Balsamic Glazed Baby Back Ribs Recipe

Joshua Bousel

Nothing can fulfill the defining barbecue trifecta of smoky, sweet, and tangy quite like ribs. These ribs combine a rub that features a trio of peppercorns with a low and slow cook over cherry wood. A brushing of balsamic barbecue sauce in the last half hour leaves the ribs with a glistening sheen.

Recipe Details

Balsamic Glazed Baby Back Ribs Recipe

Active 45 mins
Total 5 hrs
Serves 4 servings


  • For the Rub:
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 racks baby back ribs
  • 1 to 2 fist sized chunks of light smoking wood, like apple or cherry
  • 1 cup balsamic barbecue sauce
  • Type of fire: Indirect
  • Grill heat: Low


  1. To make the rub: Mix together brown sugar, salt, sugar, paprika, white pepper, black pepper, ground mustard, dried thyme, garlic powder, Szechuan peppercorns, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.

  2. Remove membrane from back of each rack of ribs and trim meat of excess fat. Season ribs liberally with rub all over.

  3. Fire up smoker or grill to 225°F, adding chunks of smoking wood when at temperature. When the wood is ignited and producing smoke, place the ribs in smoker or grill, meat side up, and smoke until the ribs have a slight bend when lifted from one end, 4-5 hours.

  4. In the last 1/2 hour of cooking, baste top of each rack with balsamic barbecue sauce and continue smoking to caramelize sauce. Remove from smoker, slice, and serve with remaining balsamic barbecue sauce.

Special equipment

Smoker or grill

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