Red Chili-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs

Red Chili-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs + enlarge image
11 users rated this recipe an average rating of 4.0
6 servings
20 mins
2 hrs 30 mins
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Red Chili-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs

tablespoon ancho chile powder
tablespoon paprika
tablespoon brown sugar
teaspoon kosher salt
teaspoons ground cumin
teaspoons granulated garlic
teaspoons ground black pepper
slabs baby back ribs, (2 to 2-1/2 lbs. each)*
handfuls of hickory wood chips, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
cup low-sodium soy sauce
cup ketchup
cup lemon juice
teaspoon grated ginger


  1. Prepare a grill for indirect cooking over low heat (about 300 degrees F). (See "indirect grilling," below).
  2. For rub, in small bowl mix together ancho chili powder, paprika, the 1 tablespoon brown sugar, the salt, cumin, granulated garlic, and black pepper.
  3. Using a dull dinner knife, slide the tip under the membrane (silver skin) covering the back of each rack of ribs. Lift and loosen membrane until it breaks loose from the meat. Using paper towels to grip, pull membrane off. Season ribs all over with the rub. Arrange in a rib rack, all facing the same direction. Let the ribs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.
  4. Just before grilling ribs, drain 2 handfuls of wood chips and place them on coals or in smoker box of a gas grill. When the wood begins to smoke, place ribs over indirect low heat and cook for 1 hour.
  5. After 1 hour, drain the remaining wood chips and place on coals or in smoker box of a gas grill. Continue to cook ribs over indirect low heat for a second hour. Meanwhile, prepare Fresh Ginger Glaze.
  6. For glaze, in small saucepan over medium heat, combine soy sauce, the 1/2 cup brown sugar, the ketchup, lemon juice, and ginger. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook over low heat for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  7. Tear off 3 sheets of aluminum foil, each about 2-1/2 times the length of a slab of ribs.
  8. After 2 hours of cooking, remove ribs from rack and lay each slab on a sheet of foil. Be sure to close the grill lid so that the temperature remains close to 300 degrees F. Brush each slab lightly on both sides with some of the glaze (you will not need all of it). Wrap each slab of ribs tightly in foil.
  9. Return slabs to the grill, either in rack or stacked on top of each other. Cook over indirect low heat until glaze cooks into the meat and ribs are done, 30 to 60 minutes. The ribs are done when the meat has shrunk back from the bones by 1/4 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.
  10. Remove slabs from foil. Brush them with some of the remaining glaze. Cut into portions. If desired, serve with grilled bok choy and lemon halves.

From the Test Kitchen

Indirect grilling:

For a charcoal grill, you may need to cut rib slabs in half to fit for indirect cooking.

This method positions the fire to one side or both ends of grill. Food sits over the unlit part, and the grill is covered so the food cooks from all sides. This is best for thicker cuts that need longer cooking like roasts and ribs.

Nutrition Facts

(Red Chili-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs)
    Per serving:
  • 799 kcal cal.,
  • 50 g fat
  • (19 g sat. fat,
  • 6 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 20 g monounsatured fat),
  • 200 mg chol.,
  • 1433 mg sodium,
  • 29 g carb.,
  • 1 g fiber,
  • 26 g sugar,
  • 56 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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