Hot Honey Maple Ribs On the Gateway Drum Smoker

Hot Honey Maple Ribs On the Gateway Drum Smoker

Many BBQ lovers are obsessed with the delightful combination of sweet and spicy. If you fall under this category, you’ll want to grab a plate of my Hot Honey Maple BBQ Ribs. I’ve had many ribs in my day, but there’s just something special about this sticky-sweet, slightly fiery recipe. 

These game day ribs come together in about two hours but taste like they’ve been cooked low and slow. I basted my Hot Honey Maple BBQ Ribs with my latest creation, Heath Riles BBQ Maple Honey Habanero Glaze, which infuses the meat with a bold blend of flavors. This recipe is a showstopper that your friends and family will adore. 

Hot Honey Maple BBQ Ribs | Heath Riles BBQ

Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or weekend chef, you’ll fall in love with this recipe. By implementing the pro tips found in the recipe video, you’ll elevate your game in no time. This rib recipe embodies what good BBQ is all about: combining different flavors into one harmonious (and delicious!) union. Your plate may be empty, but the memory of these juicy ribs will stick with you. 

The Ingredients

You can create delicious, succulent, Hot Honey Maple Ribs with just five ingredients. Here’s what you need to add to your shopping cart. 

  • Prairie Fresh St. Louis cut ribs. It’s no secret that I love Prairie Fresh. They’re my pork of choice, whether on the circuit or the back patio! If you want high-quality meat that doesn’t require a lot of trimming, go with Prairie Fresh. 
  • Extra-virgin olive oil. Olive oil is the perfect binder for ribs. It’s mild in flavor, giving your seasonings a chance to shine. If you prefer, you can use avocado oil, mustard, or no binder at all. The choice is yours! 
  • Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeño Rub. There’s a reason my Garlic Jalapeño Rub is featured on my new Gateway Drum Smoker! This blend was an instant bestseller. People can’t get enough of the decadent mix of salt, pepper, garlic, and jalepeńo. Use it as a base coat for ribs or to enhance steak, burgers, veggies, and popcorn. 
  • Heath Riles BBQ Honey Chipotle Rub. If you crave sweet heat, snag a bottle of my Honey Chipotle Rub. With a combination of smoke, sugar, salt, pepper, and hot peppers, you’ll be in heaven. You can use it on roasts, prime ribs, chicken, and more. 
  • Heath Riles BBQ Maple Honey Habanero Glaze. My glazes are the latest addition to my product line. If you’re looking for a flavorful way to enhance ribs and pork butt, I’ve got you covered. You can also use this glaze in your sides and desserts! It’s just that versatile. 

The Smoker Setup

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

  • Drum smoker. I cooked these ribs in my Gateway Drum Smoker. This fun setup smokes food in record time. Many pitmasters prefer drum smokers because they’re more straightforward than other grills. If you’re looking for a minimalistic approach to grilling, you’ll adore the Gateway Drum. 
  • Charcoal. I stoked the drum smoker with Royal Oak Lump Charcoal and Royal Oak Tumbleweeds. I love this brand because their product is high quality with no fillers. If you’re trying to reduce chemicals, you need this charcoal. I use it for almost every cook with great results. You can also add a few pieces of hickory wood.

The Process for Making Hot Honey Maple BBQ Ribs

You’ll find a detailed demonstration of this bbq ribs recipe within the recipe card and video. For now, here’s a quick rundown of how I pulled these Hot Honey Maple Ribs together. 

  • Fire up the pit. I stoked the Gateway Drum Smoker with Royal Oak Lump Charcoal and some Royal Oak Tumbleweeds. Then, I fired it up to a range of 275℉-300℉.
  • Prep the ribs. I removed the ribs from their packaging and trimmed excess meat flaps and pockets of fat, evening the ends and sides. I also removed the membrane and any bits of bone. Be sure to watch the video to see my foolproof method for creating gorgeous ribs. 
  • Add seasoning. I drizzled olive oil over the ribs and rubbed it in. Then, I seasoned the meat on both sides with Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeńo Rub and Heath Riles BBQ Honey Chipotle Rub. I let the ribs sweat in for 10 minutes before moving on to the next step. 
  • Start cooking. I greased the Gateway Drum Smoker’s rack, then laid the ribs on top. I let the ribs cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes, spinning them every 20 minutes.
  • Wrap the ribs. I took the ribs off the pit and laid them on a double-lined sheet of aluminum foil. Then, I drizzled them with Heath Riles BBQ Maple Honey Habanero Glaze, brushing it into the meat. I wrapped the ribs tightly, then set them back on the Gateway Drum Smoker for 40 minutes, rotating the meat every 20 minutes. My ribs had a total cook time of 2 hours and 15 minutes. I took the Hot Honey Maple BBQ Ribs off the grill and let them rest for 20 minutes. The only thing left was to dig in! 

The Results

If you’re looking for ribs with a brilliant color, you’ll love my Hot Honey Maple Ribs. The meat came off the pit looking gorgeous. Each bite had the perfect balance of maple, honey, and a kick of heat. Wrapping the ribs kept the moisture where it belonged..inside the meat! 

Serving Suggestions for Hot Honey Maple BBQ Ribs

These Hot Honey Maple BBQ Ribs are great on their own, but if you want a full plate, add a side of Smoked Brisket Baked Beans, Mississippi Coleslaw, and Bacon Wrapped Green Beans.

Storing Leftovers

You can store leftover Hot Honey Maple BBQ Ribs in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze them for up to 4 months. If reheating from frozen, you may have to add more glaze to the ribs to achieve the same original texture. 

Equipment and Tools

Aluminum foil, Gateway Drum Smoker, Royal Oak Lump Charcoal, Royal Oak Tumbleweeds, ThermoWorks Hi-Temp Silicone Brush, ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE, Heath Riles BBQ Heat Resistant Gloves, Heath Riles BBQ Butcher Paper, disposable cutting board.

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