If you like fruit-infused pork, you’ll want to add my Hot Apple Ribs Recipe to your list of things to do. This recipe shows off with perfectly spiced rubs, a juicy butter bath, and an apple-flavored glaze. I think these ribs are incredibly mouth-watering in the Fall, but you can enjoy them any time of year.
This rib recipe cooks low and slow, so be sure to start early in the day. By dinner time, you’ll have a rack of mouth-watering ribs. This simple method of cooking creates the best ribs. Try them once, and you’ll see what I mean.
Hot Apple Ribs Recipe | Outlaw Smoker
Even though this Hot Apple Ribs Recipe has a few steps, they’re all relatively simple. I consider this one of my best “fix it and forget it” recipes. Who has time to babysit the smoker all day? Not me! Follow my foolproof method, and you’ll have award-winning results every time.
These gourmet ribs come together with less than ten ingredients. You may already have some of these elements in your fridge! If not, here’s what you need to add to your shopping cart.
- Cheshire Pork Baby Back Ribs. You’ve heard me rave time and time again about the quality of Cheshire Pork. Everything I get from this company is top-notch and always comes out great. Another great brand is Prairie Fresh, a natural company that uses only the best pork and no artificial ingredients.
- Heath Riles BBQ Hot Rub. This is the blend I used in the 2022 Memphis in May Rib Championship. It helped me bring home the gold, and I know it’ll also make you a winner. Though this rub has a little heat, it doesn’t overpower the meat’s natural flavors. Use it on pork, ribs, chicken, or fish.
- Heath Riles BBQ Apple Rub. My Apple Rub is a beautiful blend of garlic powder, salt, pepper, onion powder, and apples. It adds a bit of fruitiness and a lot of twang to anything you put it on. I love it on pork and chicken.
- Mustard. French’s mustard is my favorite binder. It’s smooth, helps the spices stick, and adds excellent flavor to the meat.
- Heath Riles BBQ Butter Bath & Wrap. My Butter Bath makes wrapping ribs and roasts a breeze. Simply add the butter bath to one of my shaker bottles, pour in a bit of apple juice or water, and shake until smooth. It’s that easy! I mixed the butter bath with apple juice for this cook to stick with our flavor profile.
- Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce. This tasty sauce took me over ten years to develop. It’s a superb blend of ketchup, brown sugar, onion powder, molasses, and spices. It gives pork, chicken, and beef a little pizzazz.
- Heath Riles BBQ Tangy Vinegar Sauce. I created this BBQ sauce after realizing there was a need for vinegar-based sauces that had a little sweetness. This sauce shines on its own, but it’s absolutely out of this world when paired with my Sweet BBQ Sauce. Sometimes, I even add a little to my salads.
- Apple jelly. This is one of the main ingredients in my Hot Apple Glaze. It’s sweet and helps the sauces caramelize when smoked. You can find apple jelly at most well-stocked grocery stores.
The Smoker Setup
Here’s a short list of the main equipment I used for this cook. You can find more of my grilling must-haves in the equipment and tools section.
- Smoker. I cooked these ribs over the Outlaw Smoker. This is one of my favorite setups because it’s durable, high-quality, and easy to use. It is a large setup, so consider that when deciding whether to buy it.
- Charcoal. I stoked the Outlaw with Royal Oak Charcoal and Tumbleweeds. This is a winning combination that takes the cake. Royal Oak doesn’t use any fillers in their products, making it ideal for the pit boss who wants pure smoke.
The Process for Making Hot Apple Ribs
You can find a detailed demonstration of this recipe in my video and recipe card at the bottom of this post. For now, here’s a brief overview of how I pulled these amazing ribs together.
- Fire up the Outlaw. I stoked the Outlaw Smoker with Royal Oak Charcoal and fired it up to a range of 275℉-300℉.
- Trim the ribs. After taking the ribs out of their package, I tore off the membrane and trimmed any fat flaps.
- Add binder and seasoning. I drizzled the ribs with mustard and rubbed it in. Then, I added a base coat of Hot Rub followed by Apple Rub. I flipped the ribs over, and repeated the process on the other side.
- Start cooking. I laid the ribs directly on the Outlaw’s grates and let them cook for about 2 ½ hours. I sprayed my ribs with water every 30-45 minutes to keep them moist.
