Barbecued Baby Back Ribs

Print recipe
Process: Involved
Cooking: Pork
Preparation: Long Cook (Over 2 hours)

Serves: 6

Four 1 1/4-pound racks pork baby back ribs

Baby back ribs (also known as loin back ribs because they are next to the pork loin) are more tender than spareribs. When buying them, avoid racks of ribs with protruding bones, which means the butchers have sacrificed more meat to the loin cut. If you do substitute spareribs in this recipe, make sure to allow for an additional 2 hours of cooking time.


1/2 cup Garlicky Barbecue Marinade
10 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup water

1. In a blender, puree the chopped garlic, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, onion and water.
The marinade can be refrigerated for
up to 1 week.

1/4 cup Seven-Spice Dry Rub
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sweet paprika
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup dry mustard
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients.
The dry rub can be refrigerated or frozen for up to 6 months.

2 cups hickory or other hardwood chips, soaked in water Cider Mop Spray
1 cup apple juice
1 cup water
1/4 cup cider vinegar

In a large, glass measuring cup, combine the apple juice, water and vinegar. Pour into a spray bottle and refrigerate.
The mop spray can be refrigerated for
up to 1 week.

1/2 cup Sweet and Sticky Barbecue Sauce mixed with 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup dark rum
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups water
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons hot sauce

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, onion, green pepper and a large pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the rum and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the chili powder, black pepper, allspice and cloves and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar, water, ketchup, molasses, mustard, vinegar and hot sauce and simmer over moderate heat, stirring often, until thickened, about 30 minutes.
2. Transfer the barbecue sauce to a large food processor and puree. Season the sauce with salt.
The barbecue sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.


1. Rub each rack of ribs all over with 2 tablespoons of the Garlicky Barbecue Marinade and refrigerate overnight.

2. Bring the ribs to room temperature and sprinkle each rack with 1 tablespoon of the Seven-Spice Dry Rub.

Cooking Method

3. Light a charcoal fire in a covered grill and set it up for indirect grilling: When the temperature reaches 225°, carefully push the hot coals to one side and place a drip pan filled with 1 cup of water on the opposite side. Alternatively, bring a smoker to 225°. Put the ribs on the grill over the drip pan, overlapping them slightly, and cover the grill; you'll need to cook the ribs for about 4 hours total, or until the meat pulls away from the bones and is very tender. Maintain the temperature at 225° by replenishing the charcoal with a fresh batch of burning coals every hour. Every hour, drain 1/2 cup of the wood chips and scatter them over the hot coals. Add water to the drip pan when half of it is evaporated. After 1 1/2 hours, spray the baby back ribs with the Cider Mop Spray and rotate them on the grill; repeat spraying every 45 minutes.

4. Remove the drip pan and spread the coals in an even layer. Replenish with fresh coals to make a medium-hot fire. Brush the ribs with the diluted Sweet and Sticky Barbecue Sauce and cook for 30 minutes, turning often. Repeat brushing 4 or 5 times to build a sticky glaze. Transfer the ribs to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut between each rib and serve. Make Ahead

The glazed ribs can be refrigerated overnight. Serve cold or reheat in a 325°oven.

© 2005 APL Creative Inc

Quick Selector

I want to make something


Cooking time

Bragging Rights

It’s not about how good you are,
it’s how good you want to be

Serious Barbecue APL's Test Kitchen
Design by Interstate, London