Apple Cider BBQ Back Ribs

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As you’ll remember, earlier this summer I shared a tasty rib dry rub recipe with an easy rub, mop and slather rib grilling technique. Today we’re making apple cider ribs using another method. Rather than a dry rub, we’re using a wet rub and rather than mopping, we’re spraying! It’s getting rib-crazy here on the blog and we welcome you to try these recipes for yourself!

Apple Cider BBQ Back Ribs

As always, we’re grilling our ribs on the charcoal grill. The flavor is best and there’s a nostalgia about grilling over charcoal you just can’t get on the gas grill. These ribs over charcoal are absolutely foolproof. Don’t be intimidated, anyone can use this recipe and get finger lickin’ good ribs every time!

Apple Cider BBQ Back Ribs

Here in New England we have a big, healthy apple picking season. During apple season, we get to take the apples we pick from the trees over to the mill and have them turned into apple cider. The freshest pressed apple cider, right off the trees in our own backyard! No, you don’t have to have apple trees to make this, just grab a bottle of apple cider while you’re at Walmart picking up your ribs and you’ll be ready to roll!

Smithfield Ribs at Walmart

HogWild Throwdown Contest!

Join Moe Cason and Tuffy Stone, Smithfield® brand ambassadors of two years, for the HogWild Throwdown Contest where you could win one of 2 Ford F-150’s! Moe Cason and Tuffy Stone love celebrating the ease of grilling ribs and their excitement for the quality Smithfield® meats found at Walmart. The contest is open to amateur and pro grillers alike, so fire up your grill and enter!

PS: Don’t miss this coupon!

Smithfield Ribs Coupon OfferNow that you’ve scored some savings, let’s get to our recipe!

Apple Cider Back Rib Rub Recipe

Apple Cider Rib Rub Recipe

Apple cider rib rub recipe (say that 5 times fast!)! Let’s get this wet rub for our ribs ready and then we’ll fire up the BBQ and do work!


Grab your ingredients, find the complete recipe with measurements below. Smithfield Extra Tender Back Ribs, apple cider, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Don’t forget your spray bottle, filled with apple cider!

Ingredients for Apple Cider Ribs Wet Rub

Mix them all together in a bowl to create the wet rub for your ribs. You’ll end up with more of a paste than a sauce, and this is what you want.

Easy Apple Cider Rib Wet Rub Recipe

Prepare your ribs by removing the membrane and rubbing them with the wet rub. See Moe Cason’s video below for another awesome recipe and to learn how he removes the membrane from the back side of the ribs.

While the ribs are soaking up that tasty wet rub, get your charcoal grill ready. Prepare your charcoal as you normally would, remember to use enough charcoal for a 2 hour grilling session. You can add more throughout the session if needed.

Grilling Tip: The 4 second rule! Holding your hand 2 to 3 inches above the grill grates. If you need to remove your hand before you can count to 4, your grill is hot enough.


You’re going to cook the ribs over indirect heat, meaning the charcoal will only be on one side (or split, depending on your grill). While grilling, your ribs will not be positioned over the charcoal.

Place a tin pan in the bottom of the grill with your Kingsford charcoal flanking the pan. Fill the tin pan 1/2 way with apple cider. You’ll be grilling the ribs over the tin. The tin will help catch the drippings and moisture from the apple cider evaporating will help to keep the ribs super, super tender and improve our apple cider flavoring!

Kingsford Charcoal and Apple Cider Ribs

Once your charcoal is ready, it’s time to put the ribs on the grill!

Apple Cider Wet Rub Ribs Recipe

Grab your spray bottle filled with apple cider and spray the ribs every 15 to 20 minutes. Just a quick spray to keep everything moist while the ribs are cooking. During the last 30-45 minutes, spray every 10-15 minutes. If your ribs seem to be cooking faster on one side than the other, flip them for a little while to keep everything going evenly.

Spraying Ribs with Apple Cider

This wet rub and spray technique in combination with using hand trimmed Smithfield Extra Tender Back Ribs with  no added hormones or steroids will give you the most tender ribs on the planet! Yum!

During the last 20 minutes or so, add your veggies. Today we’re grilling zucchini slices!

BBQ Grilled Zucchini

Of course if you like BBQ sauce, feel free to drizzle a little bit of KC Masterpiece over your ribs and enjoy!

BBQ Ribs with Apple Cider Wet Rub Recipe

Apple Cider Ribs Recipe

Here is your complete apple cider ribs recipe with wet rub and instructions to make the easiest and most tender apple cider ribs you’ll ever have! Enjoy!

Apple Cider BBQ Back Ribs

Apple Cider Ribs Recipe

20 minPrep Time

2 hrCook Time

2 hr, 20 Total Time

Save Recipe


1 rack Smithfield Extra Tender Back Ribs
1/2 gallon apple cider
1/2 Cup brown sugar
1 Tsp Honey
1 heaping Tbs Cinnamon
1/2 Tbs Salt
1 heaping Tsp Nutmeg


  • Combine 2 tbs apple cider, honey, cinnamon, brown sugar, salt and nutmeg in a bowl. Mix until ingredients are well incorporated - it should be wet, and thick almost like a paste
  • Prepare your charcoal grill, charcoal on one side and a tin filled 1/2 way with apple cider on the other
  • Rub Smithfield Extra Tender Back Ribs with the wet rub 15 minutes before placing on the grill
  • Place the ribs over the apple cider tin
  • Close lid and cook for 1 hours 30 minutes to 2 hours
  • Spray with apple cider every 15 minutes. During the last 1/2 hour spray every 10 minutes keeping the ribs moist
  • Tip: Check the grill temp, add charcoal if necessary throughout your grilling session, flip the ribs if you notice them cooking faster on one side or another.
Recipe Type: Main

Apple Cider BBQ Back Ribs

I hope you find these apple cider ribs as delicious as we do. Who am I kidding, of course you will! ;)

Do you have a special recipe for your Smithfield® ribs?

Apple Cider BBQ Back Ribs Recipe