- 6 - 7 lb. Fresh Pork Back Ribs (2 racks) membrane removed, cut into smaller pieces, if necessary, to fit on the grill6 - 7 lb.
- 3/4 cup(s) Apple juice in a spray bottle3/4 cup(s)
- 1/4 cup(s) Light brown sugar, packed (for rub)1/4 cup(s)
- 1 Tbsp. Kosher salt1 Tbsp.
- 1 Tbsp. Sweet paprika1 Tbsp.
- 1 Tsp. Chipotle powder1 Tsp.
- 1 Tsp. Granulated onion powder (for rub)1 Tsp.
- 1 Tsp. Granulated garlic powder (for rub)1 Tsp.
- 1 Tsp. Ground black pepper (for rub)1 Tsp.
- 1 1/2 cup(s) Ketchup (for the sauce)1 1/2 cup(s)
- 1/2 cup(s) Light brown sugar, packed (for sauce)1/2 cup(s)
- 1/2 cup(s) Distilled white vinegar, plus 1 tbsp (for the sauce)1/2 cup(s)
- 1/3 cup(s) Water, plus 1 tbsp (for the sauce)1/3 cup(s)
- 1 1/2 Tsp. Worcestershire sauce (for the sauce)1 1/2 Tsp.
- 1 1/2 Tsp. Chili powder (for sauce)1 1/2 Tsp.
- 1/2 Tsp. Granulated onion powder (for sauce)1/2 Tsp.
- 1/2 Tsp. Granulated garlic powder (for sauce)1/2 Tsp.
- 1/2 Tsp. Chipotle powder (for sauce)1/2 Tsp.
- 1/4 Tsp. Black pepper (for sauce)1/4 Tsp.
- 1/3 cup(s) Cherry preserves1/3 cup(s)
- 1 Handful wood chips for smoking, ideally hickory or fruit-flavored, soaked in cold water for 30 to 60 minutes and drained (optional)1
About one hour before you plan to start grilling, make the rub: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, paprika, chipotle powder, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper. Pat the ribs dry with paper towels, then sprinkle both sides of each rack with the rub. Set aside at room temperature for one hour.
Preheat the grill for indirect cooking at 250 to 300ºF. Add the drained wood chips, if using.
Place the ribs, meaty side down, over a drip pan, close the grill, and cook for 2 hours, spraying on both sides with the apple juice every 20 to 30 minutes, and adding about 12 coals to a charcoal grill every 45 minutes or so to maintain the heat.
Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, water, Worcestershire, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, chipotle powder and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the cherry preserves. Set aside to cool.
Remove ribs from the grill. Double-wrap each rack in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Return wrapped ribs to the grill and cook until very tender and meat has shrunk from ends of bones by about 1/2 inch (open packet to check), 1 1/2 to 2 hours more, adding more coals as needed to charcoal grill.
Remove ribs from grill. Being careful of hot juices, unwrap ribs. Return unwrapped ribs to grill and brush the ribs with the sauce and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, until the sauce is set. Turn ribs and repeat with more sauce. Remove from the grill and let stand for 5 minutes.
Cut the racks into 3- or 4-rib sections and serve. Serve immediately with the remaining sauce. (Leftover sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks).
Serving Suggestions: Round out the menu with a crisp green salad with ranch dressing and a pot of spicy Texas-style pinto beans.