Hickory Apple BBQ Grilled Spare Ribs Recipe #DibsOnMyRibs

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This weekend it cooled down just long enough for our family to break out the grill for a meal that we could all enjoy without heating up the kitchen. It’s no secret my husband has a thing for pork ribs so when I told him I’d picked up some Tyson spare ribs his eyes just lit up with excitement. Not only does this man love his grill but he loves meat that he actually gets a hand in cooking, or in this case grilling.

apple smoked spare ribs

We pulled together some basic ingredients including the McCormick’s Grill Mates Sweet & Smoky Rub and a big bottle of Kraft Hickory Smoke BBQ sauce. To make this grilled meal extra special I added my secret ingredient … fresh apples! There’s nothing I love more than a good amount of sweet and smoky when it comes to ribs and fresh apples along with some hickory BBQ sauce will do that.

dibs on my ribs ingredients

The trick here is to puree the fresh apples with the BBQ sauce and cook it on low to get a thick sauce that tingles on your tongue. I probably won’t be winning any awards for this simple flavor combo but I sure did here a lot of “seconds please!” from the kids (and my husband).

apple hickory spare ribs

Hickory Apple BBQ Grilled Spare Ribs Recipe
Cook Time
Total Time
Type: Main Dish
Serves: 4
  • 1 slab pork spare ribs
  • 1 large bottle apple juice
  • 1 bottle McCormick Sweet & Smoky Rub
  • 1 bottle Kraft Hickory Smoke BBQ Sauce
  • 2 pink lady apples
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • apple and/or hickory wood chips
  1. Prepare the ribs ahead of time by placing them in a deep dish and add just enough apple juice to cover the ribs.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and let them marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Prepare the BBQ sauce by placing about 2 cups of the sauce in a blender. Peel, core and chop the apples, placing them in the blender and puree until smooth. Warm the sauce on the stove on low just before grilling the ribs.
  4. Prepare your grill with an aluminum pan of water on one side and hot coals on the other side. Optional, add the wood chips to the coal side of the grill.
  5. Remove ribs from the juice and generously rub with the Sweet & Smoky Rub.
  6. Place the ribs on the grill, cover and cook for 2-3 hours until tender. Every 30 minutes spray the ribs with apple juice and flip during the cooking time.
  7. During the last 30 minutes, slather the ribs with bbq sauce.

Dibs on my Ribs Pork Recipe Contest

Think you’ve got the best spare ribs recipe out there? Then you’ll want to enter the Dibs on my Ribs Contest where you can win one of the grand prizes of groceries for an entire year (awarded as 12 $500 gift cards). Use your grilling expertise to whip up some spare ribs that will make your friends drool and have everyone begging for the recipe.¬†Grand Prize Winners will also have the opportunity to attend the Memphis in May BBQ Event in Memphis, TN in May 2012. Don’t have a recipe to enter? Be sure to visit the contest page anyways and vote for your favorite recipes.


To help you get inspired (and some groceries) we’ve got a great giveaway where 10 lucky readers will each win a $20 Walmart gift card. Just use the form below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post. Incentives were provided to me. All opinions stated are my own.

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  1. Mary Beth Elderton says

    I like BBQ (what would you call”traditional?”) but we like to add some spice–maybe red pepper.

  2. Diane says

    I love Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce but also love to add apple pie filling on top as well!

  3. Lyn says

    I like anything sweet with the little bit of spicy, so basic would be a rub made with brown sugar and pinch of cayenne, among other spices

  4. Margot C says

    I like all of the basic stuff though instead of building from a bottled sauce that specifically says barbeque I always start with a mixture of Heinz Chili Sauce *http://www.heinzchilisauce.com/ and Orange Juice and generally work doctoring from there.

    *note* I am not recommending that recipe that’s on the top page of the Heinz Chili Sauce site, it looks vile.

  5. Catalina K says

    I love to use Honey and Apple. Unfortunately, I am allergic to most spices, so I can only resort to coatings that do not contain too much of them.

  6. Birdei Skolfield says

    I love to use Garlic Onion & Hungarian paprika to spike up the flavor on my Beef Ribs

  7. Amy S says

    SPG – salt, pepper and garlic are our grilling staples for pretty much any meat

  8. Amy Dalton says

    I love sweet, honey bbq’ed ribs. We nicknamed my husband “Grill Master Dav” because he thinks no one can use a grill like him, lol.

  9. Ashley Hatten says

    I like my ribs to be smoked so I like a hickory smoked flavor…thanks!

