The Best Barbecue Made With Grape Jelly

Updated on June 14, 2020
Lilleyth profile image

Suzanne is a former regional magazine publisher, as well as a cooking and gardening writer. She lives in North Carolina.

Think jelly on pork is gross? Think again, this recipe is absolute mouth-watering.
Think jelly on pork is gross? Think again, this recipe is absolute mouth-watering. | Source

Falling for the "Cue"

My introduction to pork barbecue was at a "Pig Pick'n" at a Chamber of Commerce event in Pickens County, South Carolina. My husband was the human resources manager for NCR, and we had just moved a ton of people to the area. This was the chamber's way of welcoming all of us.

It was a beautiful day, one of many as this part of the country, in the foothills of South Carolina, has wonderful weather. There were cloggers, folk music, and of course, the barbecue.

I lined up with the rest of us soon-to-be-transplanted Delawareans and picked up a hamburger roll and put some pork barbecue on it. That was when a local told me to put coleslaw on top of the pork... and the rest is history. From South Carolina to Raleigh, I have now tasted every barbecue I could get my hands on and my mouth around.

My Secret Ingredient: Grape Jelly

Ever since I discovered the recipe for jelly meatballs (which I share below), I have experimented with the recipe and found grape jelly and chili sauce make the best barbecue sauce for pork and beef ribs.

Rate My Recipe Please! (Thank you)

5 stars from 1 rating of The Best Barbecue Made With Grape Jelly

The Best Barbecue Sauce Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 2 hours
Ready in: 2 hours 30 min
Yields: Serves 4


  • 1 bottle chili sauce
  • 1 (4-oz. jar) grape jelly
  • 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
  • Texas Pete hot sauce, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pork or beef ribs


  1. Combine first five ingredients in a saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until jelly melts. Set aside.
  2. Parboil ribs for 10 minutes. Drain.
  3. Place ribs in an ovenproof casserole dish, pour jelly sauce over it, and cover. Bake at 325 degrees F for 2 hours.
  4. Alternative: Baste ribs with sauce and barbecue on grill until meat pulls away from the bone easily.

Bonus Recipe: Super Easy Jelly Meatballs

In case you have been living on another planet and haven't been to a party that served these meatballs, well then, let me introduce you to this recipe for grape jelly party meatballs that are super simple to make and always a hit:


  • 1 large package of mini meatballs (or make your own!)
  • 1 (4-oz. jar) grape jelly
  • 1 jar chili sauce


  1. Heat grape jelly and chili sauce until jelly is melted. Add meatballs.
  2. Serve in a chafing dish with cocktail toothpicks nearby at a party and watch them disappear.

Variation: Substitute another jelly, such as apricot, for the grape jelly.

© 2011 Suzanne Sheffield


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    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      4 years ago from USA

      I must have been living on another planet because I never heard of either BBQ sauce or meatballs with grape jelly. However, they both sound delicious and I'm definitely going to give them a try! Yummy!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from the beautiful south

      I haven't fixed the jelly meatballs but had tasted them and they are so good so I bet this is too. Will come back later and get some of your recipes. Great time of year to try new recipes. Thanks!

    • Monis Mas profile image


      7 years ago

      I never heard of this technique! I may have to share it with my husband, he is a chef.

    • Lilleyth profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Sheffield 

      7 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      Thank you phdast7 for the share! I appreciate it!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      This makes sense to me. Several years ago on the spur of the moment I had to feed a large number of people a summer Sunday lunch. Of course I had to use whatever I happened to have.

      I combined black pepper, garlic, Worcestershire and a small jar of STRAWBERRY JAM with a large bottle of BBQ sauce and poured it over chicken breasts and thighs and baked them slowly in the oven.

      Any side dishes would be fine. I think I served rice, a green salad, french bread. All I remember is guests using their bread to soak/sop up the last bits of the savory sauce in the pan -- these were adults, not children. :)

    • Lilleyth profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Sheffield 

      7 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      Grape jelly is great in pasta sauce, spicy meatballs, baked beans, as well as ribs. Thanks for the comment.

    • WillStarr profile image


      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      This gives me some ideas. We smoke ribs all the time, and experiment with different sauces, so using jelly as a base sounds very interesting!

    • James Peters profile image

      James Timothy Peters 

      7 years ago from Hammond, Indiana

      Holy cow!

      I just read a HUB on using GRAPE JELLY in a MEATLOAF and when I read the title to this INVITING HUB, I had to find out - the curiousity got the best of me.

      GREAT HUB! EXCELLENT video! I enjoyed it!

      Thumbs Up & More!

      Write On!

    • joaniebaby profile image


      8 years ago

      What a coincidence! I just tried a recipe for meat sauce with grape jelly and was pleasantly surprised. And since I used my own home canned jelly, I am sure it was even better than with store bought jelly. When I found the recipe, I was telling my daughter about it and she was very skeptical. Thanks for the Hub.

    • Lilleyth profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Sheffield 

      8 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      Thank you for stopping by. Let me know what you think!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      looks good I bookmarked and will try next week. Voted up

    • vespawoolf profile image

      Vespa Woolf 

      8 years ago from Peru, South America

      Hmmm, grape jelly and chili sauce sounds must add up to spicy and sweet BBQ sauce. It sounds delish! I've marked this as a definite must-try.

    • Lilleyth profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Sheffield 

      8 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      Thank you so much. I value your opinion.

    • m0rd0r profile image

      Stoill Barzakov 

      8 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      Even it is a bit fusion with the grape jelly it sounds tasty.

      Voting up ;)

    • Lilleyth profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Sheffield 

      8 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      Thank you Susan. You will not be disappointed!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love meatballs with the grape jelly so I have to try your rib recipe. Sounds like it would be a hit at my house. Thanks for the recipe.

      Voted up, shared and pinned.

    • Lilleyth profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Sheffield 

      9 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      You know that meatball recipe using grape jelly and chili sauce? Maybe I should post it. Grape jelly is also fantastic in spaghetti sauce. Yep, who'da thunk it is right.

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 

      9 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      This looks yummy. Grape jelly. Who would of thunk it


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