If you say “Apple Butter Ribs” without getting “Apple Bottom Jeans” stuck in your head, you’re doing it wrong. That said, these babies (literally… they’re baby back ribs) are well worth the hours of cooking and the saucy mess you’ll find your hands and face in afterward (and if you don't find yourself in a saucy mess, again, you're doing it wrong). Serve ‘em up with a baked potato with all the fixin’s (wrap oiled, salted russet potatoes individually in foil and leave it on the warming rack for an hour or so while the ribs are cooking) and a green salad for the perfect meal. Don’t forget the napkins.
Apple Butter Ribs | Serves 4 People
2 racks (about 4-5 pounds total) pork baby back ribs
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
About ½ jar of House of Q Apple Butter BBQ Sauce
Assemble your ingredients and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Make the rub; place brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl and whisk until combined.
Place the racks of ribs on the foil-lined baking sheet; remove the membrane along the underside of the ribs if desired (this prevents the ribs from curling under, but doesn’t affect the flavour at all, so it’s up to you! Here’s a good video on how to do it.).
Now, cover the ribs with the rub, and, well, rub it in. Get it all over them, don’t spare any nook or cranny (especially the crannies). While you’re at it, enjoy the little exfoliating treatment your hands are getting. You’re basically at a spa. A meat spa.
When you’re done manhandling the ribs, cover them with plastic wrap and place them in the fridge for at least four hours, but up to 24.
When the ribs are done doing their thing in the fridge, place a drip tray under one side of the grill; preheat the opposite side to low-medium heat (about 300F) and clean the whole grate. Place the ribs over the drip pan on the unlit side so they cook over indirect heat. Pour about 1-2 tablespoons of the barbecue sauce in a small bowl and brush on the top side of the ribs.
Close the lid and let cook, undisturbed for three hours. Check the internal temperature of the ribs; you’ll want it to be about 190F. Larger ribs may take an hour or so longer, and smaller ribs may take up to an hour less. Time it accordingly.
When the ribs reach 190F, pour about half of the remaining barbecue sauce in another bowl and, using a clean brush, brush the ribs with more of the sauce and transfer to the lit side of the grill. Cook for a minute, flip, and brush with more sauce.
Remove the ribs from the grill and wrap in foil; set aside for 10 minutes, cut ribs into two-rib portions, and serve.