Apple Butter BBQ Ribs
For the Ribs
- 2 full slabs of baby back ribs
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3-4 apple wood chunks
For the Apple Butter BBQ Sauce
- 1 cup apple butter
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
There are a number of varieties of paprika and they range in flavor from sweet and mild to pungent and hot. Most grocery stores carry mild paprika. You’ll find the more pungent variety at ethnic and gourmet markets.
Preheat your grill to 300°F with direct and indirect heat zones . Place an aluminum pan under the grill grate on one side and fill halfway with water. Wearing protective gloves , pour a chimney of hot coals on the other side. Toss a few apple wood chunks on top of the coals.
Hot TipUsing a water pan to add moisture to the cooking chamber is optional and can increase condensation under the grill lid. Adding spices, beer or wine to the water pan can be used to infuse an added layer of flavor into your food.
Remove the membrane under each slab of ribs by inserting a butter knife between the membrane and one of the bones. Grab the membrane with a paper towel and pull to remove it completely.
Combine the brown sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne powder, ginger and thyme in a small bowl. Apply the rub on both sides of the ribs. Press with your hands for the rub to penetrate the meat.
Place the ribs on the grill grate over indirect heat. Close the lid and cook for 2 hours.
Combine apple butter, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in a saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes and set aside.
After 2 hours of cooking, remove ribs from grill. Place each on a separate sheet of aluminum foil. Pour 1 cup of Apple Butter BBQ Sauce on top of each rack and wrap in foil. Place on indirect heat side of the grill and cook for another hour.
Once your ribs are fully cooked, remove the foil and sear over direct heat for 30 seconds per side to caramelize the BBQ sauce.
Hot TipThe ribs are done when the meat has shrunk, exposing about 1 inch of the bone on both ends.
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