To create the best clone of these famous ribs at home you should use a smoker. You could also use the smoking feature found on many grills or place the wood chips in a foil pouch that is set over low heat on your grill. Whichever method you use, don’t soak the wood chips in water – they should be dry.
It's also important to use the right kind of ribs for the best match. Get baby backs that are well-trimmed. Chili’s ribs are trimmed pretty tight to the bone to ensure even smoking, grilling and flavor throughout.
This recipe was developed with information gathered on episode 7 of Top Secret Recipe on CMT.
This recipe is available in
- 2 ¼ teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 ¼ teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon citric acid
- 1/8 teaspoon ground thyme
- 4 racks baby back ribs
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 ½ teaspoons yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke (concentrated)
- ½ teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pinch citric acid
- Small pecan wood chips
- Plastic wrap
- Aluminum foil
- Do This
1. Preheat smoker to 225 degrees.
2. Combine seasoning in a small bowl then pour into a shaker and shake generously over the ribs.
3. Place the ribs into your smoker with ¼ cup to ½ cup of small pecan wood chips and a pan or metal bowl of water. Smoke for 4 hours (open the vent for the first 2 hours). After 2 hours, add more water to the pan if necessary, and close the vent.
4. While ribs are smoking, make the sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Heat for 2 hours uncovered, stirring occasionally until thick. Cover and remove from heat until ribs are done.
5. When the ribs are done smoking, wrap them in plastic wrap, then foil and put them into your refrigerator for a couple hours, or until you plan to serve them. This will give your ribs a similar tenderness and flavor to the real thing. However, if you want to serve the ribs sooner, skip to the next step.
6. When you are ready to serve the ribs, preheat a barbecue grill to high heat.
7. When the grill is heated, place the ribs, bony side-down onto the hot grill. Baste the top of ribs with sauce and grill for 2 minutes. Flip the ribs and baste the bottom of each rack with sauce and grill for 2 minutes. Turn sooner if sauce begins to burn. Flip the ribs over onto the bony side again and give each a final baste with the sauce. Cook for 2 more minutes and serve.
Serves 4 (full racks).