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baby back ribs on grill with BBQ sauce
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4.91 from 11 votes

BBQ Pork Ribs Recipe

BBQ Pork Ribs are a slow cooked tender slab of seasoned and sauced barbecued baby back or spare ribs that are easy to make on a smoker or in the oven.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time6 hours
Total Time6 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings


(all ingredients are approximate and don't really need to be measured)


  • Prepare ribs by removing membrane which is usually attached to the underside of the rib cage. Sometimes the butcher does this before you buy them. Rub both sides of ribs with mustard and brown sugar. Wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator 6 hours to overnight. If you're in a real hurry, you can skip the refrigeration and just start the cooking process.

If cooking on a smoker:

  • Set smoker to smoke with the lid open for 5 minutes. Unwrap ribs and place on grill. Close lid. Smoke ribs for 3 hours.
  • Open lid. Increase temperature from smoke to 225 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil (the thin stuff will tear) twice the length of the ribs and transfer the ribs to the foil using tongs. Wrap the foil up around the ribs to make a bowl. Pour the apple cider vinegar over the ribs. Wrap the ribs in the foil taking care not to let the vinegar spill out. Cook for 2 hours.
  • Remove ribs from foil and place back on the grill. With the heat still still set at 225, cover the ribs with the barbecue sauce and cook for one additional hour.
  • The ends of the bones should be exposed and the meat should be extremely tender. Take great care lifting them off the grill so as not to have them fall apart.

If cooking ribs in the oven:

  • Remove plastic wrap and transfer to a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil (twice the length of the ribs) in such a way that the package can hold liquid. Before sealing up, pour vinegar over ribs. Wrap tightly and bake in preheated 250 degree F oven for 3 hours.
  • Remove the ribs from the oven and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Cover with barbecue sauce.
  • Set the oven to broil and place ribs back in oven until sauce is slightly browned and firm but not burned.



Cooking tips:
  • Plan ahead! This recipe takes time to marinate and then cook.
  • You will prepare the pork spare ribs by removing the membrane that may be attached to the underside of the rib cage. This may have already been done for you by the butcher, but if not, then you will have to do it yourself.
  • You can use apple juice or apple cider in place of the apple cider vinegar, however the vinegar will give you more tender results.
  • I recommend using apple or hickory wood pellets in the smoker for these ribs.
  • This recipe works equally well for both pork spare ribs and pork baby back ribs.


Calories: 441kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 1475mg | Potassium: 416mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 77g | Vitamin A: 205IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 2.1mg