Best BBQ Ribs Recipe


I like to write about interesting commercial topics, and good eats are no exception.

I invite you to follow this recipe and make the absolute best BBQ ribs that you will ever eat!

Until now, I have kept this recipe a very close secret. My family has had a lot of fun in trying out several different recipes, testing them, modifying them, and eating a whole lot of delicious pork baby back ribs in the process. Finally, we came up with a combination of different ingredients and cooking methods to put together the absolute best baby back ribs recipe.

Since then, I have not eaten any BBQ ribs that even come close to the ones you’ll get from following this delicious recipe. So, If you're looking for the best smoked-ribs recipe ever, then you've certainly come to the right place!


One of the key elements to success in creating the very best BBQ ribs is to use good quality meat. For this recipe, use two racks of fresh (never frozen) pork baby back ribs. Fresher is always better.

The trick to successfully barbecuing baby back ribs is to get as much flavour into the meat as possible using smoke; the best smoke flavour for these particular ribs comes from cherry or applewood chips.

Use fresh, never frozen, baby back ribs

Use fresh, never frozen, baby back ribs

Also, it is important to ensure that the ribs are gently cooked so that they are very juicy and tender. To achieve this, we will be using two cooking methods:

  1. Barbecuing on the grill using indirect heat and smoke – 90 minutes
  2. Steaming and slow roasting in the oven – 1 hour and 50 minutes

Expect to spend some time and effort in the execution of the recipe and don’t cut any corners. Prepare to be teased with the smoky BBQ aroma while the ribs gently cook to perfection.

I can assure you that it is well worth the wait!

The flavour of the meat should be complemented by a good quality BBQ sauce, which doesn’t necessarily have to be homemade. I have tried several homemade sauce recipes, and none of them come close to the Safeway Select Original BBQ Sauce which happens to be our favourite.

There are many other store-bought sauces available, and I would invite you to use your own favourite sauce to finish off these delicious BBQ ribs.

You Will Need

  • 2 Racks of Fresh Baby Back Ribs
  • 1 Sharp Paring Knife
  • 6 Cups Cherry Wood or Apple Wood Chips
  • Aluminum Foil
  • 1 Cookie Sheet
  • 1 Disposable Aluminum Pan or Pie Plate
  • 1 Cup Apple Juice
  • 1 Wire Rack
  • Large Cutting Board
  • Your favourite BBQ Sauce

BBQ Rib Rub Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground All Spice
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Onion Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Mustard Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Celery Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Smoking Method

  • Soak the wood chips in water for about 5 minutes.
  • Place the rib racks on a cookie sheet. Use a sharp paring knife to trim and peel the membrane off the bone-side of the racks.
  • In a bowl, thoroughly combine all the BBQ rib rub ingredients together.
  • Pat the ribs dry with paper towel and sprinkle the BBQ rib rub over both sides of both racks. Pat the rub down so that it sticks to the meat.
  • Make 3 smoke packs: lay out 3 pieces of aluminum foil and divide the soaked wood chips on top of each piece of foil. Fold and secure each piece into packs approximately 6” square. Use a knife to poke several holes in each pack.
  • Set the barbecue grill for indirect heat. Remove the cooking grates and place the first smoke pack directly over the heat source. Place a disposable aluminum pan to one side of the heat source and add 2 cups of water.
  • Replace the cooking grates; turn the burner under the wood chips to high and the other burner(s) to medium. Close the lid and leave to preheat for 15 minutes. Aim to reach a temperature of approximately 300-350°F; monitor and maintain this temperature for the duration of the cooking time on the barbecue.
  • When visible steam and smoke is achieved, reduce the main burner to medium and turn the other burner(s) off. Place the ribs bone side up on the cooking grate over the pan of water. Cook for 45 minutes, changing the smoke pack halfway through.
  • Turn the ribs over and brush them with about 1/3 cup of the applesauce. Add a little more water to the pan if necessary. Change the smoke pack one more time before replacing the BBQ lid. Cook for a further 45 minutes.
  • Place a wire rack over a clean cookie sheet. Pour in the remaining apple juice and enough water to just cover the wire rack. Transfer the ribs to the cookie sheet and wrap tightly in foil so that no steam can escape. Place pan in preheated 250°F oven for another 1 hour and 50 minutes.
  • Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Generously brush your favourite BBQ sauce over the ribs, and then (if desired) place under a hot broiler for a couple of minutes to get a classic barbecue "bark" finish.
  • Slice through, and then serve with a little extra sauce on the side together with plenty of napkins!




Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on March 01, 2012:

Hi alocsin, hope you enjoy your feast of ribs tonight! Thanks for your comment and votes. Take care!

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on March 01, 2012:

These sound yummy. Now I'm hungry and will go to my nearest BBQ ribs restaurant. Voting this Up and Useful.

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on February 15, 2012:

Hi Vincent, if you like ribs then I think you'll love this recipe. I do hope you get to try it out soon. The ribs in Montreal sound fabulous also. You had me drooling over the Montreal Smoked Meat Deli Sandwich LOL.

Vincent Moore on February 13, 2012:

OMG where have you been? my mouth is drolling, next to smoked meat sandwiches, ribs are my next choice maybe even my first:-) There are these ribs in Montreal cooked in this restaurant called the Bar B Barns and whoa they are finger licking good. You order up either a baby, half or whole hog of these ribs and the meat falls off the bone.

I can't wait to try this style you have here. I have bookmarked it for later and I intend to give it a try. Another place I like is Montana's their ribs are darn good to. I will share this with my good food eating friends.

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on February 13, 2012:

Hi John! I actually made these over the weekend and am having leftovers tonight, with homemade coleslaw and cornbread. This recipe is soooo worth the effort, I hope you get to give it a try. All the best :)

John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on February 13, 2012:

Looks delish. In fact, I just ate lunch and can eat this right now if I had it in front of me.

Take care


DIY Backlinks on December 09, 2011:

Really good hub, voted up! I love to smoke ribs myself.

Jason Poquette from Whitinsville, MA on November 29, 2011:

This looks SOOOOOO good. I know what I'm making for the family on Saturday. Thanks for sharing! I just bookmarked this page for future reference!

itops from the sea on November 20, 2011:

These baby back ribs are so enticing! You could almost savor the soft meat oozing out with juices! And the pictures complement the delicious recipe as well. Like the others, I'll have to try these recipe one of these days too!

Thanks for sharing the recipe! :)

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on November 20, 2011:

Welcome Purple Perl, you have a great name yourself!!! How did you come up with that? I'm looking forward to swinging by and reading some of your own hubs soon. I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe.

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on November 20, 2011:

PDXKaraokeGuy - that's funny, I hope I didn't tempt you too much though :) Thanks for coming by.

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on November 20, 2011:

thelyricwriter, you always manage to put a big smile on my face! Sorry for the delay in reading and responding to your comment. I have always been able to count on your sincerity and honest opinions, for which I thank you from the bottom of my heart! I have been so busy lately that I have been unable to dedicate the time to HubPages and have gotten behind in reading. I do hope to catch up on your latest hubs soon. Thanks for the laugh and have a great evening my friend :)

Esther Shamsunder from Bangalore,India on November 10, 2011:

Absolutely lipsmacking recipe, & thanks for all the tips to get it right.The pics are stunning too,my mouth is watering.

Cloverleaf, what a wonderful name!Voted up & useful too!

Justin W Price from Juneau, Alaska on November 06, 2011:

this almost makes me wish I ate meat :o)

Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on November 06, 2011:

I promised I would try this and I am. We are having your recipe for dinner. Cloverleaf, I wanted to tell you thanks for everything. It has been a pleasure getting to know you, your mom MM as well. It makes the world seem smaller per say. You have been a great friend to me and I believe I owe it to you to say so. I read comments all the time, but I believe we all are not as sincere as we should be. So in saying that, I thank you. I always wonder about you when you are not online for a day or so. I know I am not on here as much either due to work and life in general. But on here, we are all in a perfect world. Cloverleaf, thanks for the friendship. On a lighter note, you are the only person I personally know from Canada:) Just wanted to make you laugh. Until the next time, take care.

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on November 03, 2011:

Thanks everyone! Ktrapp - I appreciate your sauce suggestions, I haven't tried either of those.

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on November 01, 2011:

These look absolutely wonderful. If I close my eyes I can almost smell the flavor now! Sharing family secrets might get you in trouble with the rest of the family, but your hubpages family really appreciates it! Bookmarking, voting up and across!

JT Walters from Florida on November 01, 2011:

HI Cloverleaf,

Those ribs look absolutely awesome. Thanks for sharing for treasured secret recipe and I will keep it in the family.


