Grilled Baby Back Ribs with Smoky Barbecue Sauce


Grilled Baby Back Ribs with Smoky Barbecue Sauce

Primary Media

User Rating

3.41 out of 5 stars
Rate it:
22 ratings

Recipe Data


Recipe Wellness Badges


    Save Options

    Servings and Ingredients

    Serves 6
    For Ribs:
    ¼ c. packed golden brown sugar
    3 tbsp. paprika
    2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    1 tsp. ground cumin
    ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
    3 racks pork baby back ribs (2 1/2 pounds each)
    2 tbsp. kosher salt
    For Smoky Barbecue Sauce:
    2 tbsp. unsalted butter
    1 onion, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1 tsp. paprika
    ½ tsp. dry mustard
    ½ c. bourbon
    1 c. apple cider vinegar
    2 c. chicken broth
    2 c. ketchup
    ¾ c. packed golden brown sugar
    2 to 4 chipotle chilies (canned in adobo sauce), chopped*
    2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
    1 tsp. kosher salt
    ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into a small dice
    1 lemon, cut in half
    To Cook Ribs:
    Charcoal briquettes (if using charcoal barbecue grill)
    Hickory wood chips, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
    Aluminum broiler pans
    1 c. water (approximately)
    ¾ c. apple cider vinegar
    ¾ c. water


    1. It is necessary to begin this recipe the night before.
    2. To prepare the ribs:
    3. Mix brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper in medium bowl. Place ribs on large baking sheet and rub ribs with salt. Sprinkle spice mixture evenly all over ribs and massage spices into meat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
    4. To make the Smoky Barbecue Sauce:
    5. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until very tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in paprika and dry mustard.
    6. Stir in bourbon, then vinegar, and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in broth, ketchup, brown sugar, chipotle chilies, Worcestershire sauce, salt and black pepper. Add apples and squeeze juice from lemon into sauce.
    7. Bring sauce to a simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until sauce reduces and thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Keep sauce warm while preparing ribs.
    8. To cook ribs:
    9. Prepare charcoal or gas barbecue grill for low heat (250 degrees). For 2-burner gas grill, turn 1 burner off and for 3-burner gas grill, turn left and center burners off, leaving right burner on. Place aluminum pan over unlit burner. For a charcoal grill, pile charcoal on one side of barbecue grill and place aluminum pan on opposite side of barbecue grill. Add about 1 cup of water to aluminum pan.
    10. Drain wood chips and sprinkle drained wood chips over charcoal or place them in wood chip holder of barbecue grill or in another broiler pan set alongside the pan of water. Combine vinegar and 3/4 cup of water in a clean spray bottle.
    11. Place ribs on grill rack over unlit burners or opposite of charcoal. Placing ribs on opposite side of heat source ensures they don't char too much.
    12. Close hood of barbecue grill and grill ribs until meat around bones is very tender, turning ribs over as needed and spraying ribs occasionally with cider/water mixture, about 3 hours. To maintain steady temperature, it may be necessary to occasionally open the lid or prop it open.
    13. Once ribs are tender, begin brushing them lightly with barbecue sauce, allowing sauce to set a bit before applying next coat. Continue brushing ribs with barbecue sauce, turning as needed, until meat begins to pull away from bone easily, about 30 minutes.
    14. Transfer ribs to carving board and let rest for about 5 minutes. Using large sharp knife, cut racks into individual ribs and toss ribs in large bowl with enough of remaining warm barbecue sauce to coat.
    15. Arrange ribs on a platter and serve remaining warm barbecue sauce alongside.
    16. *Note: Chipotle chilies are very spicy. Add them to the sauce at your discretion.

    Recipe Source:

    Hy-Vee Seasons Summer 2012.