ribs Grilled with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

My baked beans with bacon, and my salad with blueberries, strawberries, feta, and honey toasted almonds were wonderful, too! And see the pretty pink smoke ring right under the bark on those ribs?

I made some delicious Smoky Chipotle Barbecue & Bacon Baked Beans and a green salad with blueberries, strawberries, feta, honey toasted almonds, and a balsamic vinaigrette to go with our ribs. They were perfect side dishes,  if I do say so myself! 

Grilled Baby Back Ribs with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce #grilling #blueberry #barbecuesauce #blueberrybarbecuesauce

I made this just for you! Perfect for pinning on Pinterest.

I’d also really appreciate it if you think this recipe sounds pretty great, if you’d share it out there on Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, Pinterest, or wherever else your travels take you out there on social media! 

Beth Davidson

Saturday 8th of July 2017

My son is obsessed with blueberries so I guess I need to get working on this!


Tuesday 20th of June 2017

Sounds so good!


Tuesday 20th of June 2017

I had blueberry BBQ sauce several years ago in a BBQ joint in Asheville, North Carolina. It was wonderful, and I've pinned this for when our local blueberries come in, later in July.

Susan Williams

Wednesday 21st of June 2017

Thanks so much for sharing it, Alana!


Tuesday 20th of June 2017

Never thought of blueberries with pork. Sounds and looks amazing!


Tuesday 20th of June 2017

Well this was right up my alley, I just bought ribs and we love anything blueberry.

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