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Apple and BBQ Sauce Ribs recipe

Apple and BBQ Sauce Ribs recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Pork

This is a recipe that I did a couple of years ago. It takes some time, but it's worth it.

52 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 1L BBQ sauce
  • 1L apple sauce
  • 2kg pork ribs
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • garlic to taste

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:1hr30min ›Extra time:8hr › Ready in:9hr45min

  1. Mix the BBQ sauce and apple sauce in bowl. Place ribs on a large sheet of heavy duty aluminium foil, and rub on all sides with the salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic. Pour sauce over ribs to coat. Seal ribs in the foil. Marinate in the refrigerator 8 hours, or overnight.
  2. Preheat BBQ for high heat.
  3. Place ribs in foil on the cooking grate, and cook 1 hour. Remove ribs from foil, and place directly on the cooking grate. Continue cooking 30 minutes, basting frequently with the sauce, until ribs are done.

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Check out our BBQ how-to guides and videos for easy tips on how to BBQ to perfection!

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(62)

Reviews in English (48)

such a nice sticky sauce worth the time to prep-22 Dec 2012


This recipe is definitely a keeper. I made it for the first time last night and everyone loved it - two racks of ribs are GONE. Grilling them in the foil packets covered with sauce made for ribs so tender the meat was falling off the bones. The BBQ sauce and applesauce combination gave just the right sweet/spicy taste. These are definitely going to become a staple in my menu planning.ETA: The last time I made these ribs I used a disposable foil pan rather than wrapping them in sheets of foil. Believe me, it didn't affect the taste at all, but was much, much easier to handle on the grill. I just prepared the ribs as directed using the foil pan, which I then covered with foil. Made cleanup a breeze.-30 May 2006

by rum89

First I wanna say that this was the first time I ever cooked ribs. I know how to cook dogs and hamburger on the grill but never ribs. I followed the instructions and by far the best ribs I ever tasted. My wife said that I set the bar for her taste buds. My brother and mother told me that I might have them beat (they are experienced grillers). I used spared ribs instead of baby back which I will try next time. Watching my friends and family licking the bone clean was well worth the time and effort. Thanks for the recipe-20 Aug 2006

2 slabs pork spareribs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Apple Wood Chips/Chunks
barbecue sauce (recipe follows)

Rub cinnamon, cloves and pepper into
both sides of ribs. Place ribs on rack in smoker

Smoke spare ribs with apple wood for 6 hours or until tender (about 170 degrees).

Barbecue Sauce:

2&minus15 oz. cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup molasses
10 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons dry mustard
fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1/2 cup red wine vinegar

Combine all ingredients except vinegar in saucepan. Simmer,
covered, on low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add
vinegar to taste and simmer for another 15 minutes. Chill at
least 24 hours, or until ready to use.

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup apple (peeled and grated)
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup onion (grated)
  • 2 teaspoons bell pepper (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Reduce heat to low and let simmer 15 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on the sauce so that it does not burn.

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool for 10 minutes before using.

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

The sauce can be stored in a plastic container or glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week after preparation.

Here’s how to make bbq apple cider ribs!

Make Rub

The rub is made from ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry! The one outlier may be ancho chile powder. You can use regular chili powder in its place, but I highly recommend investing in some ancho flavor. It’s SO tasty.

Once you make the rub, make sure it’s spread all over the racks of ribs evenly.


Now let’s bake! The key to baking ribs is to bake them low and slow. The slow cook really keeps everything nice and tender, not to mention juicy.

Bake Some More

Next you will need to pour over a mixture of apple cider and honey. It’s a simple mixture that infuses itself into the ribs as it bakes for another hour. You get just the right amount of apple cider flavor, and it really complements the BBQ flavor.


Grilling the ribs gives the outside that tasty crust that I absolutely DROOL over. You cook it for just 15 minutes, basting it with your favorite BBQ sauce the whole time until it is nice and glazed… YUM.

Need some more inspiration for grilling? Check out my grilled recipes page!

Related Video

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Apple Cinnamon Brined Baby Back Ribs

Serves: 6 | Prep time: 25 hours | Cook time: 3.5 hours

3 racks of baby back ribs

6 cups water
3 cups apple cider or apple juice
2 cups white sugar
6 cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp whole cloves
1 tbsp salt
2 bay leaves

1 cup Code 3 Spices 5-0 Rub
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Grill or Smoker
Apple Wood Chunks


Step 1: Combine water and apple cider in large stock pot and bring to rolling boil. Add remaining brine ingredients, cover and let boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Set aside one cup of brine in a spray bottle.