Kristin Trapp from Illinois on November 01, 2011:

These ribs look fantastic! I have also found that Sweet Baby Ray's and the Jim Beam barbecue sauces are really good. I am bookmarking this recipe and can't wait to use it during the grilling season. ~voting up and awesome~

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on November 01, 2011:

Great hub. My husband cooks the best ribs ever but he would never share his recipe- he loves basking in the glory of being the only one who can make them so good. But you've done a great job with sharing your family secrets and I commend you and your family for being so generous with what used to be this top secret knowledge. Voted up across the board except for funny.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on November 01, 2011:

Thanks for the recipe, I am not really a meat lover but there is nothing like ribs, is there? I guess I am partial to regular Kraft though for BBQ and I always catch it on sale and keep plenty. I love the sweet flavor but here in the south you have to watch it because some like and make it like vinegar and we got a big order of that once so are always cautious. Great hub as always Cloverleaf!

Brenda Trott, M.Ed from Houston, TX on November 01, 2011:

I'll give it a try, but if I mess it up, your coming over to fix it!

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on November 01, 2011:

Thanks, Julz09! Enjoy :)

Julz09 on November 01, 2011:

Excellent post! useful information.

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on October 17, 2011:

Hi stephanie, never be afraid of messing up the ribs again! This recipe is foolproof, but it does take some prep and time. It's worth the wait :) thanks for commenting!


Stephanie Das from Miami, US on October 17, 2011:

Wow. judging by the feedback you've gotten here, I'd say this recipe is a keeper. The hub is excellently written, and I can say that as a grill-addict, I haven't tried ribs because I've ben scared of messing them up! I will bookmark this awesome recipe. Thank you!

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on October 16, 2011:

Hi carcro, tuff ribs no more my friend! These ones will melt in your mouth...

Have a great day and thanks for coming by to comment.


Paul Cronin from Winnipeg on October 16, 2011:

You're right, these ribs look deliceoso, great pics and tips on how to make the best ribs! Thanks for the info, maybe mine won't be so tuff next time, Lol...

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on October 03, 2011:

Hello geekdrummer! Nice to see you again. I'm looking forward to reading your first hub...

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on October 03, 2011:

Hi thelyricwriter, you've had me laughing so much! I think you'll be eating well for a while. Thanks for your comment and please keep all those great hubs of yours coming, ok? :-)

geekdrummer on October 03, 2011:

That is making me soooo hungry!!

Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on October 02, 2011:

Voted up,AUI. Cloverleaf, I am a confused man now. I know I promised to get chicken, but these ribs look great. I am a rib man also. When midnight comes, I will be off to get chicken and ribs. That is the only conclussion I can come too. Good stuff. Good article.

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on September 29, 2011:

Hi Rika, I hope you sleep soundly thinking about my ribs :-) Thanks so much for your superb comment and for voting up. I'm off to check out your hubs now. Sleep well!


Rika Susan from South Africa on September 29, 2011:

Do you have to do this to me, Louise? Bedtime here in South Africa. What do you think I will be dreaming about tonight, thanks to you? How am I ever going to get to sleep with these pictures in my mind? I bet these ribs taste even better than they look! Yum. Voted up and awesome. Thanks for sharing your secrets.

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on September 20, 2011:

Hi Maralexa,

I just couldn't keep them all to myself - they are too good! Thanks for your comment :-)


Marilyn Alexander from Vancouver, Canada on September 20, 2011:

These look incredible. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe! Many would not.

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on September 19, 2011:

Hi John,

Come over this Saturday and I'll share some with you! LOL

Thanks for your comment :-)


johncimble from Bangkok on September 19, 2011:

you make my mouth got so watering lol thanks for sharing wish i had some now!

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on September 16, 2011:

Hi ayliss08, glad you liked this one! I am looking forward to reading more of your hubs also. Take care,


ayliss08 from Guangzhou, Guangdong, China on September 16, 2011:

Wow,looks very delicious! I'm hungry...

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on September 16, 2011:

Hi Paul, I haven't been able to find a rub sauce that comes close to Safeway's own, but I am always open to suggestions and willing to try new recipes! I'm glad you liked the recipe. Hope you have a great weekend.


Paul Edmondson from Burlingame, CA on September 16, 2011:

The rub recipe looks great. I usually go with my own bbq sauce, but I'll have to give the safeway select a shot. In a pinch I'll use sweet baby rays.

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on September 16, 2011:

Hi Jean,

I always feel so hungry when I think about making these ribs. I love the smoky smell from the barbecue and then when they go in the oven the kitchen smells simply divine! It's worth the wait!