- Wrap the ribs. I removed the ribs from the grill and placed them on a baking sheet double-lined with aluminum foil. Because I had two slabs of ribs, I mixed 6 tablespoons of butter bath with 1 ½ cups of apple juice until smooth. I like to create a boat shape with my foil, then pour the butter bath over the top, wrapping the ribs tightly.
- Smoke the wrapped ribs. I returned the wrapped ribs to the Outlaw and cooked them for another 2 hours until the internal temperature reached 203℉-205℉. Then, I removed the ribs from the grill and prepared them for sauce.
- Create the sauce. I mixed Sweet BBQ Sauce, Tangy Vinegar Sauce, and apple jelly over medium heat until everything was melted and glossy. I painted the ribs with the glaze and put them back on the smoker, unwrapped, sprinkling a little more Apple Rub over the top. I let them cook until the glaze was set. Once the glaze was tacky, I removed them from the grill and dug in.
These Hot Apple Ribs made my entire block smell amazing. The ribs were so tender that I could break them apart with my hands. They had the perfect balance of sweet and spicy and looked like they belonged in a magazine.
Serving Suggestions for Hot Apple Ribs
If you’re just serving yourself, these ribs are awesome. However, sometimes you want to impress a crowd. Here are a few side dishes that pair well with these sweet, spicy apple ribs.
- Mississippi Sunrise. This beautiful drink adds elegance to any BBQ meal. It tastes wonderful and combines two of my favorites; tequila and Corona.
- Smoked Macaroni and Cheese. My version of macaroni and cheese is so much better than any boxed brand. It’s rich and creamy, has multiple kinds of cheese, and includes brisket. You won’t be able to get enough of this decadent side dish.
Storing Hot Apple Ribs
I can’t guarantee you’ll have leftovers, but if you do, you can store them covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. If you aren’t going to eat them within that timeframe, freeze the meat for up to 3 months. To reheat frozen ribs, thaw them in the fridge overnight and cook at 350℉for 15-20 minutes.
Equipment and Tools
Outlaw Smoker, Royal Oak Charcoal, paper towels, cutting board, spray bottle, heavy-duty aluminum foil, instant-read meat thermometer, YETI Tundra 65 Hard Cooler, and insulated gloves for handling meat.
Hot Apple Ribs Recipe Using the Outlaw Smoker
Cheshire Pork Baby Back Ribs (or ribs of your choice)
Heath Riles BBQ Hot Rub
Heath Riles BBQ Apple Rub
Mustard (or binder of your choice)
1 package of Heath Riles BBQ Butter Bath & Wrap (you will only need 3 tablespoons per slab, so the amount depends on how many slabs of ribs you are cooking)
Apple Juice (you need 3/4 per slab of ribs)
1/3 cup of Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce
1/3 cup of Heath Riles BBQ Tangy Vinegar Sauce
1/3 cup of Apple Jelly
Get cooker ready and up to temp of 275º-300º, we used the Outlaw Smoker for this cook.
Remove ribs from packaging. Take off the membrane from the back of the ribs and trim to your liking.
Rub ribs with yellow mustard, or binder of your choice (both sides).
Season ribs with a base of Heath Riles BBQ Hot Rub (both sides).
Season ribs with a layer of Heath Riles BBQ Apple Rub (both sides).
Place ribs on your cooker at approximately 275º, we used Hickory wood for this cook along with Royal Oak Charcoal.
Cook ribs for approximately 2 and a half hours, we added wood every 30 minutes to keep our temperature at 275º. We also spritzed our ribs every 30-45 minutes with water to keep them moist.
After 2 and a half hours at 275º, remove your ribs to wrap. Wrap with Heath Riles BBQ Butter Bath & Wrap. You should mix 3 tablespoons with 3/4 cup of apple juice PER SLAB of rib. Once wrapped with Butter Bath and apple juice mixture, wrap with foil and return to the grill.
Cook wrapped ribs for approximately another 2 to 2 and a half hours or until the internal temperature is 203º-205º. Once this temperature is reached, remove from grill.
Unwrap ribs and sauce with sauce recipe above. (You should have melted these ingredients over heat to make sure your apple jelly is melted.)
After saucing, return to the grill to set the sauce. You can also sprinkle with Heath Riles BBQ Apple Rub. Allow the sauce to set and remove from the grill.