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Baby Back Ribs with Apple Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Baby Back Ribs with Apple Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Serves: 6
Prep time: 30 minutes (plus marinating time)
Cook time: 4 to 5 hours



  • 4 KG American style pork baby back ribs with plenty of meat along top of bone - We highly recommend AUS Pork
  • 1L Apple juice or apple cider
  • 500 mL Kentucky sour mash bourbon
  • 1L Bull’s Eye Original Smokey BBQ
  • Finishing sauce (or your choice of very Smokey BBQ Sauce)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 Fuego Spice Rub - Pork Ribs:
  • 1⁄2 cup White Sugar
  • 4tbsp Demerara sugar
  • 1⁄4 Cup Sweet paprika
  • 1/8 Cup Smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp Smoked chilli salt
  • 2 tbsp Chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp Cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Celery salt
  • 1 tbsp Onion powder
  • 1 tbsp Garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. Ground sage
  • 1 tsp Mustard powder
  • 1⁄2 Ground dried chipotle
  • 1⁄2 Ground guajillo chilli
  • 1 tbsp Instant coffee
  • 1 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp Dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp Ground white pepper
  • 1/8 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp Ground star anise


  1. Rub - You can store spice mix in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks in a cool, dry, dark place.
  2. The night before you want to smoke, prepare ribs by removing membrane from underside of bones with boning knife (this will allow the smoke flavour to penetrate the entire rib and make the meat fall apart tender). Pat dry with paper towel, and then season the ribs generously with spice rub ensuring an even layer of rub is on both sides of the rib, and then wrap the ribs tightly in cling film and store in the fridge overnight.
  3. Prepare BBQ by lighting charcoal or heating box. Cooking temp should be around 120 – 150°C. Wait until charcoal ashes over, stir, then pile for indirect cooking. If using indirect smoke box, start fire in box & add dry hickory to begin. Use only a small line of charcoal in main BBQ cavity.
  4. For the BBQ sauce, heat bourbon in saucepan until just about to boil, carefully flame off alcohol, reduce by 1⁄2 and then add the apple juice/cider. Bring to boil & reduce by 1⁄2. Once reduced add BBQ sauce & your KITM (Kick in the Mouth) and allow to heat through, adjust the seasoning and set aside.
  5. Remove ribs from the fridge 1 hour before cooking to allow meat to come to room temp.
  6. Smoke over indirect heat for 3 hours at 120-150 C, using the minion method to ensure a lower temperature and a longer cook time.
  7. Remove ribs from smoker; on a double sheet of foil with a piece of baking paper, place 2 small slices of butter, place ribs on top of butter, then add more butter on top of the ribs, add some beer, or cider or apple cider vinegar. Wrap tight and repeat with all other ribs.
  8. Return to smoker for another 2 hours.
  9. Remove ribs and allow to rest in their pouches for at least 1 hour. Ribs will be done when meat is tender but still stuck to bone, and there is no meat recession.
  10. To finish and serve – Remove your Ribs from the crutch and add back to the smoker – possibly with extra wood to “re-bark by heating and smoking directly to bring back the colour and texture.




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