These sticky, apple-scented ribs are cooked in the oven, then finished on the grill. They're a simpler version of a recipe by champion pit master 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° and wrap the ribs in foil after adding the apple cider mixture.
Plus: 20 Smart Tips for Everyday Grilling
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons garlic salt
4 teaspoons pure ancho chile powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 cup apple jelly, melted
1/4 cup honey
2 racks baby back ribs (about 4 pounds total)
1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
How to Make It
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Review Body: Pretty good. Will probably revise a bit and try again. I felt I ran short on having enough rub and would make more next time so I could liberally coat the ribs. Ribs were beautifully lacquered and sauce is sweet but not overly. They have a nice apple scent about them but it's not too much. Several things I would do next time.....
#1 I would probably brine the ribs first . They were certainly juicy and tender but not quite as tender as we like.
#2 I would make more rub so I can use it generously
#3 The directions should say that the grill should be heated and then only one burner left on so the ribs can cook over indirect heat and not scorch. There's alot of sugar in the rub and sauce which makes them an easy burn possibility.
#4 I had apple wood chips in a smoker box on the direct burner too which added a nice smoky flavor. An easy option to add to your process
#5 We used BBQ sauce at the end but added some honey to the sauce too before brushing on the ribs.
Overall good with a little different twist using the apple ingredients. Nice to precook in oven rather than roasting in the summer heat for hours!