Jul 1, 2010

Classic Baby Back Ribs Recipe from Weber’s Charcoal Grilling™ by Jamie Purviance

Rating: 5 stars

2 Reviews

YouTube Video
Serves: 4 to 6 // Prep time: 30 minutes | Grilling time: 3 to 4 hours | Special equipment: rib rack, 4 hickory wood chunks

Grocery List

Meat / Poultry / Seafood

  • 4 racks baby back ribs, each about 2 lb

Oil and Spices

  • 2.25 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1.5 tbsp pure chile powder


  • .5 cups cider vinegar
  • .5 cups ketchup
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce


  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter


  • 14 fl oz apple juice

Special Equipment

  • 4 hickory wood chunks
  • rib rack



  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 4 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 4 teaspoons pure chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 4 racks baby back ribs, each about 2 pounds

Barbecue sauce

  • ¾ cup apple juice
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • ½ teaspoon pure chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce (from above)


  1. In a small bowl mix the rub ingredients.

  2. Using a dull knife, slide the tip under the membrane covering the back of each rack of ribs. Lift and loosen the membrane until it breaks, then grab a corner of it with a paper towel and pull it off. Season the ribs all over, putting more of the rub on the meaty sides than the bone sides. Arrange the ribs in a rib rack, with all the ribs facing the same direction. Allow the ribs to stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or until the surface looks moist, before grilling.

  3. Fill a chimney starter to the rim with charcoal and burn the charcoal until it is lightly covered with ash. Spread the charcoal in a tightly packed, single layer across one-third of the charcoal grate. Place a large disposable drip pan on the empty side of the charcoal grate. Fill the pan about halfway with warm water. Let the coals burn down to low heat (250° to 300°F). Leave all the vents open.

  4. When the fire has burned down to low heat, add two hickory wood chunks to the charcoal. Put the cooking grate in place. Place the rib rack over indirect low heat (over the drip pan) as far from the coals as possible, with the bone sides facing toward the charcoal. Close the lid. Close the top vent about halfway. Let the ribs cook and smoke for 1 hour. During that time, maintain the temperature between 250° to 300°F by opening and closing the top vents. Meanwhile, make the sauce and the mop.

  5. In a small saucepan mix the barbecue sauce ingredients. Simmer for a few minutes over medium heat, and then remove the saucepan from the heat.

  6. In another small saucepan mix the mop ingredients. Simmer for a few minutes over medium heat to melt the butter, and then remove the saucepan from the heat.

  7. After the first hour of cooking, add 8 to 10 unlit charcoal briquettes and the remaining two wood chunks to the fire. At the same time, lightly baste the ribs with some mop. Leaving the lid off for a few minutes while you baste the ribs will help the new briquettes to light. Close the lid and cook for another hour. During that time, maintain the temperature of the grill between 250° to 300°F by opening and closing the top vents.

  8. After 2 hours of cooking, add 8 to 10 unlit charcoal briquettes to the fire. Remove the ribs from the rib rack, spread them out on clean work area and baste them thoroughly with some mop. Put them back in the rib rack, again all facing the same direction, but this time turned over so that the ends facing down earlier now face up. Also position any ribs that appear to be cooking faster than others toward the back of the rib rack, farther from the charcoal. Let the ribs cook for a third hour. During that time, maintain the temperature between 250° to 300°F by opening and closing the top vents.

  9. After 3 hours of cooking, check if any rack is ready to come off the grill. They are done when the meat has shrunk back from most of the bones by ¼ inch or more. When you lift a rack by picking up one end with tongs, the rack should bend in the middle and the meat should tear easily. If the meat does not tear easily, continue to cook the ribs. The total cooking time could be anywhere between 3 to 4 hours. Not all racks will cook in same amount of time. Lightly brush the cooked ribs with some sauce and, if desired for crispiness, cook them over direct heat for a few minutes. Transfer to a sheet pan and tightly cover with aluminum foil. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm with the remaining sauce on the side.

2 Reviews

Average Rating

Rating: 5 stars

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Rating: 5 stars

Aug 22, 2013

Johnathan H

Always a crowd pleaser!

This is one of my favorite recipes to use. First, it was the recipe that converted my wife into a rib fan. The second thing I love is the flexibility that it allows. What I mean is that dry rub alone makes a tasty dish. I have some guest that like them dry and others that like them wet, with this recipe I can please both in one setting. I have always got them off the grill in fall-apart tender (I use the Smokey Mountain Cooker). The subtle blend of spices that aren't overpowering got great compliments from my Texas friends; yet are smooth enough for my young kids (for the daring I recommend adding a little kick to your BBQ sauce or have two sauces available). Thanks to the Weber crew for bringing it back for me!!! One other thing, they travel well. When I go camping i smoke them at home and wrap them in foil with a little butter and some BBQ sauce. At the camp site I then set them on the grill or over the fire (shooting for 300 degrees for 45 min) and they are fantastic.

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

Rating: 5 stars

Aug 31, 2014

Kirk H


On my 4th trip with this recipe. Fantastic! Some tricks learned: 1. Listen to Jamie's video...meat on the meat side, no bone showing; 2. Take membrane off starting in the middle of the rack, work your way out to the sides; 3. Use the rub and the mop (we like the sauce, too, last 20 minutes); 4. Quality rib rack; 5. Grill temp below 300...290 is better; 5. Tin foil rest for 20 mins. 7 lbs. of ribs, cooking time 3 1/2 hours, never fails. We mop once every hour.

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

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Classic Baby Back Ribs