Barbecue: Pineapple-Braised Ribs with Honey-Garlic Tomato Glaze Recipe

I can barely control my excitement as I sit here and stare at my Fast Pass for the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, thinking about the enormous amounts of 'cue I'm destined to consume next weekend. The anticipation was a little too much for me handle the other day—I couldn't wait a second longer for some smoke-kissed meat, so I fired up the smoker and threw on a bunch of beautiful racks of spare ribs and was eating pretty five hours later.

I've been partial to Mike Mills's Apple City Ribs both at home and at the BABBP for years now, never finding a good reason to stray from perfection, but I decided to switch it up a bit and tried a recipe from Chris Lilly, pitmaster at Big Bob Gibson's (who makes the best pulled pork that will ever cross your lips). The recipe gave me pause for a second—with its smoke/braise/smoke formula, I questioned the authenticity of it being true 'cue, but then I figured it sounded too delicious to pass up and forged ahead. It ended up that this was a recipe for success—the ribs were succulent, retaining their smokiness while adding a layer of depth with the sweetness from the pineapple braise. The only problem is that they were gone so fast that I'm now left with no 'cue, and with my thoughts trained on the BABBP, I'm coming to the realization that one week is too long to live without more.

Recipe Details

Barbecue: Pineapple-Braised Ribs with Honey-Garlic Tomato Glaze Recipe

Prep 10 mins
Cook 4 hrs 15 mins
Chilling Time 8 hrs
Total 12 hrs 25 mins
Serves 4 to 6 servings


  • For the Glaze:
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 3/4 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 2 racks of pork spare ribs
  • Your favorite dry rub
  • 3 cups pineapple juice


  1. Remove the membrane and trim the ribs. Rub each rack liberally with your favorite dry rub. Place ribs in the refrigerator over night.

  2. Lightly sauté the onions and garlic with the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the remaining glaze ingredients and heat until the sauce bubbles. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

  3. Remove the ribs from the fridge while you preheat your smoker to 225 degrees. Place the ribs in the smoker, meat side up, and smoke for 3 hours at 225 degrees.

  4. Remove the ribs and wrap each slab meat-side down in double aluminum foil. Pour 1 1/2 cups of pineapple juice over each rack and seal foil tightly. Place ribs back into the smoker and cook for an additional hour.

  5. Remove ribs from the smoker and the foil. Lightly apply more dry rub, and then place back into smoker, meat side up, to cook for an additional hour or until done.

  6. Brush glaze on top of the ribs and continue to cook until the sauce caramelizes. Remove from the smoker, slice, and serve.