Sweet and Spicy Pork Ribs

A rack of pork ribs sits on a smoker.

Sweet and spicy pork back ribs are seasoned with a homemade rub and cooked low and slow over a smoker. The ribs are then finished with a homemade BBQ sauce featuring apple jelly.

For the most flavor, add hickory or apple chips to your smoker. Make sure to soak them in water first, and drain them well.

Ribs are the perfect barbecue food. Whip up your favorite sides, like coleslaw or biscuits, to serve alongside them.

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A rack of pork ribs sits on a smoker.
The pork ribs are smoked for several hours until they are fall-off-the-bone tender.
Piles of the herbs and spices used to make the rub sit on a white plate.
The key to these sweet and spicy ribs is the homemade rub.
The cooked pork ribs being sliced with a knife on a wooden cutting board.
Serve the smoked ribs with your favorite sides, like coleslaw or cornbread.

Sweet and Spicy Pork Ribs Recipe

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The cooked pork ribs being sliced with a knife on a wooden cutting board.
Moe’s Sweet and Spicy Back Ribs are seasoned with a homemade rub and cooked low and slow over a smoker. The ribs are then finished with a homemade BBQ sauce featuring apple jelly.
Preparation 35 minutes
Cook 4 hours
Ready in 4 hours 35 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
CourseDinner
DifficultyExperienced
MethodSmoke

Ingredients

Dry Rub

  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup ground jalapeño powder
  • 3 tablespoons fine grind sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple jelly
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Ribs

  • oil
  • 2 racks pork back ribs membrane removed

Equipment

  • 2 apple wood chunks

Directions

Dry Rub

  • Combine the brown sugar, pepper, jalapeño powder, salt, and celery salt in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.

Sauce

  • Combine in a saucepan the vinegar, brown sugar, barbecue sauce, honey, apple jelly, salt, garlic, pepper, coriander, and cayenne pepper, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes until slightly thickened, stirring frequently.
  • Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.

Ribs

  • Rub a light amount of oil on both sides of the ribs and sprinkle with the rub. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes at room temperature.
  • Once the first layer of rub turns wet, generously coat both sides of the ribs with additional rub. Let stand for an additional 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Preheat a smoker to 250 to 300 degrees F (121 to 149 degrees C). Add two applewood chunks.
  • Add the ribs and smoke until tender and at an internal temperature of 200 degrees F (93 degrees C), about 4 ½ hours.
  • Once the ribs are done, brush the front and back with a layer of sauce. Smoke for an additional 10 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with additional sauce.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 816kcalCarbohydrates: 125gProtein: 30gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 7896mgPotassium: 802mgFiber: 5gSugar: 107gVitamin A: 271IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 197mgIron: 4mg

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Moe Cason

About Moe Cason

Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, Moe Cason’s BBQ hobby quickly turned into a way of life. A self-taught Pitmaster, he uses skills passed down from his grandmother, Margaret Cason.

Learn more about Moe Cason
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