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Great Grilled Ribs

Great Grilled Ribs

This recipe is a little South Carolina, a lot of Memphis, a side of Kansas City, with a pinch and a dash of far eastern exoticism. You may choose to not use the dry rub – I use it – but very lightly as I don’t personally like the texture – but that’s just me. Also pre-cooking in a low heat oven insure that your ribs stay moist and tender. Be sure when you move them to your grill that they avoid as much direct heat as possible.

Wine Pairing: Complement this dish with California Zinfandel, Washington State Merlot or a full-bodied Rosé.

Photo courtesy of

Ingredients: (Cooks 2 full racks)

Cider Wash:

  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water

The Rub:

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp finely ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp ground chipotle chili
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 Tbsp finely ground dark roast coffee (unused and still dry)
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice

BBQ Sauce:

  • 2 1/4 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lemon, quartered, squeezed slightly and added whole
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp dark molasses
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp Bourbon
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground Chipotle pepper



  1. Dilute 3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar in 1/2 cup of water and brush over both sides of the ribs. Let sit for a minimum of 1/2 hour.
  2. One hour (up to 3-4 hours) before you plan to cook the ribs, peel the membrane off the back of the ribs and trim any excessive fat. Season the ribs liberally on both side with the rib rub. Refrigerate.
  3. Preheat the oven to 250°F and remove ribs from refrigerator.
  4. Cut each rack of ribs in half, so that you have 4 half racks. Wrap each half in aluminum foil.
  5. Bake for 2 1/2 hours.


  1. Heat oil in a medium size saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Cook and stir the onion in oil for 5 minutes. Stir in water, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, honey and Worcestershire sauce. Season with 2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for 1 1/4 hours, uncovered, or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.


  1. Preheat an outdoor grill on high.
  2. Remove ribs from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the racks from the foil and place on the grill.
  3. Grill the ribs for 3-4 minutes on each side. Brush sauce on the ribs while they’re grilling, just before you serve them (adding it too early will burn it).

This recipe is courtesy of Cool Springs Wines & Spirits staffer, Richard, and his dog, Bella.

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