Gameday Grilling: Apple Jalapeno Ribs

Originally published by KVUE, ABC on  June 23, 2023.

Written by Jeff Jones


Try this creative twist on a BBQ classic!

AUSTIN, Texas — If you’re ready to impress your friends with a new take on an old-school classic, look no further than apple jalapeno ribs.

Photo Credit:  Jeff Jones


  • Spare (or St. Louis style) ribs
  • Favorite pork seasoning (I use a mix of brown sugar, sugar, salt, black pepper and paprika)
  • Jalapenos (I use two per rack of ribs)
  • Mustard
  • Apple juice
  • Butter


  1. Trim excess fat from ribs, and shape into a rectangle by removing excess meat, if you choose.
  2. Remove silver skin membrane from the bone side of the ribs.
  3. Cover with a mustard binder
  4. Season both sides with pork seasoning
  5. Smoke uncovered for 3 hours at 225F, spraying with apple juice every hour
  6. 15-20 minutes before the third hour is complete, add two whole jalapenos to the smoker
  7. Roll out two large sheets of aluminum foil
  8. Place brown sugar and 3 pats of butter on the top sheet of foil
  9. Place the ribs (meat side DOWN) onto the brown sugar/butter
  10. Curl the foil into a ‘boat’ that will hold liquid, before adding 2 cups of apple juice
  11. Slice both jalapenos, add them to the ribs (on both the bone and meat side), then close and double-wrap the foil–be careful to wrap in a way that limits spilling
  12. Return to the smoker for 2 hours.  Raise the heat to 250F.
  13. CAREFULLY remove the ribs from the foil and set the peppers aside.  Be aware that it’s easy to spill the apple juice during this step, and the juice will be very hot.
  14. Return ribs to the grill.  Top with the peppers you set aside and jalapeno jelly.
  15. Let the ribs smoke for one more hour, while the jelly ‘sets’.
  16. Allow them to rest 15 minutes, away from heat.
  17. Enjoy!