Step 2: Remove the membrane from the backside of the ribs. Think of this membrane as an impenetrable flavor barrier. Neither your rub nor your brine can get through this membrane, so removing it will make all the difference in the world to your finished ribs.

Step 3: Submerge ribs into the room temperature brine, making sure they are completely covered. I find it’s easiest to use one of the cheap disposable aluminum chaffing pans for this.

Step 4: Place ribs in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Step 5: While the ribs are brining, combine Code 3 Spices 5-0 Rub and ground cinnamon, and put into a shaker bottle—set aside. You can make more of this if you like, I use this rub on other things as well, the cinnamon brings a unique flavor to various meats.

Step 6: Preheat the cooker to 285°F – 300°F.

Step 7: Remove ribs from the brine and discard brine. Pat dry with a paper towel.

Step 8: Rub a very thin coat of vegetable oil onto the ribs. This will act as a binder for the rub we made.

Step 9: Sprinkle the rub generously onto the racks of ribs. Ensure you cover the front, back and sides of each rack.

Step 10: I like to use two hooks when I am hanging ribs. You can get away with one, but two just keeps things more secure.

Step 11: Place first meat hook onto the rack of ribs, as seen in the picture I usually go about two bones deep on the first hook.

Step 12: Note where the curvature of the first hook is when placing the second hook. I have cooked ribs with a single hook but I just feel better about the extra support.

Step 13: Add apple wood chunks to white hot coals and hang ribs, cook for about 3 hours.

Step 14: Remove from cooker using a hook, do not grab the hooks with bare hands, allow to rest for about 10 minutes uncovered before slicing and serving.

Make this Apple Cinnamon Rib Recipe:

If you tried this recipe and enjoyed it, please click the stars below to leave a rating.

What is Apple Butter?

It’s actually not butter! Despite the name “Apple Butter“, it does not contain any butter. In simple Taneisha terms, apple butter is essentially concentrated apple sauce, with spreadability like butter. Similar to apple sauce, apple butter contain warm autumn spices like cinnamon, all spice, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg, however, it is cooked for a longer period of time. You slow cook the apples for a lengthy period of time which draws out the water and allows it to caramelize all the more. In return, you are left with a dark brown, deeply caramelized, apple “sauce” with strong apple flavours.

My Easy Instant Pot Apple Butter, is the staple ingredient in this recipe. Check out the recipe to make it yourself in less than 30 minutes!

What is the 3-2-1 method?

The 3-2-1 rib method is an easy way to cook beautifully tender ribs by following three key stages:

  • 3 hours on the smoker
  • 2 hours wrapped in foil with liquid
  • 1 final hour smoked with sauce layered on top

The method ensures that your meat is cooked evenly while guaranteeing that they’ll retain moisture and lock in beautiful smoked barbecue flavors.

In short, if you want perfect competition-level BBQ ribs, learning the 3 2 1 method is a must.

Best-Ever Grilled Ribs

Learning how to cook ribs on the grill may take a little time and patience, but the process couldn&rsquot be easier! Whether you opt for a charcoal grill or a gas grill, cook these spice-rubbed ribs over indirect heat for a little over an hour before finishing them off over the flames. They&rsquoll be smoky, tender, and charred, and to give them a sticky-sweet flavor, we've basted them with a glaze of BBQ sauce. Feel free to make your own BBQ sauce or use a store-bought sauce to make things even easier. Then, serve them up with your favorite BBQ sides&mdashthink coleslaw, potato salad, or corn on the cob&mdashfor the ultimate summer cookout menu.

Should you cook ribs before grilling?

Traditional barbecue ribs don&rsquot need to be cooked before grilling&mdashand in the summertime, we can appreciate keeping the oven off! Instead, the ribs can be cooked entirely on the grill. It&rsquos a process that takes time and patience (the ribs cook over indirect heat at a low temperature), but it&rsquos worth it!

Is it better to cook ribs in the oven or grill?

There&rsquos really no right answer here. Cooking ribs on the grill (like we do here) will give you the smoky flavors you know and love, but cooking them in the oven is quicker and gives you more control over the temperature. Either method works, but if you have the time, just fire up the grill.

How long does it take to cook ribs on the grill?

Depending on the heat of your grill, your ribs should take about 1½ to 2 hours in total. Use visual cues to know when your ribs are done&mdashyou want them to be tender and easily pierced with a fork, but not completely falling off the bone.

How do you tenderize pork ribs before grilling?

Removing the membrane on the underside of the ribs before grilling them will make your ribs more tender and give them more flavor. It&rsquos a key step and it's simple to do! Use a knife to pull up the corner of the thin membrane from the meat, then use your fingers to pull the membrane away. You can use a paper towel to get a good grip if needed.


