Backyard BBQ Championship Ribs

The original version of these championship ribs isn’t that hard to do, but not every backyarder has a smoker that will run all day at 275 degrees and have enough room to comfortably spread out three slabs for ribs. So this is a good substitute for a kettle, a smaller smoker or a gas grill. The only catch is that you’ll have to adjust the times and temperatures to your cooker. It may be a little tricky at first but take notes and you’ll have it down perfectly after a few tries.

Those first couple will be pretty good anyway.

Backyard BBQ Championship Ribs Recipe


  • 3 Slabs of St. Louis-Style Ribs or Baby Back Ribs, cut in half, membrane off and washed
  • ½ cup Turbinado sugar
  • 1 cup Beg Time Barbecue rub (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 ½ cups apple juice
  • 2 cups Bonesmokers Honey BBQ Sauce


  1. About 30 minutes before they go in to the cooker mix the rub and the Turbinado sugar together and rub it on the ribs. Use about 2/3 on the meaty side and 1/3 on the boney side.
  2. Much of this will depend on your equipment, but you should cook them slow with a little bit of hickory and cherry wood until they are nicely caramelized and looking great. About 325 degrees with an indirect setup would be a good target temperature. One to one and a half hours is a good time guideline for this step. Use a rib rack if you need it for space. Remove the ribs to a platter or sheet pan and brush them all on both sides with honey.
  3. The next step is a tenderizing process. Put the ribs in an aluminum foil pan with a little apple juice in the bottom, about one inch. Stand them on end in the pan if you need to. Cover with foil and cook on low until tender. Again, 325 degrees and indirect would be a good target. If you have a hard time keeping your grill low, you’ll need to check that the apple juice doesn’t all cook off. Replenish it as needed. This step can even be done in the oven. The time for this step is one hour as a guideline; but again, this will vary depending on your equipment. Test the ribs by sticking them with a toothpick to see when they are soft and tender. (*At this point you could cool them down, wrap them separately and reheat later. This is a great way to take ribs to a tailgate party or to prepare ahead for a party at home.)
  4. Cook until potatoes are tender.
  5. Transfer the cooked ribs to a medium hot grill. Brush with the Big Time BBQ Glaze and flip for a just a few minutes. Cut in to pieces and serve.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Recipe compliments of Ray Lampe, Dr. BBQ

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