Apple-Glazed Barbecued Baby Back Ribs


These sticky, apple-scented ribs are cooked in the oven, then finished on the grill. They're a simpler version of a recipe by barbecue champion Chris Lilly, author of the new Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book, who cooks his ribs entirely on the grill. To follow Lilly's example, use a thermometer to keep the temperature at a steady 250°F and wrap the ribs in foil after adding the apple cider mixture.

Apple-Glazed Barbecued Baby Back Ribs
Photo: © Quentin Bacon
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 30 mins


  • ½ cup dark brown sugar

  • 4 teaspoons garlic salt

  • 4 teaspoons pure ancho chile powder

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon celery salt

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

  • ½ cup apple cider

  • ¼ cup apple jelly (melted)

  • ¼ cup honey

  • 2 racks baby back ribs (about 4 pounds total)

  • 1 cup prepared barbecue sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 250°. In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup of the sugar with the garlic salt, chile powder, salt, black pepper, celery salt, cayenne, cinnamon and white pepper. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the spice mix to a medium bowl and whisk in the cider, apple jelly, honey and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.

  2. Pull the membrane off the underside of each rib rack using a towel to grasp the corner. On a rimmed baking sheet, rub the ribs with the remaining spice mix; bake, meaty side up, for 2 1/2 hours. Pour the cider mixture over the ribs and turn to coat. Tightly cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.

  3. Light a grill. Uncover the ribs and brush with the barbecue sauce; grill over moderate heat, turning and brushing, until glazed, 15 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes, then cut between the bones and serve.

Suggested Pairing

A bold red is a great choice for ribs, and Syrah's sweet spice is delicious with this apple glaze. Try one from California or Washington state.

Related Articles