Apple Cider Ribs - 11 of 17

I absolutely love the Fall. The humidity and temps finally start dropping as do the leaves in that incredible show of color. College and pro football are in full swing. Baseball is heading toward the playoffs. Apple butter, apple cider and apple ale all come out of hibernation and grace the store shelves again.  Time to combine two of those last three items with some ribs and get this Fall party started!

Double Apple Ribs Ingredients:

1 slab St. Louis style spare ribs (membrane removed)
1 can Mike’s Apple Ale 
1.5 tbsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
BBQ rub
1 cup BBQ Sauce
1/2 cup apple butter
6 oz Mike’s Hard Apple Ale

Place the skinned ribs in a resealable plastic bag and with the Mike’s Apple Ale, salt, brown sugar and black pepper. Swish the liquid around until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Place the bag with the ribs in the fridge for 2-12 hours.

When ready to grill, remove the ribs from the brine, pat dry with a paper towel and apply your favorite BBQ rub. Don’t bother salting the ribs. There’s enough salt from the brine.

Always rub the bone side first so the natural concave of the bones keeps the rub from sticking to the cutting board when you flip the ribs over.

Prepare the grill for two zone or indirect grilling. For a kamado grill, put a plate setter in between the fire and the grill grate to deflect the heat around the ribs. For a standard grill, put the coals on one side and the meat on the other. In this case, I used an electric smoker so I simply placed the ribs on the grill grate, put some wood chips in the box and closed the door:

Apple Cider Ribs - 14 of 17

Target temp inside the grill is 250 degrees.

St. Louis style spare ribs generally take about 3 hours to smoke at 250. At the 2 hour mark the ribs are looking pretty good:

Apple Cider Ribs - 15 of 17

Now let’s complete the magic here. Head inside and combine the BBQ sauce, apple butter and Mike’s Apple Ale in a sauce pan:

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Simmer for about 20-30 minutes to thicken the sauce and concentrate the flavors:

Apple Cider Ribs - 2 of 17

Then go outside and baste that double apple BBQ sauce on the ribs every 10 minutes for the last 30-40 minutes of the cook:

Apple Cider Ribs - 3 of 17

Here are the ribs slathered in that double apple BBQ sauce glaze:

Apple Cider Ribs - 17 of 17

When the bones peek out about 1/3 to 1/2 inch the ribs are ready to pull from the smoker. Here are the double apple ribs on a cutting board ready to slice:

Apple Cider Ribs - 10 of 17

The double dose of the apple butter and the apple ale added to the BBQ sauce really changed the flavor profile of a typical sauce. It was thicker and sweeter than typical sauce but not an overly sugary sweeter. More like a fruitier sweetness, but not an overpowering fruit as the fruit is an apple and not something like raspberry which can overpower pretty easily. This very well may become my go to sauce. It was that good.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave the below or send me an email.

Full Disclosure: Mike’s Hard Lemonade partnered with influencers such as me for its Mike’s VIP Program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. Mike’s believes that consumers and influencers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Mike’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Double Apple Ribs
Recipe type: Ribs
Cuisine: BBQ
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
St. Louis style ribs brined in apple ale, rubbed and smoked before being slathered with a double apple BBQ Sauce.
  • 1 slab St. Louis style spare ribs (membrane removed)
  • 1 can Mike’s Apple Ale
  • 1.5 tbsp salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • BBQ rub
  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce
  • ½ cup apple butter
  • 6 oz Mike’s Apple Ale
  1. Combine the apple ale, salt, brown sugar and pepper in a resealable plastic bag and swirl around until the salt and sugar have dissolved
  2. Add the skinned ribs and place the bag in the fridge for 2-12 hours
  3. Remove the ribs from brine and coat the bone side of the meat with the rub
  4. Coat the meat side with the rub as well
  5. Prepare the grill for two zone or indirect heat with a target temperature of 250
  6. Put smoke wood on the fire and place the ribs on the grill
  7. After 2 hours, combine the rest of the ingredients in a pan on the stove and simmer for 20-30 minutes to thicken
  8. For the last 30 minutes on the grill, brush the sauce on the ribs every 10 minutes
  9. Remove from the heat and serve

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Original Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to college with a suitcase and a grill where he overcooked, undercooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thousands of failures, and quite a few successes, nearly two decades later he started a website to show step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to make great things out of doors so that others don’t have to repeat the mistakes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

@GrillinFool - #GrillPorn abounds here. All meat, all the time!
Oh my wow! There is so much perfection right there! 😲✔️👍😎 . Video shot by the insanely talented @carlaocarvalho77 …… - 1 year ago
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Apples and pork ribs are a natural combination. Nice job on bringing the fruit in both at the beginning and finish.


Hi Scott, we are planning on trying this recipe over the weekend.
I noticed you didn’t say which wood chips you used. If it was apple chips, would that make the recipe a Triple Apple Rib?
Isn’t triple better than double?



Let me know what you think. And yes, apple wood would be triple apple. That was my plan, but I was out of apple chips, which is strange as they are about the easiest to find. Happy grilling this weekend…



We made this recipe over the Memorial Day holiday and the flavor was fantastic. I know your dad turned you on to brining your ribs and this was the first time I’ve ever brined ribs. Just like you, I became a believer. They were much juicier and the flavor was spot on.
I appreciated the simple sauce. Sometimes the recipes can get overly complicated.
The one thing I need to work on is my timing. When to start the cook, when to remove, how long I can keep the meat hot after removing from the grill…
I started the grilling too early and the meat was done 1.5 hours before anyone showed up. I always cook baby backs and wanted to try the bigger St Louis spares. I started early, but they finished in about the same amount of time. I know I can hold a brisket forever, just wasn’t sure about the ribs.
We will definitely use this recipe again.

BTW, I used the apple smoke wood. Wound up being a good choice.



What would the cooking time be on a gas grill? I don’t have my smoker yet so gas is my only option



Depends on the temp of the grill. Cook until the rib bones are sticking out between 1/4 to 1/2 inch for competition style ribs and 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch for fall off the bones. Don’t cook to time. Cook to doneness.

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