First Timer Ribs

First Timer Ribs

1 review, 5 star(s). 100% would make again

Ready in 1 hour 30 minutes

Well, if this is your idea of the perfect rib (and it should be), here's your master recipe. It will teach you the principles of first-class ribsmanship & skinning the ribs, rubbing the meat, using a mop sauce, glazing with a barbecue sauce, and harnessing the mouth-watering powers of wood smoke. But ultimately, it's so simple you can prepare it from start to finish in about an hour and a half, only ten minutes of which is actual work.

** Credit **

The recipe is derived from Steven Raichlen.

I enjoyed this so much that I upload to for easy iPhone reference. The original recipe can be found on


For the mop sauce:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup apple cider
3 tablespoons bourbon; or 3 more tablespoons apple cider
3 tablespoons Soy sauce
For the rub and ribs:
2 tablespoons coarse salt; (kosher or sea)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dry mustard; (preferably Colmans)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
0.5 teaspoons Celery Seed
2 Racks Baby Back Pork Ribs; total)
Lemon Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce
You'll also need:
7 cups Wood Chips or Chunks; (preferably hickory or apple) soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained
Lemon Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce; (About 3 cups):
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice; (or to taste)
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoons liquid smoke
2 teaspoons dry mustard; (Coleman’s)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper; freshly ground

Original recipe makes 4 Servings



1. Make the mop sauce: Melt the butter in a nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the cider, bourbon, and soy sauce. Keep warm until ready to use.

2. Make the rub: Place the salt, brown sugar, paprika, pepper, mustard, garlic powder, and celery seed in a small bowl and mix with your fingers, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar or garlic powder.

3. Prepare the ribs: Place a rack of ribs meat side down on a baking sheet. Remove the thin, papery membrane from the back of the rack by inserting a slender implement, such as a butter knife or the tip of a meat thermometer, under it. The best place to start is on one of the middle bones. Using a dishcloth, paper towel, or pliers to gain a secure grip, peel off the membrane. Repeat with the remaining rack.

4. Set aside 2 tablespoon of rub for serving. Sprinkle the remaining rub over both sides of the ribs, rubbing it onto the meat. Cover the ribs with plastic wrap and refrigerate them while you set up the grill.

5. Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium (325 to 350F). Place a large drip pan in the center of the grill under the grate.

6. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the ribs bone side down in the center of the grate, over the drip pan and away from the head. If cooking on a charcoal grill, toss half of the wood chips on each mound of coals. Cover the grill and cook the ribs for 45 minutes.

7. Mop the ribs on both sides with the mop sauce. Re-cover the grill and continue cooking the ribs until well browned, cooked through, and tender enough to pull apart with your fingers, 45 minutes to 1 hour longer, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours in all. When the ribs are cooked, the meat will have shrunk back from the ends of the bones by about 1/4 inch. Mop the ribs again every 15 minutes and, if using a charcoal grill, replenish the coals as needed.

8. Just before serving, brush the ribs on both sides with some of the Lemon Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce and move them directly over the fire. Grill the ribs until the barbecue sauce is browned and bubbling, 1 to 3 minutes per side.

9. Transfer the ribs to a large platter or cutting board. Let the ribs rest for a few minutes, then cut the racks in half or into individual ribs. Sprinkle a little of the reserved rub over the ribs and serve at once with the remaining barbecue sauce on the side.

Lemon Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce (Direction):

Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and whisk to mix. Gradually bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat, and continue to simmer until thick and flavorful, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl or clean jars; let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time.

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Calories Per Serving: 2115 Get detailed nutrition information, including line-by-line nutrition insights?  Try BigOven Pro for Free for 14 days!

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The recipe calls for "2 pounds total" in one line, but I have to ask, two pounds of what? There is no way to tell. Somebody fix this recipe!
Claudius 5y ago

[I posted this recipe.]
ocsteven 7y ago

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