Orange Chipotle Pork Ribs

Orange Chipotle Barbecue Ribs

Great flavors with these barbecue ribs

These orange chipotle ribs take full advantage of all that citrus fruits offer. Citrus flavors add additional and well diversified flavor elements to barbecue. The tartness of a lemon or lime or the sweetness of a fresh juicy orange can all be utilized to enhance the flavor of meat.

Along with the orange, we add the flavors of Adobo sauce, chipotle peppers and a kiss of Mesquite smoke to make these ribs zing!  While the pungent flavor that Mesquite offers can oftentimes overpower, the sweetness of the orange brings the tastiness of pork ribs back to neutral ground. The Adobo sauce adds a bit of  Tex-Mex flair while the Chipotle peppers kick in a bit of heat. The flavors all come together in a perfect balance which allows the meat to speak.


  • 2 slabs pork back ribs
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/2 cup grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 cup canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, dice the peppers
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and fresh ground pepper per taste
  • 1 large to medium orange
  • orange zest for garnish, optional
  • olive oil
  • About a cup of mesquite wood chips


  1. Prepare the ribs by trimming and removing the membrane. See the sidebar if you need to review how that is done.
  2. Lightly brush the ribs with olive oil. Salt and pepper both sides. Wrap in plastic food wrap and set aside for about 20 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, preheat the grill for indirect cooking over a medium-high heat. About 300-degrees F.
  4. Once fire is ready, unwrap ribs and sear directly over the hot coals. 3-5 minutes per side should be sufficient. Move ribs away from the fire and place on the cool side of the grill.
  5. Place wood chips on the hot coals and cover grill. Allow to cook for about 2 hours while maintaining the heat. Prepare the sauce 15 minutes prior to the end of the cooking time so that the sauce will stay warm.
  6. In a small sauce pan, heat the marmalade over medium heat until liquid.
  7. Reduce heat to low and whisk in the juice, chipotle peppers, vinegar and spices. Whisk until well blended. Add more of the Adobo sauce per taste.
  8. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes while stirring.
  9. Uncover grill and baste both sides of the ribs with the sauce. Cover and cook an additional 30 minutes, or until ribs are tender while basting frequently.
  10. Remove ribs from grill and apply a final brushing of sauce. Garnish with orange slices and for an additional flavor boost, sprinkle the ribs with some orange zest.
  11. Pig out and enjoy your orange chipotle ribs.

Enjoy your ribs and always remember…admire the fire!


How Ya Be Cookin’ Dem Barbecued Ribs?

We here at TopRibs prefer the Low-n-Slow method of cooking our barbecue ribs, but understand that method may not be suitable all the time. Great ribs can be had from the oven as well. A quick sear on the grill can also produce a decent rack of barbecued ribs. If you want to cook your pork ribs different than the recipe above calls out for, then see your other options here.

Low and Slow

Low and Slow



On The Grill



In the Oven

Also Good

Oinking Out Loud!

Hot Hog!

"Geez...I'm so hot...I'm bacon!"


What Ya Be Fixin’ Wit Dem Barbecued Ribs?

Man can’t survive by meat alone…OK, maybe we could, but your barbecue ribs sure taste better with a side dish or two. Here’s some good ideas:

Grilled Cornbread

Click to get the recipe

The Lazy Man's Way

Bacon & Shrimp

Click to get the recipe

A Great Appetizer!

Grilled Peaches

Click to get the recipe

Good For Any Course

What’d Ya think?

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