Last Updated on August 26, 2022
Just because you’ve put the grill away for the season doesn’t mean ribs are off the menu. Cover them with a spicy, smoky spice rub, let them cook low and slow in the oven until the meat is falling off the bones, and you’re in business.
These ribs celebrate autumn thanks to a glaze made with apple cider and maple syrup. Boil it down until it’s thick, brush it on the cooked ribs and broil until the glaze caramelizes and makes the ribs sticky and luscious.
Enjoy these sweet-smoky ribs on game day, or make them your new favorite fall weekend dinner.
Cider-Glazed Ancho Chili-Rubbed Ribs
For the spice rub:
- 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
For the ribs:
- 1 package baby back ribs about 2.5 pounds, defrosted, pat dry
- Fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the glaze:
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 275ºF; lightly oil a large baking sheet.
Make the spice rub:
- Combine all the rub ingredients in a bowl. Set aside 2 teaspoons. Season the ribs all over generously with salt and pepper, then rub with the remaining spice rub.
- Place the ribs on the baking sheet. Cover with foil and bake until cooked through and the meat starts to fall from the bones, 2 ½ to 3 hours.
Make the glaze:
- Whisk together the cider, sugar, maple syrup, vinegar, reserved spice rub and ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has thickened and reduced by half, 15 to 20 minutes. Pour into a bowl.
- Remove the ribs from the oven; carefully uncover (watch out for steam). Place a rack a few inches from the heat source and preheat the broiler to high. Carefully brush the ribs all over with the glaze. Broil, turning once or twice with tongs, until the sauce begins to caramelize, 2 to 3 minutes (watch carefully to prevent burning). Let rest for 5 minutes. Cut in-between the bones, brush the meat with some of the glaze that fell onto the sheet pan, and serve.
Beth Lipton is a Brooklyn-based recipe developer and food/wellness writer. Her work has appeared in Clean Eating, Paleo magazine, FoodNetwork.com, Well+Good, and more. She is the former food director at Health magazine and serves as the resident chef at Middleberg Nutrition. Beth is currently working on a cookbook with healthy, animal protein forward recipes.