Aug 16, 2011

Recipe for: Apple Juice Marinated Ribs

FROM THE KITCHEN OF: Isabel Canfield
TOTAL TIME: 4-6 hours to marinate, 2 to 2.5 hrs to bake, 10 minutes to grill
2 ribs or more

After making my fried green tomatoes, I decided to continue on with another Southern favorite. This past weekend I made for the very first time — ribs. I absolutely love eating them, but I’ve never actually made them at home. So I told myself to not be afraid of cooking ribs because in actuality, ribs are as simple as anything else. The only challenge is time. You need to allow the ribs to marinade in the apple juice for 4-6 hours and bake them in the oven for at least 2 hours. You can’t skimp on either one of those steps. So the real question is, why apple juice? To be honest, I heard this was a secret to making ribs. The sugars from the apple juice seeps into the meat and act like salt keeping the meat moist and tender. And it certainly was! With the addition of your favorite barbeque sauce, you too can make ribs that are finger lickin’ good!

2 pork loin back ribs
3 cups of apple juice
salt + pepper
your favorite bbq sauce

1. Season the ribs. Simply remove the pork loin back ribs from the packaging and place them in an aluminum baking tray. Season both sides heavily with salt and pepper. *I purchased my ribs from Costco. Total of 3 slabs of ribs for only $27. Can’t beat that!

2. Add apple juice. With the meaty side facing down, pour the apple juice into the tray. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours or even overnight.

3. Bake for 2 hrs. After the ribs have marinated, place tray into a 400° oven and bake for 2-2.5 hours depending on the size of the ribs. My ribs actually took about 2.5 hours. The meat should be tender and literally falling off the bone.

4. Grill the ribs. With a medium heat charcoal or gas grill, gently place the ribs on the rack. Be careful because the ribs will fall apart. Brush on your favorite bbq sauce of your choice. Turn the ribs over after 5 minutes and heat the other side for another 5 minutes. Brush more bbq sauce. The ribs are already cooked, so getting a nice charcoal flavor is an added bonus. Remove and enjoy with a cold glass of beer.

There are so many ways to cook ribs! From a wet to dry rub, the possibilities are endless. So, how do you cook YOUR ribs? Leave a comment!

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  • The ale8 sauce is awesome!

    • Isabel

      It was pretty darn good! It had a good balance of tomato & vinegar. Good thing we have some left :P

  • […] get any better than that! Needless to say, I am on cloud nine with the fact I can finally grill! Another way of cooking, grilling allows a different flavor profile from the charred smokiness from […]

  • […] credit for this recipe. I have my brother-in-law, Seamus, to thank. He makes this crazy awesome pork and collard greens in a crock pot every once in a while. Since we moved out of their home a few […]

  • OMG, I have been trying different rib recipes for a while now. This is by far the best I have tried. Highly recommended, my entire family loved these ribs on Eastern Sunday. I used Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce found at Costco along with the ribs.

    • Isabel

      LOL! I made these ribs again this past weekend. It’s such an easy recipe! I’m so glad you and your family loved it. It’s so easy to prepare! Thanks for your comment!

  • I took the membrane off the backside of the ribs first and seasoned with a dry rub consisting of salt,pepper,curry powder,chili power,garlic powder and cajun spiced..then put in the apple juice following the rest of the recipe…turned out awesome.

    • Our dry rub is different every time, but this one was a Demerara sugar, pepper and garlic powder base, with cumin, Old Bay seasoning, oregano, pepper, chili, hot paprika and some sushi seasoning (it was handy) The apple juice was ’embellished’ with a 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, as well as a couple of splashes of rice wine vinegar (just to get rid of the bottle from the shelf), which gives it a nice zesty taste.

    • Isabel

      Great tip on removing the membrane. I think I’m just too lazy to do that, but I’ll definitely do it next time!!!

  • Hi – We usually remove the silverskin from the underside of the rack prior to marinading. It lets the flavours fully penetrate the meat, and also makes them fall off the bone easier.

    Do you always put the ribs meat-side down when going into the oven? I usually do it the other way – less touching on the tray means less sticking to the tray (also using a silicone mat right now – just put 2 racks in to cook today, then finish them tomorrow for supper :)

    • Isabel

      Honestly, never really thought about it! I just placed them on the tray, but it totally makes sense to put the ribs meat-side down. Thanks for your tip and thanks for your dry rub breakdown!!

  • Have made these ribs seven times – always tender. Supermarket choice for BBQ sauce -spicy Stubbs on a charcoal grill – love it

    • Isabel

      Oh I like stubbs too! So glad this recipe has worked for you!

  • I always heard to slow cook for tenderness. Cooking at 400 doesn’t come out tough?

    • Isabel

      Um, it wasn’t that tough for me. But if you’re hesitant, definitely do 350 or so! Hope it turns out great either way!

  • May be a stupid question, new to cooking, your recipe never specifically instructed as to whether you drain the marinade off or do you just cover and chuck it in the oven as is. Sorry, don’t laugh at me.

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  • Tried the apple juice decided this time for the heck of apple cider vinegar just to see how it comes out will let you know later. Thanks.

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