BBQ, Main, Pork

Willow’s Sweet Combo Baby Back Ribs

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Looking or a way to show off your smoking talent? Willow Seasonings “Sweet Combo Baby Back Ribs” recipe will make your rib game the envy of the neighborhood. What brings it higher is the use of their “Sweet Smoke” rub combined with their “Sweet Thang” sauce.  Its a great combo and simple enough that it takes all the confusion out of making ribs without sacrificing any flavor. Start by smoking your ribs for 3 hours, then cook inside foil for 2 hours and finish by removing from foil and brushing on sauce for up to 1 hour. Pro-tip: When you wrap it in foil for the 2nd stage, pour in a half can/rack of your favorite porter or stout and let them braise for those 2 hours, you will not regret it. If you are around the Castle Rock, Colorado area, I suggest 105 West’s “Bear Chested” Imperial Stout.

The perfect baby back rib recipe

Recipe by GaryCourse: Lunch, DinnerCuisine: BBQDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 rack Ribs. I recommend D'artagnan brand baby back ribs. I have not found their equal.

  • Kosher Salt

  • Course Ground Pepper

  • Mustard, (optional)

  • Your favorite Dry Rub

  • Apple Juice

  • Tin Foil


  • 1. Remove the silvery membrane ( Silver Skin) from your rack of ribs. This can be more difficult than it looks, so take it slow, use paper towel to keep hold of the membrane, and use a blunt knife to work the membrane off of the ribs in areas it doesn’t simply peel away.
  • Season your ribs as preferred. Pat dry, and slather, or coat with a binder. I use a medium coarse grain mustard. Then apply your Willow Seasonings Sweet Smoke dry rub. I like to use something that mixes a little chipotle with a sweet offset flavor. Kosmos has a Honey Chipotle dry rub that fits the bill
  • Set up your pellet grill and set it to 225F. When it reaches temperature, add your ribs bone-side down (so the bone is touching the grill) and leave it to smoke for 3 hours. It’s best to place it bone-side down so the meat will retain the flavors better, and the juices will pool in the rib meat, rather than draining away. Spritz the ribs with the apple juice every half hour. This opens pores in the outer area of the ribs and allows smoke to penetrate deeper into the meat.
  • After 3 hours, Remove the ribs and wrap them in aluminum foil, this time, meat side down. Options are available here. I like to add some deep flavor here. I love the flavor of a deep imperial stout here. I pour about 1/2 - 3/4 of a can of one into the foil with the ribs. If the Stout is not your favorite, also a little bourbon and water, or apple juice. Close up the foil.
  • Return the ribs to your grill in the foil and allow it to continue cooking for 2 hours. Try to place them bone-side UP.
  • Remove the ribs again, and remove them from the foil. Bush the ribs with a light coating of a BBQ Finishing Sauce. Willow Seasonings has an awesome solution to this, their "Sweet Thang" sauce is an excellent finish to the smoke. Set ribs back in smoker, with the bone side down. Usually this part takes up to an hour. Most times I check it after 30 minutes and they are pretty close to done. While you may want the ribs to be "fall off the bone", usually that is almost too done if aren't carful. Ideally, they should pull off the bone, if you cook them to the point that you can not lift the full rack of ribs without it falling apart, they are overdone and are probably going to be a little dry.
  • Remove the ribs, and allow them to sit for 10 minutes before cutting them apart. Cut, serve, eat, and repeat.

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