Ralph’s Radical Ribs | A Barbecue Classic



Who doesn’t love ribs! They are a tried and true barbecue classic, slow cooked til they melt in your mouth!


2 meaty racks baby back ribs, each 2 to 2½ pounds


¾ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons mustard powder

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar


¼ cup cider vinegar

1 cup apple juice


¼ cup Dijon mustard

½ cup maple syrup

½ cup ketchup

½ cup cider vinegar

½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

4 ounces bourbon

2 tablespoons hot chili-garlic sauce, such as Sriracha

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce 

Let’s Get Started

Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over low heat (250°F to 350°F).

Combine the rub ingredients. Slide the tip a dull knife under the membrane covering the back of each rack of ribs. Loosen the membrane until you can pry it up. With a paper towel, grab a corner of it and pull it off. Season the racks completely with the rub. Before grilling, let them stand at room temperature for 45 minutes.

Mix the mop ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, uncovered, until the sauce reduces by half and has a syrupy consistency, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat.

With the bone side down and lid closed, grill the ribs over indirect low heat for about 2½ hours. Rotate them two to three times so that both sides of each rack spend the same amount of time closest to the heat. Baste with the mop after the ribs have cooked for an hour. Continue to baste every 30 minutes or so.

Check after 2½ hours to see if either rack is ready to come off the grill. When the meat has shrunk back from the ends of the bones at least 1/4 inch, the ribs are done. Pick up one end of a rack with tongs. It should bend in the middle and the meat should tear easily. If does not tear, continue to cook up to an hour until it does.

Once they’re done, take the racks off the grill and brush them lightly with sauce on both sides. Return the racks to the grill and cook over indirect low heat, with the lid closed, until the surface is slightly crispy, 10 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut the racks between the bones into individual ribs and serve warm with the remaining sauce.

Serves 4, 25 minutes prep time.


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