Cherry syrup on baby backs ?

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Smokin Okie

Master of the Pit
Original poster
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Jun 27, 2018
Oklahoma City
I'm smoking a couple racks of baby backs tomorrow. From watching Steven Raichlen's Planet Barbecue series last summer, he visited a joint in San Antonio that sprayed cherry syrup on their baby backs.

Cherry on baby backs is right down my alley. I think cherry and baby backs are like peanut butter and jelly. I'm thinking considering using this method on one rack tomorrow.

But ............ I've always been cautious about putting sugar on meats, that the sugar would burn. I thought saucing should be done at the end of the cook. And I'm having second thoughts about trying this.

Any thoughts ? I've got a bottle of Torani cherry syrup

Here's the recipe from Raichlen's site, its pretty simple, just rub the ribs and then spray cherry syrup a minimum of three times .

Here is the episode on PBS , the baby back segment starts at 9:11 mark

Cherry baby backs
I've always been a fan of cranberry and blackberry and I incorporate those flavors into a lot of food including ribs.After doing that pork tenderloin with blackberry glaze I've been thinking of whipping up a blackberry sauce to do on ribs,like you I've always done it towards the end.

I'll be watching this.If it works out for you I may try something like it.
Sounds good to me . I used apricot preserves once . Glazed at the end though . They were good .

I use frozen fruit in the BBQ sauce I make . Peach or raspberry .
Not a lot of sugar though .
I'm watching too .
The ribs at the joint in the Raichlen episode looked dark on the smoker, like the syrup had burned. But when they were on the cutting board, they had a really good color.

I guess the only way to find out is to try it.
I got two racks of baby backs on the Assassin GF. Put them on the top rack and running 275*


One rack is gonna be sprayed with cherry syrup. I put Tuffy Stone's Everything rub over a very light coat of his Big Umami.


The other is Kosmos Cherry Bomb ribs.


When they've been on an hour and a half, I'll give them the first spray.

I’ve made fruit glaze for a long time now. Apricot, peach and blackberry. I usually start from a jam then balance that out but I do use fresh blackberries and just add sugar and reduce them on the stove like if you were making jam then build the glaze from there. I always apply the glaze in the last hour of the cook Just long enough in heat to set the the glaze.

You are using a syrup so I’m guessing the 3 application through out the cook would be fine. In for the finish.
I'm worried I started spraying too soon, just depends on how long till done. I'm thinking 3 to 4 hours.
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I've misted with cherry juice before, and been happy with the result. Since I routinely mist pork with apple juice, I figured the sugar content in cherry juice (and likelihood of burning) wasn't too different. It worked out fine.
They're both well along. This about 3 hours in and the Cherry Bomb rack is almost done. But I wrapped them according to Kosmo .... almost .... and they're gonna go another 30 minutes. I did not use all the butter/sugar/glaze that he did, they're gonna be plenty sweet.

I'm not wrapping the cherry syrup rack and they're almost done also. They're actually looking pretty good.

This is 3 hours in


Both racks and the Cherry Bomb wrap

Well, I've sliced and tried them.

The Cherry Bomb were not as sweet as I thought they'd be.

I could not pick up the cherry flavor in the cherry syrup rib. They were very savory, which Tuffy's Everything rub is a savory rub. The ribs were dark in color but I picked up no burnt flavor.

I liked the Cherry Bomb best. Mrs Okie liked the cherry syrup rib. hahaha, that's the way it usually goes.

Both slabs had places darker than other spots. That happens with this cooker. I've only had it since August and I'm thinking it does not cook even , although biscuit tests tell me it does.

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