Cherry Apple Habanero Baby Back Ribs On the Traeger Ironwood 885

Cherry Apple Habańero Baby Back Ribs On the Traeger Ironwood 885

There’s nothing better than a sticky-sweet, rich rack of ribs! If you’re looking for a tasty change of pace, bookmark my recipe for Cherry Apple Habańero Baby Back Ribs. They feature a mouth-watering blend of my signature rubs, butter bath, and BBQ sauce. The cherry on top (pun intended) is my latest product, Heath Riles BBQ Cherry Apple Habańero Glaze.

You’ll fall in love with the fragrant aroma of these deliciously seasoned ribs and be even more obsessed with their fall-off-the-bone perfection. This recipe will help any pitmaster elevate their BBQ game and create unforgettable moments around the table. 

Cherry Apple Habanero Baby Back Ribs | Heath Riles BBQ

Ribs are one of my favorite dishes because there are so many ways to customize them. If you’ve been following my recipes for a while, you’ll know that I have a plethora of rib recipes to choose from. I’m always dreaming up new combinations and encourage you to do the same. Mix and match various seasonings, glazes, and BBQ sauce to find a combination that works for you. 

The Ingredients

These ribs taste gourmet but require just a few ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to add to your shopping list. Feel free to adjust the quantities to fit your preferences. 

  • Baby back ribs. I purchased my ribs from Costco, and they were some of the meatiest baby-backs I’ve ever seen. My favorite brand of ribs is Prairie Fresh because the quality is unbeatable. The ribs came out of the packaging ready to go!
  • Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeño Rub. This rub is my best seller, and it’s easy to see why. Pitmasters and backyard chefs reach for this AP rub over salt and pepper. It’s mild yet contains the perfect kick of heat. You can use it on ribs, steaks, veggies, and popcorn. 
  • Heath Riles BBQ Competition BBQ Rub. This rub helped me win 1st place ribs at the 2022 Memphis in May World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest! It contains a delicious mix of sugar, paprika, pecan, honey, and garlic. You can use it on steaks, hams, burgers, and veggies.
  • Heath Riles Butter Bath & Wrap. My one-of-a-kind butter bath combines the best flavors of butter, brown sugar, and a proprietary blend of spices. You can mix it with apple juice or water, confident that it will impart just the right amount of flavor to your pork. 
  • Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce. This BBQ sauce took over 10 years to perfect and was worth every second. If you like ketchup-based sauces, you’ll love this one. You can use it alone or with a tangy sauce for an out-of-this-world combo. 
  • Heath Riles BBQ Cherry Apple Habańero Glaze. This ingredient comes from my latest line of glazes. It’s infused with premium cherry juice and has just a hint of habańero flavor. It’s a great addition to chicken wings, hams, or ribs.

The Smoker Setup

Here’s the main equipment I used for this recipe. More of my grilling favorites can be found in the Equipment and Tools section. 

  • Pellet grill/smoker. I cooked this Cherry Apple Habańero Baby Back Ribs on the Traeger Ironwood 885. This pit is incredible because you can use it to grill or smoke. The Traeger Ironwood 885 has been updated with the best features Traeger has to offer, like a “Super Smoke Mode,” pellet sensor, WiFIRE technology, and an included meat probe.

You can’t go wrong with the Traeger Ironwood 885 if you love pits with bells and whistles. This grill is bound to impress your friends and family!

  • Charcoal. I stoked the pit with Royal Oak Charcoal Hardwood Pellets. I love this brand because you get clean smoke with no fillers. It gives the potatoes a rich, deep flavor that tastes authentic. This charcoal burns hot and fast! 

The Process for Making Cherry Apple Habańero Baby Back Ribs

You can find a detailed demonstration of this recipe within the video and recipe card. For now, here’s a quick rundown of how I pulled these Cherry Apple Habańero Baby Back Ribs together. 

  • Fire up the pit. I stoked the Traeger Ironwood 885 with Royal Oak Charcoal and fired it up to 300℉. 
  • Prep the ribs. I removed the ribs from their packaging, patted them dry, and removed the membrane. Be sure to watch the video to learn my foolproof method for removing membranes efficiently. This is also the point where I’d remove any flaps of meat or uneven edges. 
  • Add seasoning. Once the ribs were trimmed, I laid down a good base coat of Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeño Rub, followed by a dusting of Heath Riles BBQ Competition BBQ Rub. I let the ribs sweat in for 5 minutes, then flipped them and repeated the process on the other side, allowing them to sweat in for 15 minutes. 
  • Start smoking. I laid the Cherry Apple Habańero Baby Back Ribs directly on the Traeger Ironwood 885 and let them go for an hour without touching them. After an hour, I spritzed the meat with water, touched them up with Heath Riles BBQ Competition BBQ Rub, and let them go for another 1 ½ hours. 
  • Wrap the ribs. To make the wrap, I took ¼ cup of my Heath Riles Butter Bath & Wrap and mixed it with ¾ cup of water until smooth. You should note that this measurement will cover ONE rack of ribs. I took the Cherry Apple Habańero Baby Back Ribs off the pit, laid them on a foil-lined baking tray, and poured the butter bath over the top. 
  • Keep cooking. I tightly wrapped the ribs, then laid them back on the pit to cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes. My ribs had an internal temperature of 205℉ and a total cook time of 3 hours and 20 minutes. 
  • Make the sauce. To make my sauce, I added equal parts Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce and Heath Riles BBQ Cherry Apple Habańero Glaze to a small cast iron pot, then set it on the pit for 20 minutes to warm up while the ribs rested. 
  • Add glaze. I unwrapped the ribs and generously brushed them with my homemade glaze. Then, I set the Cherry Apple Habańero Baby Back Ribs on the pit for 10 minutes to tack up. The only thing left is to let the meat cool and dig in. 

The Results

The ribs came off the pit perfectly tender, but we could still do that rib wiggle! The glaze on these Cherry Apple Habańero Baby Back Ribs was out of this world. These ribs had a unique flavor like nothing else out there. 

Storing Leftovers

You can refrigerate any leftovers for up to 4 days or freeze them for up to 4 months. Note that if you’re reheating from frozen, you may have to add more BBQ sauce. 

Equipment and Tools

Traeger Ironwood 885, Royal Oak Charcoal Hardwood Pellets, disposable cutting board, ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE, ChefAlarm, wire cooling rack, ThermoWorks Hi-Temp Silicone Brush, heavy-duty aluminum pan

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