This Mexican inspired rib recipe is a perfect flavor combination to switch up classic pork ribs. Slightly sweet, a little acidic and tangy, and packed with some smoky heat you can’t not love.
I love smoke flavored foods (which is probably why I love BBQ) and have also always enjoyed the flavor profile of chipotles and adobo sauce. I was inspired by my recipe for Chipotle Honey BBQ sauce and classic 3-2-1 slow smoked ribs to create a fun riff on a classic dish.
If you’re looking to play around with some chipotle peppers and honey (making this refined sugar free) and cook it all up on delicious spare ribs then you need to give this not so traditional rib recipe a try.
Get all the tips and cooking techniques below in the post or jump to the recipe below for the full break down. Let’s dive in!
- Baking Sheet
- Aluminum Foil
- Spray Bottle
- Sauce Brush
- Measuring cups/ Spoons
- Cutting Board and Knife
Here are some helpful cooking tips and techniques to guide you through a fool proof cook!
How to prep your ribs for smoking:
I’ve outlined rib preparations a handful of times in my 3-2-1 ribs post and my hot and fast ribs post as well. Both spare ribs and baby backs can be used for this recipe. Baby back ribs do tend to cook in less time so keep that in mind when you plan out your cook.
Things to do before smoking-
- Remove the ribs from the packaging and pat it dry.
- Remove the membrane across the back of the ribs.
- Check for silver skin and remove with a knife.
- Trim and square up the ribs as needed (I look for pieces on the end that are uneven, too thin, or have lots of bone fragments that aren’t great from serving safely).
- Choose a binder and apply it to your ribs (I used a small amount of the honey chipotle barbecue sauce recipe for this cook).
Spice rub ingredients:
I always add a dry rub to my ribs for a nice bark. I kept it simple for this cook and combined onion, garlic, salt and pepper into a bowl. If you want some smokiness you can add paprika or even chipotle powder for a stronger flavor profile.
If you like any other Mexican style spice rubs, experiment and play around with those as well. Lightly cover the ribs with the dry rub on all sides and set the aside for about 30 minutes or so while you pre-heat your grill.
- Preheat our grill and keep the temperature between 225 – 250 F.
- Place them on the grill and cook the ribs for about and hour before spraying. Spraying keeps the bark moist.
- Spray as needed every 30-60 minutes to keep the bark from cracking and to allow more smoke to penetrate the meat. I use diluted apple cider vinegar or water for this recipe.
- If following the 3-2-1 method, wrap the ribs tightly in foil. I added the chipotle honey glaze, extra honey, and a spritz of apple cider vinegar to the wrap on the top and the bottom.
- Place them back on the grill for another 2 hours or so. Unwrap and prepare to sauce.
- Sauce twice within the last 30 minutes or so. Ribs are best when they hit a temperature of 195 F- 200 F.
- Let the ribs sit, tented off the grill for 10-15 minutes before slicing. To slice, flip them over on a cutting board so they are bone side up and slice along the bones for a perfect rib!
Side pairings and storage tips for leftovers:
If you find yourself with leftover ribs, try pulling the bones out before putting them in the fridge! This makes it easier to repurpose your ribs for other things like hash, these fun pork rib tacos I posted below in the photo with my roasted poblano sauce, nachos and more!
Did you make this recipe? Leave me comment and rating below or post a photo and tag me @bonappeteach over on Instagram so I can follow along!
Chipotle Honey BBQ Ribs
- 2 Racks of Ribs baby backs or spare
- 1 tbsp. Salt
- 1 tbsp. Pepper
- 1 tbsp. Onion Powder
- 1 tbsp. Garlic Powder
- 2 tbsp. Smoky Paprika or sub Chipotle Powder
- [1 Batch of Honey Chipotle BBQ Glaze]
- Extra- Honey and water or apple cider vinegar for spritzing
- Remove your ribs from the packaging and pat them dry. Trim them as needed to remove the silver skin, the back membrane, and any bone fragments.
- Add a a small amount of the Chipotle honey BBQ sauce over the top and bottom of each rack to act as a binder. Then combine the spices and lightly season both racks of ribs completely (top, bottom, and sides). Set them aside and let them rest on the counter for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your grill to 225-250 F. Set it for indirect heat and use a lighter blend of woods (I used cherry and pecan).
- Place the ribs on the grill and follow the 3-2-1 method outlined in this post.
- When it comes time to spray the ribs, use water or diluted apple cider vinegar. When you wrap, add BBQ sauce, honey, and mist the bottom of the foil. Place them meat side down and repeat across the bone side. Tightly wrap in foil and return to the grill.
- For saucing – Un wrap your ribs the last hour or so to tighten the bar back up. The last 30 minutes I like to sauce twice (15 minutes apart) to let it set up and slightly get tacky.
- Remove from the grill when done (around 195-200 F) and rest 10 minutes or so before slicing. Slice and serve.