Championship Ribs

Recipe adapted from “Dr. BBQ’s Big-Time Barbecue Cookbook” by Ray Lampe and published by St. Martin.

4/5 (19 Reviews)


  • 3 slabs of St. Louis-style ribs or baby back ribs, cut in half, membrane off* and ribs washed
  • 1 cup of your favorite commercial or homemade dry BBQ rub (See Below)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1-1/2 cups apple juice
  • 2 cups honey BBQ Sauce


Cover the ribs with the rub, using about two-thirds on the meaty side and one-third on the boney side. Allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.

Set the EGG® up for indirect cooking with a convEGGtor at 325°F. Using a handful of hickory and cherry chips will help carmelize the ribs.

Cook for one-and-a-half hours, using a rib rack if you need it to have sufficient space for three slabs of ribs. Remove ribs to a flat pan or cookie sheet and brush them all on both sides with honey.

Put the ribs in an aluminum foil pan with about one-inch of apple juice in the bottom, standing them on end in the pan if necessary to get them to fit. Cover with foil and continue cooking for about one hour, replenishing the apple juice if needed to maintain liquid in the pan. Test the ribs by inserting a toothpick to determine whether they are tender.

At this point, you could cool them down, wrap each slab separately and refrigerate them for a day or two. They can then be transported to a tailgate party or reheated for entertaining at home.

When ready to serve them, transfer the cooked ribs to a medium hot grill. Brush with Honey BBQ Sauce; heat a few minutes, flipping them to heat both sides. Cut in to pieces and serve.

* Removing the membrane: Carefully slide an implement, such as a fish skinner (available in the sporting goods department), the tip of a butter knife or the tip of a meat thermometer between the membrane and a bone near the end of the rack of ribs. Rock the implement back and forth gently to loosen the membrane until you have enough space to slide your finger under it. Using a paper towel, pull up the membrane and slowly peel the membrane off.

Big Time BBQ Rub Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tbsp granulated onion
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg

Big Time BBQ Rub Instructions

Combine all ingredients, mix well, and store in an airtight container.

Yields 1-1/2 cups

22 thoughts on “Championship Ribs”

  1. I tried this recipe and was the worst fail on my big green egg to date( I have owned the egg for 10 years).Not sure what went wrong. I adhered to the time and temperatures. Forty five dollars worth of ribs in the garbage. On the bright side I had the best smelling garbage in the neighborhood.

  2. I use syrup from a jar of peaches and use that with apple juice to steam in tinfoil and a long Weber tin. I’ll use that juice as a marinade on the ribs for 20 minutes before I put in my sauce tinting carmelized.

  3. Been using this for over 4 years now. Eggcelent results every time. I have used Angry Orchard cider when I forget to pick up apple juice and it seems to make it even better! Just a reminder to play around with it!

  4. I’m seeking clarification on the foil pan step. Are the rib slabs stacked flat with the bottom one actually lying in the apple juice (and I guess boiling in it), or are the slabs all stacked vertically with the foil over the top of them like a church roof?

    1. Either or honestly. The apple juice is just the braising liquid and an aromatic it seems. So if small batch, just lay them down in it. But if you are doing large quantities, you can just stack them on end in the pan to fit more in.

  5. Does anyone do anything with the apple juice remaining in the pan? It looks thick and bubbly and tasty. Maybe reduce it to a glaze?

  6. Used this basic method of cooking but substituted my choice of ingredients. Ribs came out perfectly and guests raved. Will use this method again!

  7. This recipe has a few extra steps, but man is it good. I used my own Cajun rub and baby back ribs, but otherwise followed it to a tee. Awesome caramelization and the meat slides off the bones. What more could you want.

  8. Be very cautious when following the directions for the rub. It appears to go from largest quantities to smallest. Except the Cayenne Pepper. Caught that before I ruined the rub

  9. As an aside, I tried pork butt my first two tries and could never get past the “stall”…in the time I had left in the day/night, and the wife starts complaining. So they were fine for slicing…just not pulling. That’s why I like this recipe. Timing was on the money. Yes…I stacked them in the apple juice pan with no bridge. I’m not a “saucy” rib guy. I prefer to have them without and let the eater decide how much bbq sauce they like.

  10. First few time griller with the BGE. Liked the shorter time frame with the ribs…3 hrs seemed perfect. Followed the directions and Boom! Great fall off a clean bone rib. Yep, wasn’t sure about the honey, wasn’t sure about the apple juice in the pan. It all turned out great. I will definately keep using this as my go to rib cooking recipe!

  11. I’ve been using this recipe with my Big Green Egg the last 4 years. Always comes out fabulous. Great for neighborhood parties, or when the family comes by for a BBQ. Dr. BBQ, you knocked it outta the park with this one.

  12. I e been making this receive since I bought my BGE in 2010 and they have always come out perfectly. I use chunks of Apple or Cherrywood. I rotate between apple juice and apple cider for variety. I’m cooking a rack of Baby Backs and a rack of St. Louis style today for Memorial Day. Thanks Dr. BBQ and BGE my family loves them!

  13. Followed the recipe exactly, even made this dry rub. First time I cooked ribs on the green egg and these are by far the best I ever had. I might leave off the honey BBQ sauce at the end, don’t think it added much plus I enjoy the taste of the rub and honey mix

  14. I’ve used this recipe but with a longer and lower heat cook time as well as using loin back ribs instead of spares. They always turn out amazing. I would be comfortable taking these to any barbecue competition in the country. Compliments always range from best ribs ever to I’ll never eat ribs anywhere else.

  15. Great recipe. Been using consistently for 5 years. Truly championship ribs.

    Note: using pink Himalayan salt has been a nice upgrade

  16. I’ve made these ribs for the last 3 years and they consistenly come out perfect based on the directions provided. Dr. BBQ crushed it with this recipe – everyone we’ve ever made them for raves about them. Its a winner.

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