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BBQ Pork Ribs with Apricot Bourbon Sauce

BBQ pork ribs are seasoned with a dry rub and mop for a variety of flavors and slathered in a sweet and tangy apricot bourbon sauce.

BBQ Pork Ribs

While my husband may not be entirely supportive of my food blogging habit, he does appreciate a good meal.  The Husband enjoys looking at pictures of good food almost as much as he enjoys eating it.  I have made him a Foodgawker junkie and lately he has been known to steal my cooking magazines.  It’s gotten to the point that if one comes up missing, I can sometimes find it among the stacks of hunting magazines that permanently reside next to his recliner in the living room.

The day my new Fine Cooking magazine arrived in the mail, The Husband tossed the rest of the mail on the desk next to the computer and walked out of the room with the magazine in hand.  He plopped down in the recliner and poured over the pages for the next half hour.  Every few minutes he held up magazine, would point to a picture, and say, “You need to make this.”

BBQ Pork Ribs

These bbq pork ribs with apricot bourbon sauce were one of those recipes and I honestly couldn’t wait to try them.  We have not smoked anything yet this summer and I imagined the apricot based barbecue sauce would probably taste awesome!

Oh, it did!  The spice rub gave them great flavor, the mop kept the ribs moist and created a great char on the outside, and the sauce was both sweet and tangy with a spicy little kick.

The cooking instructions may seem a little technical.  I included cooking methods for charcoal and gas grills in addition to a smoker.  But honestly, The Husband has his own method for smoking meat and we kind of did our own thing.  If you have a tried and true cooking method that you like to use for cooking ribs, go for it!

BBQ Pork Ribs

What to Serve with Ribs:

More Rib Recipes:

BBQ Pork Ribs
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5 from 1 vote

BBQ Pork Ribs with Apricot Bourbon Sauce

BBQ pork ribs are seasoned with a dry rub and mop for a variety of flavors and slathered in a sweet and tangy apricot bourbon sauce.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Lisa B.

Ingredients

  • 6 ½ pounds baby back or other cut of pork ribs
  • 2 1/2 cups hickory wood smoked chips soaked in water
  • 1/2 cup dry hickory wood smoked chips for gas grill only

Spice rub:

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder

Mop:

  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion about ½ cup, diced
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic about 2 teaspoons, minced
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 cup chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 medium jalapeno chili finely chopped

Instructions

  • Combine spice rub ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle the seasonings on both sides of the ribs.
  • Combine mop ingredients in a medium bowl.
  • For the sauce, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until onion is tender and translucent, about five minutes. Add garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Combine the remaining sauce ingredients. Add to the pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Sauce with thicken as it cools.

For charcoal grill:

  • Prepare charcoal grill for indirect heat. Once the coals have developed enough ash, spread them on one side of the grill. Place wood chips over hot coals. Fill an 8 x 11 inch foil pan halfway with water and place on the grate next to the coals. Replace grill grate and clean it.
  • Place ribs membrane side down on the grill grate. Carefully brush with the mop.
  • Grill ribs for approximately 45 minutes.
  • Transfer ribs to a baking sheet. Remove grill grate. Add additional charcoal as needed to maintain the temperature.
  • Replace grill grate. Baste ribs with the mop, then flip them over and return them to the grill. Grill for an additional 45 minutes.
  • Remove grill grate and repeat steps []. Grill for one more hour.
  • Brush sauce over the ribs. Grill for an additional 10 minutes. Remove ribs from the grill and allow to rest for 15 minutes before cutting.
  • Serve with additional sauce.

For gas grill:

  • Prepare gas grill for indirect heat. Turn off two burners and adjust the two lit burners so that the grill is able to maintain a temperature of 300 degrees. Fill an 8 x 11 inch foil pan halfway with water and place it on the side of the grill where the burners are not lit. Make a foil pouch out of tin foil. Fill pouch with dry woodchips and place between the unlit burners. Once the woodchips begin smoking, add half the wet woodchips on top. Replace grill grate and clean it.
  • Place ribs membrane side down on the grill grate. Carefully brush with the mop.
  • Grill ribs for approximately 45 minutes. Transfer ribs to a baking sheet. Remove grill grate. Add the remaining half of the web wood chips.
  • Replace grill grate. Baste ribs with the mop, then flip them over and return them to the grill. Grill for an additional 45 minutes.
  • Remove grill grate and repeat steps []. Grill for one more hour.
  • Brush sauce over the ribs. Grill for an additional 10 minutes. Remove ribs from the grill and allow to rest for 15 minutes before cutting.
  • Serve with additional sauce.

For a smoker:

  • Spread a single layer of hot coals in the bottom of the smoker. Spread soaked wood chips over the hot coals. Fill the drip pan halfway with water. Replace the grill grate and clean it.
  • Place ribs membrane side down on the grill grate. Carefully brush with the mop.
  • Flip ribs and baste with mop once an hour; check the charcoal and add additional coals and woodchips as needed to maintain the heat.
  • Smoke ribs for approximately 4-5 hours, or until meat is tender and easily pulls away from the bone.
  • Brush sauce over the ribs. Smoke for an additional 10 minutes. Remove ribs from the grill and allow to rest for 15 minutes before cutting.
  • Serve with additional sauce.

Notes

Adapted from Fine Cooking Aug/Sept 2012

8 Comments

  1. Haha too funny about the husband the cooking mags! At least he wants to get involved a little bit! The apricot bbq sauce on these sounds SO GOOD.

  2. These look and sound SO GOOD!

  3. This looks yummy. I nominated you on my blog for the Versatile Blogger award 🙂 You can read about it on my blog if you so choose. Milk and Honey

  4. damndeliciousblog

    Love this! Definitely need to make this for game day!

  5. duncan miller

    I prefer the black bits !!

  6. Sooooo I know this was posted a long time ago but what kind of Chili sauce

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