Apple-Jalapeño Baby Back Ribs

The Ribs:

  • 2 racks baby back ribs, membrane removed

The Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

The Sauce:

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1/4 cup minced white onion
  • 1 minced red jalapeño pepper, seeds removed
  • ½ minced green apple, peeled and cored
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 cup scallions


  1. A few hours ahead of cooking time, combine rub ingredients and coat ribs. Place in refrigerator until 45 minutes before cooking.
  2. In a saucepan, cook the apple, cider, jalapeño and onion and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining sauce items and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Puree sauce with a stick blender and cook for an additional 15 minutes, until thick sauce is formed.
  5. Add scallions to the sauce after it has cooled down.
  6. Prepare coals in a kettle grill and place them equally on two sides of the grill. Place a large foil pan in the middle of the coals, and fill with one-half water and one-half apple cider until almost full. Add a couple handfuls of soaked apple and hickory chips to the coals.
  7. Cook ribs for 1 hour and 45 minutes on the grate over the foil pan with the lid on. The bottom grill vent should be all the way open, and the top one should one-half open. Mop with apple cider and add more wood chips every 30 minutes. During the last 15 minutes, slather ribs with sauce and cook for 10 minutes – so a nice glaze forms.
  8. Let rest for 10 minutes and serve. There should be enough sauce reserved so guests can add more.

Serves at least four.


  1. joe says:

    Those look really tasty! I will be trying this soon.

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