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Grilled Spareribs with Maple-Chipotle Glaze

Maren Caruso

Servings: 4

Restraint and patience are the keys to grilling ribs properly. You want to put them over indirect heat (that is, over a cool zone) so the meat gently cooks. Make sure to cover the grill so that the ribs’ flavor is enhanced with a healthy waft of smoke.

This recipe is excerpted from Big Buy Cooking.


For the ribs

  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 racks pork spareribs (about 9 lbs.)

For the glaze

  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 chipotle chile, chopped, plus 3 Tbs. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles en adobo)
  • 2 Tbs. ketchup
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. cider vinegar


Prepare & cook the ribs

  • For a gas grill, light the front burner to medium-low and leave the back burner(s) off. For a charcoal grill, light a medium fire (300°F to 350°F) with all the coals banked to one side and the other side empty. Clean and oil the grill grates.
  • In a small bowl, mix the sugar and spices with 4 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper, and pat over both sides of the ribs. Let sit at room temperature while the grill heats.
  • Set the ribs meaty side up over the cool zone of the fire and cook covered (with the vents open on a charcoal grill) until the ribs brown and become tender (a paring knife should easily slice into the meat and the ribs should sag if you hold the center up with a pair of tongs), about 1-1/2 hours.

Make the glaze

  • Stir together the maple syrup, chipotle chile and adobo sauce, ketchup, mustard, and vinegar in a medium bowl until combined. Brush the ribs with half the glaze and cook with the grill covered, brushing the meat every couple minutes, until the glaze browns and becomes sticky on the ribs, about 15 minutes. Remove the ribs from the grill, brush with the remaining glaze, and let cool for a couple minutes; cut in half (meaty side down so they’re easier to slice), and serve.

Serve with cookout classics like Grilled Corn on the CobCider & Bacon Baked Beans, and a pitcher of Iced Tea.


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Reviews (9 reviews)

  • Eddiemac617 | 08/02/2020

    This recipe is terrific. I know so any times people say a recipe is great and it turns out to be not so great. This one is everything you would hope for. Fantastic.

  • DonBishop | 08/09/2019

    This recipe is easy and delicious. The rub by itself is not great. The sauce by itself is not great. BUT! You put the two of them together and you end up with FANTASTIC! I've made this about six times now and am always happy with the results.

  • Krispie | 05/28/2019

    This was amazing. I served it with a side of the BBQ sauce from the maple-chipolte chicken recipe on this site. The ribs were inhaled. We will definately be making these again soon.

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