Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Buccaneer Baby Back Ribs with Pineapple Barbecue Sauce

  • Advance Prep: 1 to 4 hours for curing the meat.

  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
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For the rub:

  • 4 tablespoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 3 racks baby back pork ribs (4 to 5 pounds, total)
  • 20 whole allspice berries (optional)

For the pineapple spray:

Step 1: Make the rub: Place the 2 tablespoons of coarse salt, brown sugar, black pepper, granulated garlic, onion powder, allspice, chili powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix with your fingers, breaking up any lumps.

Step 2: Prepare the ribs: Place a rack of ribs meat-side down on a baking sheet. Remove the thin, papery membrane from the back of the rack by inserting a slender implement, such as a butter knife or the tip of a meat thermometer probe, under it. The best place to start is on one of the middle bones. Using a dishcloth, paper towel, or pliers to gain a secure grip, peel off the membrane. Repeat with the remaining rack.

Step 3: Sprinkle the rub over both sides of the ribs, rubbing it onto the meat. Cover the ribs with plastic wrap and let cure in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or as long as 4. The longer the ribs cure, the richer the flavor will be.

Step 4: Meanwhile, make the pineapple spray. Combine the 1 cup of pineapple juice, wine, distilled white vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce in a clean spray bottle and shake to mix.

Step 5: Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium (325 degrees F). Place a large drip pan in the center of the grill.

Step 6: When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the ribs bone-side down in the center of the grate over the drip pan and away from the heat. (If your grill has limited space, stand the racks of ribs upright in a rib rack.) If cooking on a charcoal grill and using wood chips, toss half of them on each mound of coals. Toss the allspice berries (if using) on the chips. Cover the grill and cook the ribs for 45 minutes.

Step 7: Spray the ribs on both sides with some of the pineapple spray. Re-cover the grill and continue cooking the ribs until well browned, cooked through, and tender enough to pull apart with your fingers, 30 to 45 minutes longer, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours in all. When the ribs are done, the meat will have shrunk back from the ends of the bones about 1/2 inch. Spray the ribs once or twice more, and, if using a charcoal grill, replenish the coals as needed.

Step 8: Just before serving, brush both sides of the ribs with the Pineapple Barbecue Sauce. Move the ribs directly over the fire and grill until the sauce is sizzling and browned, 1 to 3 minutes per side. Be careful not to let the ribs burn.

Step 9: Transfer the ribs to a platter or cutting board. Let the ribs rest for 3 minutes, then cut the racks in half or into individual ribs. Serve at once with the remaining Pineapple Barbecue Sauce.