Start Cookout Season Right with Valerie Bertinelli's Sweet and Smoky Chipotle Barbecue Ribs

Get the grilling season kicked off on the right foot with Food Network star Valerie Bertinelli’s oh-so-tender barbecue ribs recipe.

The cooking show host’s simple dish can be prepared in the oven, resulting in succulent, flavorful baby back ribs.

Bertinelli’s chipotle ribs are an aromatic delight

For the ribs in the former One Day at a Time star’s recipe, you’ll need two racks of baby back ribs, paprika, and garlic powder. Bertinelli prefers pork ribs, because “they’re just so much more tender, a lot more flavor, in my opinion.”

Its flavorful sauce calls for chopped onion and garlic, no-sugar-added ketchup, fresh orange juice, Worcestershire sauce, water, and chopped chipotles in adobo sauce.

She emphasizes in the Food Network video, below, for this recipe, the importance of tenderizing the ribs, because “you want that meat to fall off the bone.”

Her homemade barbecue sauce elevates this dish

“The first thing we’re going to do,” she says, “is cook them in the oven for about two hours. And that’s really going to tenderize the meat and cook it all the way through. Then we put the barbecue sauce on it and throw it on the grill to get it nice and charred.”

Bertinelli lets home cooks who don’t want to grill know, “You don’t have to worry about that; put it under the broiler and you’re going to get that beautiful char, too.”

She starts by rubbing the spices all over the pork ribs (“This is just step one in the flavoring of the ribs”). Then the meat goes into the oven, “low and slow,” for two hours at 350 degrees F.

While the ribs are in the oven, the “silky” barbecue sauce is mixed together: caramelize the onions, then cook them with the rest of the ingredients. Eventually, she blends it all with her immersion blender. You can also use a regular blender: “Just be very careful when you’re blending liquid; make sure there’s plenty of venting for the steam to escape.”

You could use bottled barbecue sauce in this recipe, but as the actor points out, “I love making my own barbecue sauce. It’s just like salad dressings; you don’t have to buy them anymore because they’re so easy to make and you know exactly what’s going in them.”

The ribs are removed from the oven and slathered with the sauce (“leave some for dipping sauce”), then returned to the oven, this time set to broil, for about five minutes. Once they’re done, they’re all ready to serve.

Get the full recipe and reviews on Food Network’s site.

Reviewers praised Bertinelli’s flavorful chipotle ribs

With that dry rub and delicious barbecue sauce, it’s no wonder home cooks loved Bertinelli’s spin on the classic cookout meal.

“These ribs are amazing, the sauce is delicious…I’ve already made these 3 times since watching the episode, total winner!  Thanks, Valerie,” one reviewer wrote.

Another home cook added, “Not spicy at all – more smokey [sic] flavor.  I did mine in the oven/broiler.  Would make again for sure!”

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