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Rub My Butt’s How-To Gas Grill BBQ Baby Backs


“Real” BBQ’d smoked ribs are cooked over low heat for 5-6 hours using different woods for flavoring. And most of us don’t have the proper equipment or time for this. However, we can get very close to reproducing these smoky flavored ribs at home in half the time using wood chips, a gas grill and an indirect heat cooking method.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Gas grill and enough propane/gas to last 3 hours
  • 2 racks Johnston’s baby back ribs
  • 4 cups wood chips – Apple orHickorywork best for this recipe
  • Your favorite rib rub
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce
  • Plain yellow mustard
  • ¼ c liquid honey
  • ¼ c brown sugar
  • ¼ c apple juice
  • Tin foil

Here’s how to do it:

Cover 2 cups of wood chips with cold water and let sit while you move on to next steps. Wood chips can be found at any BBQ store, Canadian Tire, and/or Rona.


Rinse the ribs in cold water and pat dry. Remove the membrane skin from the bone side of the rib. Using a piece of paper towel can help you get a grip of it. In this picture you can see where the membrane removal starts. Leaving the membrane on will prevent the ribs from getting nice and tender.  


Next apply a thin coat of mustard on both sides of the ribs. The mustard helps keep the rub in place and also helps providing a nice bark on the ribs. You will not taste the mustard after cooking.


Apply about ¼ cup of the rub to entire rib including ends and sides. There is no need to rub the seasoning in to the meat, just try to apply it evenly. Let the rub do its thing while you light the BBQ.

Because we’re cooking these ribs with indirect heat and with wood chips, you’ll have to do a couple of things to your BBQ. Indirect cooking is lighting one part of your BBQ but placing the meat on the far opposite side of the BBQ so you’re just cooking with the heat and not the actual flame.

You’ll need to remove the cooking grate from the side of the BBQ you are going to light. Light your BBQ and get the temperature up to 275-300. Never trust your BBQ thermometer as they are never accurate, even on a new BBQ. I use a small oven thermometer placed on the unlit side of the BBQ.

Make 2 smoke pouches by adding 1 cup wet chips and 1 cup dry on a large piece of foil. Squeeze most of the water from the wet chips so they’re not too wet. Fold foil to make a pouch and using a knife, poke holes on both sides of foil so the smoke can escape.

Place the 2 foil pouches directly over the flame. Place the ribs on the opposite side.     


Maintain BBQ temperature between 275° – 300° for an hour. Try not to lift the lid too much. You should start to smell that great wood smoke which will be flavoring the ribs. After an hour the ribs should have some color and not look raw. They will not be fully cooked at this point. If they don’t look like they have enough color, just leave them on for another 15 minutes or so.                  

Meanwhile lay a piece of tin foil for each rib rack large enough to wrap the entire rack. Lay down a line of honey the approximate length of the ribs. Sprinkle the honey with a layer of brown sugar. This is just going to add some extra flavor.


At the 1 hour mark or when the ribs have a little color, remove from the BBQ and lay meat side down on the honey and brown sugar. Add about 2 Tablespoons of apple juice to each package and seal up tight. The ribs will now braise which will help tenderize them.


Place each foiled rack, back on the grill, meat side down for 90 minutes.


After 90 minutes, check for doneness by inserting a toothpick between 2 rib bones. If the toothpick goes in without too much resistance they are ready for the next step. If not quite ready, rewrap and place back on grill for another 15 minutes.


The final step is to apply your BBQ sauce on the meat side of your ribs and place back on the unlit side of the grill for 30 minutes until the sauce bakes on. They are good to eat after this step however you may want to replace the grill rack on to the lit side and grill the ribs over direct heat for a couple of minutes, meat side down to get nice charred grill marks. Keep an eye on the sauce though because all that sugar will burn real quick.

Cut and serve with extra sauce on the side.

Deliciously yummy 🙂

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