People are mystified about how to cook ribs properly. I'm going to walk you through every step using a basic charcoal grill. Obviously if you have different or more high-tech equipment, you'll need to modify these procedures. If you're setting up your backyard charcoal grill for indirect cooking, you'll want to use a disposable aluminum pan to capture the grease as the fat renders while cooking. Some people add water to this pan to add moisture to the cooking environment.
Let me caution you right up front to mop the ribs with sauce no more than 10 minutes before you take them off the grill. Saucing the meat too early is a mistake many people make when smoking or grilling. Virtually all barbecue sauce contains sugar, and your meat will have a burned crust around the outside if you use sauce too soon in the process.
Ribs are readily available in most grocery stores. When selecting ribs, try not to buy ones that weigh less than 2 pounds. A true baby back rib weighs about 11/4 to 1 1/2 pounds they are very fragile and dry out quickly. This recipe calls for a meatier rib. A loin back rib is preferable they're easier to cook, less fragile, and have more meat.
Once you start smoking ribs, you can't leave the smoker unattended for any more than about 20 minutes. You'll need to continually check that the temperature in the grill remains between 200 and 210 degrees at all times. If it gets too hot, open the lid and allow some of the heat to escape. Coals that appear to be glowing red will cause a hot spot. Don't cook the ribs directly over the hot spot move the ribs to a different, cooler part of the grill. If the temperature dips below 200 degrees, move the ribs to a hot spot for a while. If the temperature gets too low, add some more coals.
You'll need about 4 cups of apple wood chips to be authentic you can use hickory, pecan, sweet maple, or cherry, but the ribs won't taste as sweet. You'll also need a chimney starter or another small covered grill or bucket to keep extra hot coals.

4 racks of ribs (about 2 pounds each)
Magic Dust (recipe below)
4 cups apple juice in a spray bottle
Apple City Barbecue Sauce (recipe below)

Sprinkle the ribs liberally with Magic Dust, coating both sides. Put them in a shallow pan or on a cookie sheet and cover them with clear plastic wrap or a lid. Refrigerate them until you're ready to use them. I recommend letting them marinate for at least an hour. At the restaurant, we dust the ribs up to a day in advance.

Soak the apple wood chips in water for half an hour. Drain.

Remove the grate and arrange the medium-hot coals in a grill or smoker. If you are using a grill, it must have a lid. Set an aluminum pan next to the coals as a drip pan. Spread out the wet wood chips on the coals. Replace the rack, close the grill, and check the temperature. It should be between 200 and 210 degrees. If the temperature is too high, open the lid to allow some heat to escape.

Notice that the meat on a rack of ribs is on the top. The bottom, where you remove the membrane, is called the "bone side." Once the temperature is steady, place the ribs on the rack, bone side down. You want to cook them bone side down as much as possible. Turning them dries out the meat. If necessary, you can cut the racks of ribs in half to comfortably fit your grill.

Cover and smoke the ribs for about 1 1/2 hours or until the ribs are done and tender.

You'll want to check the ribs every 20 minutes or so. Examine them to see if the surface of the meat looks dry or moist. Ribs "sweat" about three times during the smoking process. The pores of the meat open, and this allows moisture to escape. This is when the seasoning from the dry rub and the smoke itself are reabsorbed into the meat. When they're sweating, mop or mist them with some apple juice and sprinkle them with a little more Magic Dust. Opening the lid will lower the temperature add more coals and wood chips as needed to maintain the temperature.

About 10 minutes before you remove the ribs from the pit, mop them with the sauce. When you take them off the pit, mop again with sauce and sprinkle some more Magic Dust on them. Serve immediately.

This award-winning sauce enhances just about any barbecue. Some barbecue sauce is very thick and just sits on top of the meat. This sauce is smooth and on the thin side, and it seeps down into the meat.

1 cup ketchup (I use Hunt's)
2/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 cup apple juice or cider
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/3 cup bacon bits, ground in a spice grinder
1/3 cup peeled and grated apple
1/3 cup grated onion
2 teaspoons grated green bell pepper

Combine the ketchup, rice vinegar, apple juice or cider, cider vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic powder, white pepper, cayenne, and bacon bits in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the apple, onion, and bell pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes or until it thickens slightly. Stir it often. Allow to cool, then pour into sterilized glass bottles. A glass jar that used to contain mayonnaise or juice works real well. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

VARIATION: To make this sauce a little hotter, add more cayenne pepper to taste, approximately another 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon. Be careful a little cayenne goes a long way.


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