Thanks for your comment.


Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on September 16, 2011:

Hi Hyphenbird,

That's funny! I always appreciate your comments no matter what! Thank you kindly :-)


jean2011 from Canada on September 16, 2011:

I feeling hungry just reading your hub. Now ribs is one of my favourites, and I am use to making my own sauce; but I will certainly give yours a try. I have voted this hub awesome! Thank you for sharing.

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on September 16, 2011:

As you know I am vegetarian but at times like this I regret it. laugh

DREAM ON on September 15, 2011:

A wonderful feeling has come over me.I think I can smell the ribs cooking.Maybe I am just practicing for my Official Taste Tasting job.My stomach thanks you.Have a wonderful night.

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on September 15, 2011:

Hi Dream On,

I offer you the job as official taste tester for my next batch of ribs! You will be able to pull off the first piece of delectable meat just moments after the ribs come out of the oven. Not too worry if you can't sleep tonight because my hub Counting Sheep More Effectively to Fall Asleep should help you :-)

Sooooo happy that you stopped by to read this hub and I'm glad you enjoyed. You have truly made my day today!!!


DREAM ON on September 15, 2011:

I couldn't keep my eyes off the delicious ribs.I can't wait to try them one at a time very very slowly when the whole house is empty.I think I should be the tester for the first rack of ribs just incase I make a mistake.Then maybe I will surprise everyone else later.But your secret way of cooking is awesome.I only knew about boiling them first then putting them on the grill later to finish them off.I loved your video too.I don't want to leave.O.k. I will leave but I know I won't be able to sleep tonight.Unless I count my way to sleep.One tasty mouth watering rib after another.Thanx so much.

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on September 11, 2011:

Hi blessingsforlife,

I love these ribs so much that I actually crave them! I'm probably not the best influence on you though, if you want to go vegetarian :-)


blessingsforlife on September 11, 2011:

Sooooo mouth watering...will try this some time...though I promised myself to slowly go vegetarian. LOL

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on September 11, 2011:

Hi habee,

I was just reading your pulled pork hub, too - simply divine and I'm getting hungry again! You know, I think we have a lot in common :-)


Holle Abee from Georgia on September 09, 2011:

Clover, these ribs sound great - almost as good as my "candy apple ribs." lol. Actually, the two recipes are similar, except for the special sauce I make. Rated up!

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on September 05, 2011:

Hi felicitylovespari, yep you have to eat these ribs and then recommence the diet the next day LOL! Glad you liked the recipe and thanks for your vote up!


felicitylovespari on September 05, 2011:

I posted up and awesome. But I was hoping for a yummy like on the followers. Haha.

felicitylovespari on September 05, 2011:

Those pictures were just about potent enough to knock me off my diet. Wow. Absolutely delicious. Smoking is definitely a way to go. Yum, yum, yum.

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on August 30, 2011:

Hi thastar, you're welcome - I think you will love these ribs.


thastar on August 30, 2011:


Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on August 29, 2011:

Adeleke, I appreciate your very kind review and comments about my recipe, thank you! I do hope that your mum enjoys making them.


Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on August 12, 2011:

Midwest man, your technique sounds fascinating. I'm off to read your Jalapeño BBQ Burgers recipe now - can't wait!

The Midwest Man on August 12, 2011:

Nice, these look fantastic - I bet these are delicious! I slow smoke ribs on the grill for about 3-4 hours, keeping them moist with a vinegar mop. Haven't attempted the oven/grill method yet, but I bet those things just fall right off the bone!

Rich on August 11, 2011:

My mouth is watering...

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on August 04, 2011:

Hi wayseeker, great comment thank you, and I'm very pleased that you are enjoying the rub recipe.

I see that you enjoy spicy foods so you could always add a little more cayenne pepper to the rub if you wanted to kick it up a notch :-)

wayseeker from Colorado on August 04, 2011:


For the moment, I'm using this for the rub, but, when I've got more time, I'll be trying the entire recipe. This is looking like some GOOD stuff! Voted up and awesome.

Thanks for sharing this!


Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on August 02, 2011:

Hi CMerritt, I too didn't used to have much success until my husband and I finally managed to combine several techniques and ingredients. We got the recipe so foolproof that every time we make these ribs they now come out exactly the same. I think you'll enjoy making them.

Thanks for your comment!

