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Slow Smoked Honey Apple Beef Ribs

Slow Smoked Honey Apple Beef Ribs Recipe


Welcome to our smoky and flavorful BBQ recipes section! Today, we’re sharing a mouthwatering recipe for Slow Smoked Honey Apple Beef Ribs. These ribs are marinated in a sweet and savory honey apple mixture, then slow smoked to perfection. Perfect for any BBQ or gathering, these ribs are sure to impress. Let’s get started!



For the Beef Ribs:

  • 1 package beef ribs (approximately 3 1/2 lbs)

For the Marinade:

  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


Step 1: Prepare the Marinade

  1. Combine Marinade Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the apple juice, honey, soy sauce, olive oil, onion powder, and ground black pepper until well combined.

Step 2: Marinate the Ribs

  1. Prepare Ribs: Place the beef ribs in a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish.
  2. Add Marinade: Pour the marinade over the ribs, ensuring they are fully coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish with plastic wrap.
  3. Marinate: Refrigerate the ribs for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Step 3: Prepare the Smoker

  1. Preheat Smoker: Preheat your smoker to 225°F (110°C). Use apple wood chips or chunks for a complementary smoky flavor.
  2. Prepare Rib Rub (Optional): If desired, prepare a dry rub with your favorite BBQ spices and rub it onto the ribs before smoking.

Step 4: Smoke the Ribs

  1. Smoke Ribs: Remove the ribs from the marinade and place them on the smoker rack. Discard the used marinade.
  2. Slow Smoke: Smoke the ribs at 225°F (110°C) for 5-6 hours, or until the ribs are tender and the meat pulls away from the bone easily.
  3. Maintain Moisture: Periodically spritz the ribs with additional apple juice to keep them moist during smoking.

Step 5: Glaze and Finish

  1. Prepare Glaze (Optional): If desired, mix some honey with apple juice to create a glaze.
  2. Glaze Ribs: In the last 30 minutes of smoking, brush the ribs with the honey apple glaze for extra flavor and shine.

Step 6: Serve

  1. Rest and Serve: Remove the ribs from the smoker and let them rest for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve the Slow Smoked Honey Apple Beef Ribs hot, and enjoy!

Cooking Notes and Tips

  • Marinating Time: For best results, marinate the ribs overnight to allow the flavors to fully penetrate the meat.
  • Smoking Wood: Apple wood pairs perfectly with the honey and apple marinade, but you can also use other fruit woods like cherry or pecan.
  • Glaze: The optional honey apple glaze adds a beautiful shine and extra layer of flavor. Adjust the sweetness to your preference.


Spicy Honey Apple Ribs

Add 1-2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the marinade for a spicy kick.


Garlic Honey Apple Ribs

Add 2-3 minced garlic cloves to the marinade for a garlicky flavor.


Herbed Honey Apple Ribs

Add 1 teaspoon of dried thyme or rosemary to the marinade for an herby twist.


Bourbon Honey Apple Ribs

Add 1/4 cup of bourbon to the marinade for a rich, smoky flavor.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I make this recipe without a smoker?

Yes, you can make these ribs in the oven. Preheat your oven to 275°F (135°C) and bake the ribs on a baking sheet for 3-4 hours, or until tender. Add a small pan of water to the oven to help maintain moisture.

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover ribs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or on the grill before serving.

Can I freeze the ribs?

Yes, you can freeze the cooked ribs. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

What can I serve with these ribs?

These ribs pair well with classic BBQ sides like coleslaw, baked beans, corn on the cob, and potato salad.

How can I make the ribs more tender?

For extra tender ribs, cook them at a low temperature for a longer period. You can also wrap them in foil during the last hour of smoking to help retain moisture and tenderness.


Slow Smoked Honey Apple Beef Ribs are a flavorful and tender BBQ dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With their sweet and savory marinade and slow smoking process, these ribs are sure to be a hit. Enjoy making and sharing these delicious ribs with your family and friends!