Horse & hay rides through the cornfields & pasture. Carving pumpkins. Picking apples in the orchard. Haunted forest hiking. Homemade spiced-donuts for the kids & (extra) hard cider for Dad. And… our bounty of apples, cider & pork ribs has culminated in the most seductive smoky aroma emanating from this bachelor’s patio – gorgeous, sweet&spicy, caramelized apple cider barbeque baby back pork ribs. An incredibly fun fall afternoon & phenomenal farm-to-table meal alongside my 2 favorite wild youngsters.
Cheers to beers & long live the long weekend! -David
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground rosemary
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- Pulse the olive oil and all the other spices and herbs in a food processor to create the rub. Season additionally to taste. Reserve.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapenos, minced
- 2 cups ketchup
- ¾ cup apple cider
- ¼ cup water
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup honey crisp apple, peeled removed and grated
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ½ tablespoon ground ginger
- ½ tablespoon dry ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn, to taste
- In large heavy bottom pan over medium-high heat, bring 1 tablespoon of oil to a gentle simmer. Toss in the garlic and onion, then sauté 10-15 minutes or until fragrant and beginning to caramelize.
- Turn down heat to low-medium and add all remaining ingredients. Cover. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring regularly, until the sauce thickens & desired consistency achieved.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Let cool for 5-10 minutes. Puree in a food processor until smooth. Apply to ribs immediately, or reserve, refrigerated in sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
- Lay trimmed ribs over a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet. Rinse the ribs with cold water, then pat entirely dry with paper towel. Brush with oil, then massage a liberal degree of dry rub across all portions of the slab. Wrap the ribs tightly with underlying plastic wrap and marinate for 6 hours, up to over night.
- Remove ribs from refrigeration and plastic 1 hour prior to grilling.
- At least 30 minutes prior to cooking, preheat grill to low-medium (225 degrees), using the 2-zone cooking method (see notes below). Place Char-Broil's Wood Chip Smoker Box in back corner of hot zone.
- Once grill is at 225○F, remove ribs from plastic & wrap tightly in tin foil, then lay bone-side down over cool zone grill grates. Cook for 90 minutes, rotating once after 45 minutes.
- Remove the ribs from grill and tin foil.
- Unwrap ribs from foil & place the rack back over cool zone grill grates, bone-side down, for an additional 45 minutes, basting with oil intermittently and rotating every 15 minutes.
- Remove ribs from the grill grates and turn both sides of the grill to maximum heat.
- Brush both sides of ribs with Honey Crisp BBQ Boss Sauce (see recipe above).
- Grill for 15 minutes over direct heat, brushing them every 3-5 minutes with layer upon caramelized layer of BBQ sauce.
- Remove the slab from grill when juices run clear and the internal temp has reached 180 degrees (see additional notes below).
- Place on a cutting board. Brush one final time with sauce. Rest 10-15 minutes prior to serving.
IF MEMBRANE NOT REMOVED: Simply lay the ribs, bone-side up, on a cutting board. Create an incision in the membrane by slicing through the tough flap with a sharp knife. Then, with a paper towel in hand, grip the membrane and pull away from the bone - slicing and pulling until it's entirely removed.
Two-Zone Cooking Method: Heat only one side of the grill, creating one hot direct heat zone and one cooler indirect heat zone.
RIB INTERNAL TEMPERATURE TESTING: There are several tests for ensuring appropriate cooking of ribs, but this is as much an art as it is a science.
1. Ribs meat should not fall off the bone - overcooked.
2. Rib slabs should nearly break when lifted with tongs, not wilt - undercooked.
3. Internal temperature is difficult to measure due to the thinness of the meat, proximity of bones and variances in size from one end of the slab to the other.
4. With a toothpick inserted, juices should run clear and if cut into for a sneak peek, the meat should appear white with no pink remaining.
5. If able to accurately measure internal temp, remove from grill when ribs reach 180 degrees.