Dr. BBQ’s Famous Baby Back Ribs

[imagebrowser id=17]

Lots of photos above in the slideshow – we’ll show you how to fold the tin foil to encase the ribs so that the apple juice/honey doesn’t spill out.

You think that a food enthusiast like me and a beef aficionado like my husband would have already dived deep into the black, charred world of charcoal.

But no, I must confess that, until this weekend, we’ve been tethered to an ugly white liquid propane gas tank I’m always scared will explode on the car ride home. So I make my husband drive 20 mph and avoid speed bumps and curbs. Which makes our drive to the market to refill the tank just about as boring and uneventful as the third time ’round It’s a Small World at the Magic Kingdom.

I had never been interested in charcoal because anything that contributes to or directly causes my pile of laundry to increase is a no-no in my home. Just looking at an open bag causes my skin to break out in housewifery hives.

Recently, my good friend, Ray Lampe, aka Dr. BBQ, came over with a nice little present for me: a Big Green Egg. He also lugged in a bag of charcoal and some hickory, but I didn’t whine about the black glitter on the carpets. Nor did I obsessively dab at my husband’s shirt with the bleach pen. When you’ve got Dr. BBQ in your home, you just let him do his thing.

Ray taught us the basics of barbecuing and how to use the Big Green Egg, which looks more like a bomb shelter than a grill. The smoked salmon came out silky with the perfect hint of hickory (though Ray says for salmon, cherry or alder wood chips are best). When it came time to grill our steaks, the flames shot straight up. Oops, that was my fault. I’m used to lubing the steaks with cooking oil to coax some flame action from our regular lame-o grill.

Ray left the Egg for us, and we’ve put it to use every night since. I’m considering spray-painting the darn thing hot pink in case he comes back to get it. I really can’t see that man rolling a Big Pink Egg to championship barbecue competitions.

drbbq <– THIS IS DR. BBQ. He knows his shit. Ray has authored these books:


and Ray is the reason I’m 1 degree away from Justin Timberlake (Ray is the executive chef of Southern Hospitality, Timberlake’s restaurant)

big-green-egg <– THIS IS THE BIG GREEN EGG. It’s ugly. I love it.

Dr. BBQ’s Famous Baby Back Ribs Recipe

Featuring the Big Green Egg

3 slabs baby back ribs, membrane on back of ribs removed
2 cups honey
1 1/2 cups apple juice
2 cups of Dr. BBQ’s Sweet and Sticky Glaze (see below)
Dr. BBQ’s rub (see below)

Prepare your cooker for indirect grilling at 275 degrees Fahrenheit, using cherry and hickory wood for flavor. Season the ribs with the rub. Put the ribs into the smoker, meaty site up for two hours. Flip the ribs and cook another hour. Remove the ribs to a platter.

Take a double-thick piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil (big enough to wrap a slab of ribs), and slather about 1/3 cup of honey on each sheet, spreading it where the ribs will lie. Place the ribs meaty side down and add more honey on top of the slab. Now crimp the edges of the foil and pour 1/2 cup of apple juice in the bottom. Do this for all three slabs. Loosely close the packets around the ribs and lay them back in the cooker.

Cook another 90 minutes. Carefully unwrap the packets and take out the ribs. Place the ribs back on the cooker, raising the temperature to 350 degrees. Brush with the glaze or barbecue sauce and flip several times for another 20 minutes.

Dr. BBQ’s rub (combine)
1/4 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

Dr. BBQ’s Sweet and Sticky Glaze
This is what Dr. BBQ always uses to finish his ribs and chicken at BBQ cookoffs around the country.

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon Liquid Smoke (Optional)
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon hot sauce of choice

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, stir well, and simmer for 15 minutes to reduce and thicken

Dr. BBQ Cookbook Giveaway


I’m giving away a signed copy of one of Dr. BBQ’s Big Time Barbeque Cookbook. Just comment below and tell Dr. BBQ: GAS OR CHARCOAL? (and why!?) until June 21st to enter. This book can be yours and lovingly signed by the man himself.

My email subscribers get a bonus entry (just enter twice – just type in “I’m an email subscriber” in your bonus entry). Want to be an email subscriber? There’s a signup form on the right in the sidebar.


Did not load Widget Area 5

Comments 224

  1. James Brown

    I’m an email subscriber

    And I forgot in the last comment. Charcoal! I have tried both and the flavors that come from the coals is something that I can not get from my gas grill.

  2. Lori @ RecipeGirl

    I was thinking a spied a big, green egg there. I want one of those things so bad (though I’m not sure it would look all that great in my Spanish-style backyard… might be too much of an eyesore!)

    We have a gas bbq, so I use gas… simple as that. When we’re at our beach house, I use a little charcoal set-up. Would love tips to shake things up in my world of grilling. The ribs look great.

  3. Jason

    I love how easy it is to cook with my gas grill, but I will admit that charcoal is better for the flavor πŸ™‚

  4. Lee

    I’m an email subscriber.

    Like you, and for the same reasons, I have yet to convert to charcoal. Growing up in Kuala Lumpur, and before the introduction of propane, I have helped tend charcoal grills and remember the messiness. A collection of good recipes could spur me to try charcoal again.

