This recipe was inspired by my partnership with Primo Ceramic Grills. All recipes and opinions are my own!
Keto Chipotle Smoked Ribs:
Have you ever smoked your ribs before? In all honesty, I hadn’t tried smoking ribs until recently and I have to say, I love it! Living in a city now where BBQ is a serious business, I have really taken an interest in the smoking process. Plus, I just crave ribs. So, what’s a girl to do? Learn to smoke some keto friendly ribs and kill it on the Q! I want to share with you what I learned (being a charcoal grill newbie) and how I created the perfect keto friendly rub and sauce for this too. Find the full recipe at the bottom of the post and read on for all the great tips and tricks!
- Primo Ceramic Grill (I’m biased haha)
- Cutting Board & Knife
- Baking Sheet
- Whisk & Pot (for sauce)
Two things need to be prepped for a successful cook. First, the ribs. Your ribs need to be trimmed and the membrane removed. I like to mix my own dry rubs because I can easily customize the flavor and I know exactly what goes into it (aka avoiding added sugar- which most premade rubs have). To bind the spice blend, I simply brush the ribs entirely with a thin layer of mustard and then thoroughly coat every inch of those beautiful ribs in that homemade rub! I learned another tip from some of the many awesome grillers I’ve befriended on Instagram, and discovered to not actually rub the rub into the meat, but pat it instead. This helps keep the rub in a nice even layer and coating. Allow it rest and literally as they say, “get the meat sweats”.
The grill needs to be set up for indirect cooking. With the design of the Primo Oval Jr 200 that I cook on, I use the heat deflector plates to help me do this. Typically my ribs take about 4 hours to cook, so I like to add 3 pieces of wood and get a small area of the coals lit. Dial the grill into a steady temperature between 225-250 degrees F. Once it’s holding steady you’re ready to add your ribs.
Cooking & Wrapping:
I let the ribs cook (bone side down) for about 2-2 1/2 hours. I look for a nice bark to form on the ribs from the rub. I also look for the bones to start popping out more from the meat. At this point, I wrap them in foil to help them retain moisture and then they can continue to cook to get tender. To keep them moist, I melt a few tablespoons of butter and a small amount of my homemade chipotle sauce together and brush it over the top and bottom of the ribs. Wrap them tightly in the foil and allow them to cook for a few more hours or until they are tender to your liking. There is a common misconception that ribs should literally fall off the bone. However, if you ask any expert barbequere, this is NOT the case. If the meat is that tender, it actually has broken down to the point where it’s stringy and mushy. It essentially, loses all its structure. So, don’t over cook it!
While the ribs are starting their initial cook, I like to prep my sauce. Combine the tomato sauce, chipotle peppers, garlic, and seasonings into a blender or food processor. Pulse and blend the mixture together to allow the chipotle peppers to be well incorporated. Add the whole mixture to a small saucepan and heat to medium-low temperature. At this point, I like to add in some salt, a little worcestershire, vinegar, and a splash of liquid smoke to take it all home! Taste test and adjust if needed. If you feel like it needs a bit of sweetness, I prefer to add a little monk fruit sweetener or your favorite low carb sweetener (to keep it keto).
I prefer to serve the sauce on the side with my ribs. If you choose to sauce them on the grill, remove the foil and allow them to cook for the last 15 minutes or so of your grill time. Remove them and allow them to rest a bit before slicing. Serve the ribs up with this insanely delicious Keto Corn Muffins and this Keto Cajun Coleslaw too! Need a good cocktail to go with your Keto Chipotle Smoked Ribs? Check out one of the many refreshing recipes from the Bon Appeteach “Book Club” (the only book club where we don’t actually read the books… we just make cocktails named after them).
Happy grilling! Find this whole tutorial in my Instagram highlights and make sure to stop and leave me a comment and say HI!
Looking for some incredible grill guidance? Check out my awesome friend Matt at Grillseeker.com for all your go to grilling tips and tricks. The guy knows his stuff and has a cookbook coming out next June (cause he’s that awesome)!
Keto Chipotle Smoked RibsPrint Recipe
- 1 Rack of Spare Ribs
- 1/4 cup Mustard (or use adobo sauce for extra spice)
- 2 tbsp. Butter, melted
- Dry Rub:
- 1/4 cup Chili Powder
- 2 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 2 tbsp. Paprika
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tbsp. Cumin
- 2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- Chipotle BBQ Sauce:
- 1, 15 oz can Tomato Sauce
- 2-3 Chipotle Peppers (more if you want a stronger kick)
- 1 Garlic Clove, minced
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke (optional)
- Season with Salt & Pepper
Preheat the grill and set it up for indirect heat. Add 2-3 wood chunks. Allow the grill to reach a steady temperature of 225-250 degrees F.
Prep the ribs by trimming off any excess fat and remove the membrane.
Combine all the dry rub spices and mix together well. Coat the entire slab of ribs in a thin layer of mustard (or some of the adobo sauce if looking to really spice things up). Cover and coat the ribs entirely in the dry rub. Do not actually rub it into the meat, but pat it in instead.
Allow it to rest and the meat to sweat fully before placing on the grill. Place on the grill, bone side down and cook for about 2 hours or so. Look for a bark to form, the color to deepen, and a slight pull of the meat away from the bones. Remove from the grill at this point to be wrapped.
Melt the butter and add a few tablespoons of the sauce to it. Coat the meat all over with this mixture and wrap tightly in foil and return to the grill to cook till desired tenderness. Typically, they cook for another 1 1/2-2 hours or so. Look for the meat to shrink inward and the bones to be peeking out. You want the meat tender but not so tender they literally fall apart off the bone (common misconception). Read more in the post above about this.
If choosing to sauce the ribs for the grill- Remove the foil, brush with the sauce and cook for the last 15-20 minutes. Sauce again once removed from the grill before slicing. Sometimes, I serve the sauce on the side because I love the flavor of the smoked ribs by themselves too!
Combine the tomato sauce, chipotle peppers, minced garlic together into a blender or food processor. Pulse on high till the peppers are mixed in and the sauce is smoothe. Pour into a small saucepan and heat to medium-low. Add the worcestershire, vinegar, liquid smoke.Then add the seasonings. Allow it to cook till it simmers slightly. Remove from the heat and set it aside till needed. Store remaining sauce in a jar or container in the fridge for up to a week or so. If you have a lot leftover you can freeze it as well and defrost when needed. This recipe makes about 2 cups of sauce total so there will be extra!