Enjoy these Fireball Whiskey Baby Back Ribs in your own backyard! Baby back ribs are an American favorite to grill in the summertime. When basted with this sweet and tangy cinnamon flavored barbecue sauce, they will be especially popular. Men are particularly fond of Fireball Whisky, so you can imagine my son-in-law’s two big thumbs up my daughter came up with this sauce recipe for him.
This recipe, for the sauce alone, is nice and mild for the whole family to enjoy. If you want to add a little heat to the sauce, then we have provided instructions for adding hot sauce for a sweet and spicy taste. In this recipe, instructions are provided to wrap the ribs in aluminum foil before placing on the grill. This will steam the ribs to get the meat nice and tender before the final grilling.
- 6 racks pork ribs (4 to 5 pounds racks of pork baby back ribs)*
- 1 teaspoon olive oil, extra-virgin
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey**
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon Frank's Red Hot Sauce (optional)***
Prepare Dry Rub Mixture or use your favorite recipe and set aside until ready to use.
Prepare Fireball Whiskey Barbecue Sauce and set aside until ready to use.
To prepare the ribs: Wash the ribs and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the ribs bone-side down. Optionally, you may remove the rib tips from along the base of the rack, as they are cartilaginous and easily cut through. Remove the membrane from the underside of each rack of ribs. You can use your fingers for removing, but you may find it easier to use a paper towel for a better grip.
Generously rub the ribs on both sides with the prepared Dry Rub Mixture. Wrap the ribs in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and place in refrigerator overnight to let the rub soak into the meat. This will give the rub plenty of time to work.
Remove the ribs from the refrigerator about 1 hour before grilling.
Grilling the ribs: Preheat your grill for medium direct heat. Unwrap the ribs from the aluminum foil and plastic wrap. Re-wrap each rack of ribs with 2 layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. Place the covered ribs on the grill and grill on one side for 25 minutes. Turn ribs over on the other side and grill for another 25 minutes. Open the aluminum foil on each rack of ribs and test for doneness. The meat should be pull-apart fork tender. If still not tender, close up the foil and grill for 15 minutes longer or until tender.
Caution! Aluminum foil will be hot - so carefully remove the covered ribs from the grill. Remove the aluminum foil covering. Baste the ribs with the prepared Fireball Whiskey Barbecue Sauce and place the uncovered ribs back on the grill. Grill ribs for 3 minutes on each side to give them char marks and crisp up the meat. Remove from heat and let the ribs sit for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting into sections of 2 to 3 ribs. Baste with barbecue sauce again before serving.
Ribs are done when they are tender enough to easily pull the meat from the bones and the internal temperature registers 180 to 200 degrees F. on your instant-read meat thermometer. Some people like their ribs cooked longer.
Serve the grilled ribs with the Fireball Whiskey Barbecue Sauce.
There are many commercial dry rub seasonings widely available to purchase. Here is one you can make from scratch at home:
In a small jar with tight-fitting lid, shake together all dry ingredients until well-blended. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and tilt sauce pan until bottom is coated with oil. Add onion and garlic and sautfor a couple minutes until onions are translucent. Pour in the Fireball Whiskey and stir together to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 10 minutes (the onions should become soft).
While the onions, garlic, and whiskey are simmering, in a medium bowl combine the ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and hot sauce. Stir to combine.
When the onions have finished cooking in the whiskey, add the sauce mixture and stir together. Turn the heat back up to medium high and bring back to a boil. Once the barbecue sauce is boiling again, turn the heat back down to medium-low and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Taste the sauce and salt and pepper to taste. If you would like the sauce a little sweeter, then add 1 tablespoon at a time of brown sugar. If you prefer a spicier heat, then add 1 teaspoon of hot sauce at a time.
Store any unused barbecue sauce in airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
* Baby back ribs are cut from the lower back rib section of a pig's loin. They are meatier and leaner than spare ribs, which come from the belly section. Each rack usually contains 10 to 13 ribs and weighs 1.75 to 2 pounds.
** Can substitute another brand of cinnamon whiskey.
*** Hot sauce will give more of a sweet and spicy flavor to sauce. If you want to increase the spicy heat add 1 teaspoon at a time to taste
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