If you’re in the mood for something gourmet, you’ll adore my Honey Pecan Ribs. These ribs go all out with a blend of sweet and nutty flavors, a butter wrap, and a decadent glaze. This is an excellent BBQ recipe for special occasions or if you want to treat yourself.
This recipe has a few steps, but don’t let that spook you. Follow my tested, award-winning method, and you’ll get a great result every time. One thing is for sure, everyone who tries these ribs will be stunned. Who knows, this could be your new favorite way to cook ribs. I know it’s one of mine!
Honey Pecan Ribs Recipe | Deep South Mailbox
These ribs take time, but they’re worth every second. With a deep crust, juicy meat, and a sticky sauce, you’ll dream of these ribs long after setting your napkin down. This Honey Pecan Ribs Recipe will be a grand entry if you want to compete on the BBQ circuit. You’re sure to wow the judges and bring home the gold.
The best thing about BBQing is that a few ingredients can take you far. For example, you can sprinkle a bottle of my Pecan Rub on ribs, veggies, beef, and chicken. If you enjoy creating your own recipes, you’ll love the versatility of these ingredients. Here’s what you need to add to your shopping cart.
- St. Louis Ribs. The meat is high-quality, requires little trim work, and never skimps on freshness. A brand I love is Prairie Fresh, which can be found in most grocery stores.
- Olive oil. Usually, I’m a mustard guy, but this rib recipe called for a mild binder. Olive oil coated the ribs without altering the meat's natural flavor. The richness of the oil paired perfectly with the honey and pecan notes.
- Heath Riles BBQ Pecan Rub. This unique rub has a savory base with a sweet finish that will leave you drooling. I use it on pork, beef, chicken, and ribs. It even makes salmon taste gourmet! There’s nothing like it on the market.
- Heath Riles BBQ Honey Rub. I created this ingredient because I wanted a product that gave me all the goodness of honey without the char you get from the real deal. I hit the nail on the head with this product! It tastes sweet without being syrupy and is slightly complex, pairing well with nutty rubs. Everyone’s going crazy for this dry rub, and I know you’ll be a fan too.
- Heath Riles BBQ Butter Bath & Wrap. My butter bath is a fantastic must-have for pork fans. It contains brown sugar, garlic, butter, and other secret spices that helped me win the 2022 Memphis in May Rib Championship. It’s easy to use and blends perfectly with liquid, with no clumps.
- Apple juice. I mix my butter bath with apple juice to give the ribs a fruity note. Apples and pork go together like peanut butter and jelly. Try it once, and you’ll see why.
- Pecan Glaze. My homemade glazes are always simple but pack a huge punch. This Pecan Glaze uses my Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce, and Pecan Rub to give it a down-home flavor. It also includes maple syrup and honey for the ultimate caramelization and bourbon for some bite.
The Smoker Setup
Here’s the main equipment I used for this cook. You can find more of my pit-master must-haves in the equipment and tools section.
- Deep South Smokers Mailbox. I cooked my ribs on the Deep South Smoker Mailbox. This pit is a water smoker, dry smoker, and grill all in one. It has multiple racks to fit a feast and provides users with a great hands-on experience. You’ll love the simplicity of this setup.
- Pellets. I stoked the Mailbox with Royal Oak Charcoal. I love this brand because their charcoal is high-quality and doesn’t contain any fillers. Every time I use Royal Oak, my meat tastes amazing.
The Process for Making Honey Pecan Ribs
You can find a detailed procedure for this recipe in the recipe card and video at the bottom of this post. Here’s a quick overview of how I pulled this recipe together.
- Fire up the grill. I added Royal Oak Charcoal and Blue Note Bourbon Wood Chips to the Mailbox. Then, I fired it up to a range of 275℉-300℉.
- Trim the ribs. I took the ribs out of the package, patted them dry, and removed the membrane. I left the excess fat on the top of the meat because it’s cooking over direct fire. The fat will fry until crispy and add moisture to the meat.
- Add binder and seasoning. I laid the ribs on an aluminum tray and drizzled them with olive oil. Then, I added a thick layer of my Pecan Rub, followed by a good sprinkle of Honey Rub. I flipped the ribs and repeated the process on the other side. I let the ribs sweat in for 15-20 minutes before putting them on the pit.