Chris Merritt from Pendleton, Indiana on August 02, 2011:

I have never had much luck when it comes to cooking ribs....I am going to give this one a try. My mouth is watering after reading this...Thanks for the recipe and tips.

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on June 24, 2011:

Jill, as always you just brighten my day!

jill of alltrades from Philippines on June 18, 2011:

Just reading your description of the whole thing already made my mouth water. This sounds absolutely yummmmyyy!!!

Thanks for sharing this closely guarded recipe. I'm gonna try this soon.

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on June 07, 2011:

Hi Staypos, I appreciate your great comment, thank you! I hope that you and your wife enjoy these ribs as much as we do.

StayPos from Florida, USA on June 02, 2011:


You getting something started up there in Calgary with this awesome BBQ recipe :-)

Nice work, I'll print this and get busy soon,

as the wife loves when I get the grill going!

Thanks for sharing!

Up and Awesome!

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on May 21, 2011:

Hey Fiddleman! Glad you enjoyed the hub! I love taking pictures of the food I cook; whenever I look back on them I always remember how yummy they smelt and tasted. Thanks for stopping by and posting your comment :-)

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on May 21, 2011:

Hi Paul and thastar, my favourite store bought sauce is Safeway Select Original Sauce, although there are a few other suggestions through my recommended Amazon links. Enjoy!

thastar on May 21, 2011:

did you make your bbq sauce and what did you used could you tell me paul i like to try out new recipe.

Fiddleman on May 20, 2011:

Wow! We just came back from our favorite bbq restaurant where my son had a full rack of ribs he brought half of them home to enjoy tomorrow. Saw your hub and just had to stop in to read. Good writing now I'm hungry all over a gain.

Paul Edmondson from Burlingame, CA on May 20, 2011:

Those baby back ribs look delicious. I haven't found a store bought bbq sauce as good as a homemade sauce. Any suggestions?

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on May 20, 2011:

Movie Master: don't use a clean white tablecloth when you eat these ribs! You'll need lots of napkins :-)

Movie Master from United Kingdom on May 20, 2011:

Thanks cloverleaf, my husband is going to love this recipe!

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on May 15, 2011:

Pamela, I hope you enjoy making them and thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your comment.

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on May 15, 2011:

You're welcome thastar, these ribs are a lot of fun to cook.

Pamela Sarzana from northern Indiana on May 14, 2011:

This looks and sounds sooo good I also am looking forward to trying it I like BBQ as often as I can get away with cooking it.

thastar on May 13, 2011:

thanks for your recipe that ribs look good i love to cook thanks cloverleaf

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on May 13, 2011:

Hi orangecountyjill, I hope your husband enjoys the recipe. My hubby does all of the barbecuing on this one...I am the chief "taster" :-)

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on May 13, 2011:

nycgrl, I get hungry every time I look at the pictures!

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on May 13, 2011:

Hi lilibees, I appreciate your comments and support! Thanks for stopping by.

OC Jill from Orange County, California on May 12, 2011:

I will have to share this with my husband. He love ribs!

Veronica from New York on May 12, 2011:

yummy I love ribs...so making me hungry

lilibees on May 12, 2011:

Wow this hub looks great and the recipe for ribs as well. Thanks for sharing, vote up and awesome from me!

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on May 12, 2011:

Susie, my mouth watered so much when I was writing this hub!! I think I will have to have them again this weekend. I really enjoy the build up to eating these ribs - smelling that wonderful BBQ smoky aroma throughout the afternoon (our neighbours must just love us!). To heck with the diet - enjoy!

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on May 12, 2011:

Hi dps, I appreciate your comment and hope you enjoy making them.

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on May 12, 2011:

stephhicks68, you will certainly enjoy this recipe if you like slow cooked ribs! Let me know how it turns out for you.

Cloverleaf (author) from Calgary, AB, Canada on May 12, 2011:

Hi caltex, thanks for dropping by, I appreciate your comment and support.

susiebrown48 from Clearwater, FL on May 12, 2011:

My mouth is watering now, so much for my diet!!! It will be worth it and Publix has ribs on sale for 2.99 a lb this week! Yay!

dps from Mesa, Arizona on May 11, 2011:

Sounds great. I will definitely give this a try. Thanks!

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on May 11, 2011:

Slow cooked ribs are the best! I cannot wait to try out this recipe! Voted up and awesome.

caltex on May 11, 2011:

That sure looks yummy and deserves a vote up! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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