Slow Smoked Baby Back Ribs in a Carolina Mop Sauce

George Levinthal


I bought my first smoker a couple of years ago and I love it. I've smoked ribs, chicken and salmon with it, but the ribs are the best. I love barbeque and now I do it myself. Between my smoker and my grill, you can't get me off of the patio. and with our weather in Santa Barbara, that's most all year long. These ribs are sweet, tangy and a little bit of spice, but it's the meat that you'll fall in love with.

★★★★★ 1 vote
3 to 4
12 Hr
5 Hr


1 large
rack of baby back ribs (4-1/2 - 5 lbs), membrane removed
1 tsp
each of kosher or sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, ground cumin, ground mustard seeds and paprika.
2 tsp
each onion and garlic powder
1/2 tsp
cayenne pepper
2 tsp
dark brown sugar


2 Tbsp
butter or vegetable oil
1/2 c
chopped shallots
1/4 tsp
each of kosher or sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbsp
each minced garlic and minced ginger
2 Tbsp
3 Tbsp
dark brown sugar
2 c
apple cider
1/4 c
apple cider vinegar
1 c
1/2 c
barbecue sauce
2 Tbsp
worcestershire sauce
4 Tbsp
jack daniels (or your favorite)


1Combine all of the rub ingredients together in a small bowl and rub on both sides of the ribs, massaging it into the meat. Place in a large, sealable plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 2 to 4 hours, or overnight.
2Preheat you smoker to Smoke, or a grill set for low, indirect heat. Add the wood chips or pellets and when they start to smoke, place the ribs directly on the grill, close the cover and cook, uncovered for 2-1/2 hours. Spray every 30 to 45 minutes with a mixture of water and apple cider. A little Jack Daniels wouldn't hurt either. During this time, I make my mop sauce (See recipe below).
3During the last 30 minutes of the uncovered cooking slather the ribs with the mop sauce. Then after the 2-1/2 hours slather the mop sauce on again, both sides, cover in heavy duty aluminum foil, turn up the heat to medium and continue to smoke, for 1-1/2 hours. After 1-1/2 hours remove the ribs from the foil, slather again with the mop sauce and cook for another 30 minutes to 1 hour until the meat has receded from the tip of the bone about 1/4" and are about ready to fall off the bone. Slice into small slabs or individual ribs and serve with the remaining mop sauce.
4For the Mop Sauce, heat the oil or butter in a medium sauce pan. Add the shallots and the salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes until the shallots are beginning to soften. Add the garlic and ginger and combine. Let cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add the remaining ingredients and bring to a slow boil, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat to low and continue to cook 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to simmer and keep warm. If you want to thicken it a little before you serve with the ribs, add a little corn starch mixed with water into the sauce, bring back to a boil for a few minutes until it starts to thicken. You'll probably have some left for the next time or on other dishes.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Ribs
Main Ingredient: Pork
Regional Style: Southwestern