- Smoke the uncovered ribs. I placed the ribs directly on the Mailbox’s grates and let them go for about an hour and a half.
- Add butter bath. I took the meat off the grill and double-lined a baking sheet with heavy-duty foil. I like to create a boat shape with the foil so I don’t lose any precious liquid. I laid the ribs over the top and whipped up my Butter Bath & Wrap. I had two slabs of ribs, so I mixed 1 ½ cups of apple juice with 6 tablespoons of my Butter Bath mixture until smooth. I poured it over the ribs and wrapped them tightly.
- Finish and rest. I placed the wrapped ribs on the grill and let them cook until they reached about 207℉ internally. This took a total of 2 hours and 15 minutes. Then, I let the ribs rest for 20 minutes while I whipped up my glaze.
- Glaze and char. I created a delicious glaze by combining Sweet BBQ Sauce, maple syrup, honey, Pecan Rub, and Blue Note Bourbon. I let the glaze sit over the grill for a few minutes so the flavors marinate. Then, I brushed the sauce evenly over the ribs and put them back on the grill for 15 minutes to tack up. The only thing left to do was dig in!
These ribs came off the pit with gorgeous color. The sauce was perfectly tacky and clung to the ribs. The flavor of the ribs was divine and had the perfect balance of nutty and sweet.
Serving Suggestions for Honey Pecan Ribs
These ribs are fabulous on their own, but if you want to pull out all the stops, try one of my favorite side dishes.
- Smoked Brisket Baked Beans. This delicious side dish is nothing like the canned baked beans you grew up on. These beans are flavorful, spicy, and infused with BBQ goodness. You won’t believe your tastebuds.
- Mississippi Coleslaw. This coleslaw recipe features a Mississippi twist. It’s decadent and tastes exceptional alongside steaming hot ribs. If you have leftover coleslaw, put a scoop on your pulled pork. This slaw will change your life!
Storing Honey Pecan Ribs
If you have leftovers, store them in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also freeze leftover ribs for up to 3 months.
Equipment and Tools
Deep South Smoker Mailbox, Royal Oak Charcoal, tumbleweeds, paper towels, cutting board, olive oil dispenser, heavy-duty aluminum foil, 1 or 2 half-size deep aluminum pans,ThermoWorks Infrared Thermometer, YETI Tundra 65 Hard Cooler, insulated gloves for handling meat.
Honey Pecan Ribs Recipe | Deep South Mailbox
St. Louis Ribs (or ribs of your choice)
Olive Oil (or binder of your choice)
Heath Riles BBQ Pecan Rub
Heath Riles BBQ Honey Rub
Heath Riles BBQ Butter Bath & Wrap (mix 3 tablespoons per slab of ribs)
Apple Juice (mix 3/4 cup per slab of ribs)
1 cup Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
1 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp Heath Riles BBQ Pecan Rub
1 tbsp Blue Note Bourbon (or bourbon of your choice)
HONEY PECAN GLAZE:
Remove Ribs from package and dry off. Be sure to remove the membrane from the back of the ribs if this is still present.
Apply olive oil to the back of the ribs and rub in.
Season with Heath Riles BBQ Pecan Rub on the back side of the ribs.
Season with Heath Riles BBQ Honey Rub on the back side of the ribs.
Repeat steps 2 thru 4 on the front side of the ribs.
Allow ribs to sweat while you get your cooker up to temperature (275º-300º). We cooked these ribs on the Deep South Mailbox using Royal Oak Charcoal and Blue Note Bourbon Wood Chips.
Before putting ribs on, add your wood chips if you desire.
Place ribs on the grill or smoker of your choice and allow them to cook for approximately an hour and a half.
After cooking for an hour and a half, remove ribs to wrap.
Wrap ribs with Heath Riles BBQ Butter Bath & Wrap. You will need to mix 3 tablespoons of Butter Bath to 3/4 cup of Apple Juice PER SLAB OF RIBS. Add this mixture into the foil and wrap tightly.
Place wrapped ribs back on the smoker for approximately 45 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 207º-210º. Once temperature is reached, remove from the smoker.
Allow ribs to rest for 20 minutes while still wrapped.
Mix ingredients for sauce above over medium heat and allow them to merry.
Once your ribs are rested, brush both sides with sauce and return to the grill / smoker for 10-15 minutes.