  5. Carol

    For convenience, we use gas. We had charcoal for years until we bought a house that had a natural gas grill hook-up. But I’ve always wanted a smoker.

  6. Lorri

    I’m an email subscriber.

    I LOVE Dr. BBQ! That guy is the bomb when it comes to outdoor cooking! I have several different BBQs but no Green Egg. That is my next investment. I enjoy cooking with charcoal but still use the gas grill when Im in a hurry. Im sure you will enjoy your green egg. Ribs on the Egg are the best!

  7. deborah

    I’m a gas girl πŸ™‚
    Why? Well, for the ease of it!!
    And I’m the odd duck that doesn’t like the taste of briquettes and starter fluid? LOL!
    But, ooohy…I’d love to win and own a Dr BBQ cookbook!!

  8. Marcia

    Both gas and charcoal have their place. We live in Hawaii now so we grill almost nightly, usually using the faster, easier and better on the environment gas. But for luaus, charcoal is a must. Nothing beats a big old metal tub full of kiawe wood burned down to coals. And for those of us old enough to remember when charcoal was the only option for BBQ, nostalgia sometimes kicks in!

  9. PatriciaW

    If someone could figure out how to give my the charcoal grilled taste with the cleaner gas grilling environment, I’d be in griller’s heaven. Until then, I’m going with charcoal for the taste. (Which means I get to clean the grill…)

  10. j biesinger

    both! I use a propane stove (bayou classic) to ignite my chimney of charcoal and can have a perfect fire in 15 minutes or less. I’ve found that gas grills take far longer than this to preheat, and even then I never can get them as hot as I can with charcoal. Charcoal, in my opinion is quicker and more versatile.

    nice score on the egg. I’d happily ditch my beloved collection of webers for one of those babies.

  11. Doreen

    Yumm… those ribs look delicious!!! I BBQ on a charcoal BBQ – the flavor is better and it’s how I’m most familiar with BBQing. I have a charcoal BBQ and a gas BBQ – but the charcoal is my go-to-grill.

    I hope you’ll get the keep the big green egg – I’d love to have one of them!!!

  12. Heather

    I love gas for the stove but charcoal on the grill, all the way. I don’t grill very often because I don’t have consistent access to one so the charcoal definitely is in keeping with the “special event” feel that the occasion usually is.

  13. Doreen

    I’m an email subscriber too… keep up the great work Jaden .. and the fabulous giveaways… Thank you!

  14. nuttychicken

    Charcoal is soo much better – when someone else does the grilling! Since I never “plan” to grill, the quickness of a gas grill serves me well.

  15. Hannah

    Charcoal is definitely better, but I resort to my gas grill because I usually don’t have time to start a fire.

  16. nuttychicken

    I’m an email subscriber

    Dear Dr. BBQ,

    I can be persuaded to come to the charcoal side, provided a Big Green Egg magically appears at my house. Feel free to drop it off next time you are in Chicagoland.

    Many thanks,


  17. Megan

    I’ve only just begun trying to learn the art of grilling and have been using a gas grill. Not sure if charcoal would be better? Maybe that’s why I need the book??

  18. Teresa

    We use a Gas grill because we get home late from work, it’s quick, it’s easy, and with the right seasoning still tastes great! πŸ™‚

  19. Teresa

    I’m an e-mail subscriber!

    And although we use a gas grill and it’s great nothing compares to the taste of a good steak on a charcoal grill, it reminds me of home πŸ™‚

  20. Barry

    Our friends in New Orleans have a Big Green Egg too! It always amazes me how quickly and perfectly it cooks food.

    That said, really? This is your first foray into the charcoal BBQ? Really? I find that so hard to believe. Really? My god, the flavor you get with charcoal and wood chips kicks the living crap out of anything off a gas grill. Of course I have both since most weeknights I don’t feel like having to wait for the charcoal. Jaden, ya gotta make a grilled pizza on that thing, asap.

  21. Linda

    Gas. Fast and convenience although i remembered we used to have charcoal bbq when i was young. can’t remember if there’s a different. this article entices me to give it a try.

  22. Fay

    Gas. As stated by others, charcoal may have it’s benefits, but gas really is so easy and you can use a smoker box to add flavor. I wish I could afford and justify buying a decent size big green egg.

  23. Fay

    Gas. As stated by others, charcoal may have it’s benefits, but gas really is so easy and you can use a smoker box to add flavor. I wish I could afford and justify buying a decent size big green egg.

    Oh, “I’m an e-mail subscriber”. πŸ™‚

  24. robert

    Just got the email and I wanted to comment on the gas vs. charcoal. They both have their place. I own and use both. For a great steak, definitely charcoal. For lots of other things, the convenience of gas and the size of the grill make a difference.

  25. Jim

    Hardwood charcoal. V.E.R.Y slow for ribs, shoulder and brisket. Of course I also love my electric smoker…dial in the temp, load with 6 oz or so of appropriate wood chunks, and eat when ready. I use gas too…guess I’m pretty eclectic: use what you got to do what ya gotta, in the time ya got to do it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *