How to Hickory Smoke Baby Back Ribs on a Charcoal Grill

by Michelle Chastain

My husband's mouthwatering pig-sickles! Yummy!


  • 2 Racks of Baby Back Ribs
  • 8 Cups Apple Juice
  • 2 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4 Bunches Garlic
  • 1 Cup Kosher Salt
  • ½ Cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 Bunch Hickory Wood Chips
  • 1 Bunch Charcoal
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Combine apple juice, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, kosher salt and garlic into a large pot to make a brine. Heat over medium heat and whisk until all the sugar dissolves. Let cool to room temp.

    Step 2

    Remove membrane from the back of the ribs. Cut the racks in half. Place each 1/2 rack into a zip lock bag. Add 1/4 of brine to each bag. Refrigerate in brine 12-24 hours.

    Step 3

    Soak hickory chips in non-chlorinated water for at least 2 hours.

    Step 4

    Hickory Chips soaking in water.

    Step 5

    Use a charcoal chimney to start your charcoal. When coals are ready, place coals on 1/2 of grill for direct heat, leave the other half for indirect heat.

    Step 6

    Place hickory chips in smoker box and place on top of coals. Wait for grill to smoke.

    Step 7

    Remove ribs from brine. Reserve half of the remaining brine.

    Step 8

    Ribs removed from brine

    Step 9

    Once the grill starts to smoke, transfer the racks to the indirect side of the grill, meat side down.

    Step 10

    Grill starting to smoke

    Step 11

    Ribs placed on indirect heat side of grill

    Step 12

    Let ribs sit on indirect side for 2 hours. Monitor grill temperature, try to keep at 225. Use spray mist on grill to lower temperature if needed.

    Step 13

    You want your grill temp to be 225

    Step 14

    Don't peak at ribs (it will alter the temperature). But you will need to check your wood chips from time to time.

    Step 15

    Spray outside of grill to lower temperature as needed

    Step 16

    After 45 min, turn racks rib side down.

    Step 17

    After 2 hours, place ribs in a "Texas Crutch" (aka, an aluminum tent). Add the remaining brine and return to the indirect heat side of grill for another 1 hour.

    Step 18

    After 1 hour in the Texas Crutch, take ribs out of the foil and place on the indirect side of the grill until they reach 150 degrees.

    Step 19

    Meanwhile, on the direct heat side of grill, cook whatever veggies/starches you wish to serve with your ribs.

    Step 20

    Take ribs of the grill and let rest for 10 minutes. ENJOY!