  10. Christina Graham says

    My husband makes a homemade BBQ sauce with pineapple juice.

  11. kim says

    I love smoked ribs we put a dry rub on it of brown sugar salt pepper paprika garlic powder and onion powder and then when they are done I like sauce on the side

  12. Cheri Anne says

    I have a special rub I use on my ribs. If I do put sauce on them, I usually use one thats not too sweet and has a hickory taste to it.

  13. randi says

    We love to rub them with a variety of spices & then slather them with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce!

  14. Nadine L says

    I usually make a rub with Cayenne Pepper, Garlic and whatever else appeals to me at the time, but Cayenne Pepper and Garlic are always part of it

  15. Pat B says

    I like to marinate my ribs in oj and then cook them with honey bbq sauce

  16. Katie R says

    I like to use sweet flavors like pineapple juice, brown sugar, or a honey bbq sauce

  17. Kathlean Owens says

    Mesquit smoked until they fall off the bone. (We have lots of mesquit here)

  18. Tim says

    I use the Hickory Smoke you used, but I also like the spicy honey flavor.

  19. David says

    We usually just use the Original or Honey BBQ sauce, but the sweet and smoky rub you have pictured sounds good.

  20. jeannine s says

    I honestly don’t like ribs but my fiance loves him! He loves any kind of spicy sauce on them (from what I can tell from the rib fests he has dragged me to)

  21. says

    My husband spritzes his ribs with apple juice and rubs them with seasoning salt. It’s my fave way to have ribs. Thanks.

  22. ky2here says

    I’m not a fan of sweet BBQ sauces or anything including HFCS so bring me a garlic spice rub.

    ky2here at msn dot com

  23. Jammie says

    paprika, garlic, onion, brown sugar. My husband mixes a bunch of stuff together and it is super yummy.

  24. Aimee Fontenot says

    I use a ton of seasonings in my dry rub for ribs like brown sugar, applewood rub, sweet & smoky rub, cracked peppercorns, and more…but those are my favorite flavors in the rub I make.

  25. Cindy Merrill says

    Depends on the meat: for pork ribs, I like cranberry added to the BBQ sauce, with beef, i prefer something subtle, like apples or puree of cherries added.

  26. sue14625 says

    i have to admit i have not made ribs myself but i have had wonderful ribs friends have made using their own homemade sauce

  27. Katharina says

    I like to use honey bbq sauce on ribs! :-)
    Katharina angelsandmusic[at]gmail[dot]com

  28. tess says

    we use mesquite wood and sweet baby rays bbq sauced on top of ribs
    tcogbill at live dot com

  29. Teresa says

    Up until now it’s been solely bbq sauce but after reading the recipe, that might change soon!

  30. Debbie C says

    Molasses, Coca Cola, mustard, ketchup, chili powder and other flavorings.

  31. Derek T says

    My favorite is BBQ, and I have only used BBQ. I am really wanting to try Hickory Apple BBQ now!

  32. alisa says

    sometimes i just like a plain old salt and pepper, crazy i know but it’s true, or some honey bbq is good too!!!

  33. Jennifer C says

    We like Sweet Baby Ray’s on our ribs, usually the brown sugar and hickory.

  34. Eileen Burke says

    I like a sweet and spicy sauce, brown sugar, vingar, cayenne pepper

  35. Tiffany Hearn says

    BBQ with a little spicy kick. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  36. says

    I am actually a vegetarian, so I don’t eat ribs. I love BBQ sauce on seitan “ribs” though! MMM smokey and sweet with just a hint of heat!

  37. Vicki D. says

    I like to put a barbeque sauce with a kick to it, such as Famous Dave’s Hot and Sassy.

  38. Kelly Nicholson says

    Leave a comment and tell us what flavors you like to use on your ribs.

    sweet honey baby!

  39. Kelsey little says

    I am old school and like plain ole Honey BBQ

    shopditzydiva@yahoo dot com

  40. Jessica Hays says

    We just use Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce!

    jessicaahays at hotmail dot com

  41. alyce poalillo says

    A smoky honey BBQ sauce with just a hint of heat is my favorite

  42. Lisa L says

    I like it spicy so I like red pepper flakes and spicy barbecue sauce on my ribs

  43. Laurie Emerson says

    I like to make them with BBQ sauce, honey and a little chili pepper.

  44. Gaines Simmons says

    Hello, how are you? Thank you for this opportunity. I like pepper, honey and maple.