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Sweet and Smoky Barbecued Ribs with Tequila Sauce

Jamie Purviance

  • People

    Serves 4

  • Prep Time

    30 mins

  • Grilling Time

    3 to 4 h

Ingredients
Instructions

the Ingredients

20151023095409 Row Pork 28

Rub

  • Completed step 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • Completed step 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Completed step 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • Completed step 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • Completed step 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Completed step 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Completed step 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Completed step ½ teaspoon pure ground chipotle chile
 
  • Completed step 2 racks St. Louis–style spareribs, each 3 to 3-½ pounds

Sauce

  • Completed step 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Completed step 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • Completed step ¾ cup ketchup
  • Completed step 3 tablespoons tequila
  • Completed step ⅓ cup cider vinegar
  • Completed step ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
  • Completed step 2 tablespoons honey
  • Completed step 1 teaspoon prepared chili powder
  • Completed step 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • Completed step 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

Special Equipment

  • 3 fist-sized hickory wood chunks (for a charcoal grill) or 6 large handfuls hickory wood chips (for a gas grill)

Take Your Grilling Anywhere

FIRE UP YOUR GRILL

Instructions

  • In a small bowl mix the rub ingredients. 
  • If using wood chips, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes (no need to soak wood chunks).
    If using wood chips, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes (no need to soak wood chunks).
  • Using a dull dinner knife, slide the tip under the membrane covering the back of each rack of ribs. Lift and loosen the membrane until it breaks, and then grab a corner with a paper towel and pull it off. Season the racks all over with the rub. Let the racks stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling. 
  • Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over low heat (250° to 350°F).
    Place a large foil pan on top of the Flavorizer bars, below the cooking grate. Fill it halfway with room temperature water. Prepare the grill for cooking over medium-low heat (300°F).
    Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium-low heat (250° to 350°F).
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce: in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat on the stove, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until slightly softened, 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the ketchup, tequila, vinegar, brown sugar, honey, chili powder, and granulated garlic and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, 18 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime zest. 
  • Brush the cooking grates clean. Add one wood chunk to the charcoal or drain and add one handful of the wood chips to the smoker box of a gas grill, following manufacturer’s instructions, and close the lid. When the wood begins to smoke, place the racks bone side down over indirect low heat, close the lid, and cook until the meat has shrunk back from the bones at least ½ inch in several places and the meat tears easily when you lift each rack, 3 to 4 hours. Keep the temperature of the grill between 250° to 350°F. If you’re using a charcoal grill, replenish the charcoal as needed to maintain a steady temperature, leaving the lid off the grill for about 5 minutes to help the new briquettes light. Add one wood chunk to the charcoal every 45 minutes, or drain and add one handful of the remaining wood chips to the smoker box every 20 minutes before the old chips burn out. During the last 30 minutes of cooking time, lightly brush the racks with some of the sauce. 
    Brush the cooking grates clean. Drain and add one handful of the wood chips to the smoker box of a gas grill, following manufacturer’s instructions, and close the lid. When the wood begins to smoke, place the racks bone side down over indirect medium-low heat, close the lid, and cook until the meat has shrunk back from the bones at least ½ inch in several places and the meat tears easily when you lift each rack, 3 to 4 hours. Keep the temperature of the grill between 250° to 350°F. Add one handful of the remaining wood chips to the smoker box every 20 minutes before the old chips burn out. During the last 30 minutes of cooking time, lightly brush the racks with some of the sauce.
    Brush the cooking grates clean. Add one wood chunk to the charcoal, following manufacturer’s instructions, and close the lid. When the wood begins to smoke, place the racks bone side down over indirect medium-low heat, close the lid, and cook until the meat has shrunk back from the bones at least ½ inch in several places and the meat tears easily when you lift each rack, 3 to 4 hours. Keep the temperature of the grill between 250° to 350°F. Replenish the charcoal as needed to maintain a steady temperature, leaving the lid off the grill for about 5 minutes to help the new briquettes light. Add one wood chunk to the charcoal every 45 minutes. During the last 30 minutes of cooking time, lightly brush the racks with some of the sauce.
    Brush the cooking grates clean. Place the racks bone side down, above foil pan, over medium-low heat, close the lid, and cook until the meat has shrunk back from the bones at least ½ inch in several places and the meat tears easily when you lift each rack, 3 to 4 hours. During the last 30 minutes of cooking time, lightly brush the racks with some of the sauce.
  • Remove the racks from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes. Just before serving, lightly brush the racks with sauce again. Cut the racks into individual ribs and serve warm with remaining sauce. 

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