Broker / BBQ Master, Rick Hagen, shares tips for perfect Baby Back Ribs!

Here is a little treat from our very own Broker of record, Rick Hagen. He is sharing his favorite BBQ recepie to make your Labor Day BBQ a hit!

To me, good BBQ means low and slow. Low temperature and a long cooking time. Plan your BBQ so you don’t try to rush the final product. BBQ is ready when it is ready and not a moment sooner!


Extreme Baby Back Ribs:




  • Two racks of Baby Back Pork ribs. (Recipe can be adjusted as needed)
  • ¼ cup of your favorite BBQ rub. (if you want a little extra heat, add ¼-½ tsp. of cayenne pepper)
  • 8 ounces of apple juice.
  • 2 Tablespoons of peanut oil. (Substitute olive oil if there are allergies)
  • 3 Tablespoons clover honey.
  • 1 ½ cups light brown sugar.
  • ½ cup of your favorite BBQ sauce.
  • Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil.
  • 1 cup Apple wood chips.
  • 1 cup Hickory wood chips.


Rinse the ribs then dry completely with a paper towel.


Remove the thin membrane on the back of the ribs. (These are slippery, try using a small piece of paper towel to help get a grip then slowly peel the membrane off)


Rub the oil over the ribs. Just barely enough to moisten the meat so the rub will adhere.


Sprinkle a tablespoon of rub on the back of each rack then flip the rack over and apply the remaining run evenly. Gently pat the rub into the meat.


Cover the ribs loosely and let rest for 30 minutes. The rub will “soak into” the meat as they warm up. Do not leave the ribs out longer than 30 minutes and never leave them in direct sunlight.


Prepare your cooking device for indirect heat. You want 250-275 degrees at the cooking surface. Do NOT exceed 275 degrees.


Place the ribs bone side down on your cooking grate. Add 1/2 of the wood chips to the heat source and close the lid. If you are looking, you aren’t cooking- so don’t open the lid for at least ½ hour.


After ½ hour, rotate the ribs if the heat source is not applying the heat evenly, then spray with a light spray of apple juice and close the lid for another ½ hour.


After 1 hour, open the lid, spray ribs with apple juice, rotate if necessary, add the remaining wood chips then close that lid!


At 1.5 hours, spray with apple juice, rotate if necessary and close that lid.


Prepare for the next step by removing two 36” sheets of heavy duty foil and place them on a flat surface near your BBQ. You will be pouring liquid on these so it is important to have a reasonably level surface. Lay the remaining ingredients out next to the foil.


At 2 hours, remove the ribs from the heat, placing them meat side up in the middle of the foil. One rack of ribs per sheet of foil. You will have two separate foil pouches when this step is complete.


Spray the ribs with about 1-2 ounces of apple juice to wet them thoroughly. You want some extra juice to run over the meat and onto the foil. Sprinkle on an even layer of brown sugar. You will use most of the brown sugar on the meat side, reserving only about two tablespoons for each bone side. Drizzle the honey over the brown sugar.


Flip the ribs over and repeat the process on the back, using less apple juice, brown sugar and honey.


Wrap the ribs in the foil, overlapping the edges. It is not necessary to create an air-tight seal, but make sure the foil does not have any holes that allow the juices to leak out. If you develop a leak, start over with a new sheet of foil.


Place the ribs back in your cooker for about 45 minutes. If you are cooking at 275 degrees they should be tender and ready to remove from the foil. Each piece of meat cooks a little differently so adjust your cooking time as needed. (BBQ is ready when it is ready!)


You want the rack of ribs to be flexible but not so soft that it breaks when you lift it from the foil. If you overlapped the foil without crimping the edges you will be able to check the ribs by simply opening the foil and re-closing it if more cooking time is needed.


Once the ribs are the desired tenderness, remove them from the foil and place them back on the BBQ with the meat side up. Reduce the heat to 175-200 degrees. You don’t want to burn the sauce now!


Brush on your favorite BBQ sauce (pre-warmed) and let the sauce set for 10-15 minutes. If you want to be adventurous, try mixing about ¼ cup of the drippings from the foil with your BBQ sauce before applying it to the ribs.


Remove the ribs and let them rest 5 more minutes before you slice and enjoy!