Pork Ribs with Piña Colada BBQ Sauce

Ribs. The quintessential American summertime BBQ food. At least its one of them. Memorial Day, which many attribute to being the unofficial start of summer – lets BBQ RIBS!!!  Labor Day, which many attribute to the unofficial end of summer – more BBQ RIBS!! So now that summer has FLOWN by in the blink of an eye and Labor Day weekend is here, I made ribs. Pina Colada Pork Ribs to be exact. Because, you know, I am all about the pineapple and the coconut.

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I made these ribs several months ago. And meant to blog them then. I think it actually was Memorial Day weekend when I made them. But we ate them all up so I couldn’t take any pictures. PLUS? I have a new camera right now (I am renting for a couple weeks as a test drive of sorts before I buy it and it is AMAZING) so I am cramming in as many recipes that I have put off to take pics of in these next two weeks. I realized as I looked at my list of recipes to make, they are all summer recipes. But that is good, since summer isn’t officially over until Sept 21, 2013. Not when Starbucks serves pumpkin spice lattes like many of my friends think.


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These ribs are part of our pork share from the Christiansen Family Farm in Utah. I can’t speak highly enough of the quality and flavor of the pork we get from them. They were thinner than the ribs I am used to cooking. I believe these are spare ribs and we normally get St Louis style or baby back. So if you get spare ribs the cooking time is a little less. And am I the only one that thinks of the game “Operation” when you see the words “Spare Ribs”?  We would play with the buzzer off because it would scare the poop out of me and my nerves would be shot for days. I seriously hated that game.

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Back to the good part. The sauce. All BBQs need a good sauce. Most ribs recipes either get a dry rub spice or a marinade, but both are finished with a sauce. Sauces are what wins BBQ cooking contests. There are people in this country that take their BBQ’d ribs very seriously and compete yearly in rib cook-offs. Some sauces take days to make, to simmer, to get those ingredients just right. Some have secret ingredients, some are thicker sauces, some are thinner. My pina colada sauce is a thicker sauce. More of a “mop” sauce. Since my variation of ribs do most of their cooking in a marinade I just mop the sauce on when grilling. This sauce is sweet and spicy and just so good.

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Ribs are either smoked for hours, baked in an oven, slow grilled, or my style – the crock pot does most of the cooking then finished on the BBQ. I really don’t believe there is a wrong way to cook ribs. It can even be done in a car on a 100+ deg day. True story. A woman I used to work with told me a story about how they had a black nissan sentra with black interior and it was SO hot that summer that one day they put their crock pot in the car and “cooked” the ribs. I don’t remember exactly if their oven was broken or they didn’t want to cook inside. Either way, they cooked them in their car. They were taking them to a potluck and finished them on the grill at the friends house. She said everyone said they were the best ribs they had ever had. (I don’t suggest cooking ribs in a car, not really sure how safe that is, but this was one of the funniest food stories I had ever heard). However you make your ribs, I hope you try these ones and love them as much as we do.

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Piña Colada Pork Ribs
Recipe type: Pork, BBQ, Dinner, Summer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
Super tender pork ribs with a tropical bbq sauce that are finger licking good. They are started in the crock pot and finished on a grill. Perfect for any summer BBQ!
  • 3-4 lbs pork ribs (St Louis Style or Baby Backs work best)
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • ⅓ c organic ketchup
  • ½ cup white or silver rum
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp shoyu or tamari
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Piña Colada BBQ Sauce**
  1. Cut the ribs into 4 rib sections and place in crockpot lined up next to each other vertically instead of stacked horizontally so that they get the most marinade around them.
  2. In a large bowl combine the rest of the ingredients except bbq sauce and stir well. Carefully pour the marinade over the ribs in the crock pot. Set the crock pot on high for 2 hours. Then after two hours set to low for another 4-6 hours ( Depending on size and thickness of ribs). Once an hour flip the ribs so the tops are on the bottom to get even cooking in the marinade. During the last hour or so check the ribs more frequently to see if they are done, and to make sure the bones aren’t falling off yet. They should be super tender. When they are about done preheat your grill. Either a charcoal grill or gas grill on medium works just fine. Once the ribs are done remove from the crock post to a baking sheet and baste with bbq sauce.
  3. Grill immediately. 3-4 min a side until the sauce starts to caramelize, basting with more sauce as needed.
  4. Serve hot!



5.0 from 1 reviews
Piña Colada BBQ Sauce
Recipe type: Sauce, BBQ
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A spicy sweet tropical BBQ sauce that is perfect for BBQ ribs or chicken. Makes about 3 cups of sauce
  • 1 tbsp organic coconut oil
  • Yellow onion – ½ c chopped
  • 3 cloves fresh minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • ½ cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1½ cups pineapple juice
  • ½ c Bacardi silver rum
  • ⅔ c coconut water
  • 1 /3 cup tomato paste
  • ⅓ c organic coconut vinegar
  • 2 tbsp organic Tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ⅓ c raw honey
  • 5-10 drops habanero hot sauce
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a 4 qt sauce pan and add the onion, garlic and ginger and sauté 2 minutes. Add in the remaining ingredients except the hot sauce. Stir well and bring to a boil. Simmer about 30 minutes stirring occasionally until reduced and thickened. Taste and add desired amount of hot sauce. Cool completely. Store in refrigerator in a sealed container at least a day to let the flavors combine better before using.
I know that traditional piña coladas have coconut cream and or milk in them, but when experimenting with making the sauce I decided to leave that out.



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These ribs were SO tender that I was having issues grilling them. They pretty much all fell off the bones. I had a pile of bones that I sort of stuck back in for picture taking purposes. My kids, being obsessed with things like bones lately, thought I was playing with dinosaur bones.  Why yes, I made teeny tiny dinosaur ribs for dinner. Did they want to eat the ribs? No. They just wanted to play with the bones.


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  1. I am drooling here!!!!!!! Seriously want these now, but one of my kids is allergic to all things pineapple! Ugh, so sad. Is there a substitute that you can recommend for the pineapple?
    Rachel @i love my disorganized life recently posted…T-fal 12-Piece Thermo-spot Cookware Review and #CookingPlanit T-fal GiveawayMy Profile

  2. Oh my gosh!! These look INCREDIBLE!! The ribs and that sauce! Wow oh wow!! My family would LOVE me if I made these. I have yet to make on good rack of rib ever, so I kind of gave up on trying! These just look to mouth watering not to try though. YUM!
    Tieghan recently posted…My Giant Line up of Cozy Fall Foods! Beware it Really is Giant!My Profile

  3. These ribs are gorgeous! I’m not in the states any more but I’d take a holiday off here to celebrate eating these ribs. :)
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted…Date Loaf CakeMy Profile

  4. Cooking in the car! Crazy. I agree- not sure how sanitary that would be, but I suppose you sure could slow cook something if it was THAT hot!
    I love ribs and only had them ONCE this summer! We have a BBQ to go to next weekend so this would be a perfect sauce to bring. Love the last pic of the stripped ribs :)

  5. girl that sauce sounds so good!

  6. Ribs are a favorite in my house, they go quickly once made. This recipe sounds mouth watering :) can’t wait to make this for my husband
    Nutmeg Nanny recently posted…Bacon Apple PancakesMy Profile

  7. These look freaking fantastic. I love the shot of the finished bones. Brilliant. I need to try these.
    Kim Beaulieu recently posted…Beef Stir Fry (Using Leftover Beef Roast) #HungerStrike #GuestPostMy Profile

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