Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How to Make Mouthwatering Tequila Lime Ribs

Ever wondered what the secret to good ribs is? Just in time for Memorial Day, I'll share with you how to get tender, juicy ribs that will make you unable to order them at a restaurant because you'll just be disappointed.

 I make what is generally known as dry ribs.  They are not actually dry, but there is no sauce.  Often, people use sauce to add flavor or because their ribs are dried out. The recipe I'll share with you today will become your new favorite.

You do need to plan ahead since these ribs take 3-4 hours to make.

Use pork baby back ribs

Rib Rub

(makes enough for a few batches)

  •   2T kosher salt
  •  1 T paprika
  •  1 ½ tsp onion powder
  •  1 tsp black pepper
  •  ¾ tsp garlic powder
  •  ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  •  1 tsp grnd cumin

Combine ingredients.  Store for future use.


  •  4 oz Apricot jelly
  •  ¼ cup tequila
  •  2T lime juice
  •  2 T brown sugar
  •  1/8 tsp ginger
  •  Dash of ground cumin
  •  ½ tsp minced garlic
  •  Dash of salt
  • zest of a lime

Basting & Garnish

  •  ½ cup tequila – use to baste
  •  1 lime in wedges – garnish


  • Start charcoal burning
  • Rub enough rib rub into meaty section of ribs to coat (~2-4T)
    • Let sit for 30 min at room temperature, while coals get hot
  • Move coals to one side of grill
  • Put ribs on side w/o coals
    • Hand Test: You should be able to hold your hand over the grill for a few seconds without burning, otherwise, it's too hot.  If you can hold it a long time, it's not hot enough.
    • Cover grill and cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours then flip over ribs
    • Baste periodically with tequila
    • Meat should start to pull away from bone when done
    • If your coals get cold (see hand test above), heat more in a "chimney," and add to coal side of your grill. Don't heat new coals in the grill with the meat still on it since chemicals are released.
    • If your ribs look done (meat pulling far away from bone) after an hour, your fire was too hot and your ribs will be dry.
    • If your ribs look barely cooked after an hour, your fire is too low, add more heated coals.
      Be careful of helpers!
  • Mix glaze ingredients in non-reactive saucepan
    • Stir and bring to a boil over high heat
    • Let boil 5-10 min or until glaze begins to gel and darken.  
    • Cooled glaze should be gel.
    • Don’t overcook (too brown, hard, and thick)! If in doubt, turn off fire, cool some glaze on a spoon to see if it gels.
    • If the glaze is very liquidy, cook longer.
    • Strain glaze through a sieve
  • When ribs are done, glaze meaty section of ribs and put glaze side down over hot coals to caramelize
  • Cool ribs for 10 min, tented with foil
  • Warning, everyone may be starving by the time they're ready! 


Update: I tried making these in my rotisserie and bleck!  They tasted horrible (well compared to what they normally taste like).  So no rotisserie, and probably no over either.  It really needs the grill flavor.

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