Apple Jalapeno Smoked Ribs

May 28, 2020

These Apple Jalapeno Smoked ribs are absolutely delicious, melt in your mouth tender, with just a kiss of heat. Sweet and Spicy come together in a magical union.

Sliced Apple Jalapeno Ribs stacked on a wood cutting board with fresh jalapenos in the background.

Apple Jalapeno Smoked Ribs

We looooooove us some ribs. Something about the messy hands, messy face, and full acknowledgement that the flavor of what you are eating supersedes how crazy you look eating it. Have some wet napkins handy and dig in. I know you’re thinking that these ribs will burn your tongue, but really they’re pretty tame. Even the non-spice lovers would love these if you could talk them into getting past the huge slices of jalapeno lingering on each bite. If you can’t talk them into it… well darn. I guess that means more ribs for you.

Overhead view of rack of smoked ribs topped with jalapeno slices on a wood cutting board.

Smoked Ribs Seasoning

One of the most important steps in a good smoked rib is to start with a great rub. You can either make my Sweet Rub recipe from scratch at home, or buy yourself a bottle from my online shop, Patio Provisions. The Sweet Rub adds the perfect amount of sweetness to marry the heat on these ribs.

Another secret to the amazing flavor in these ribs ribs is the flavor infused braising liquid that they are wrapped in during the second step of the cooking process. After the ribs take on as much smoke as they can handle, they get a bath in a medley of apple juice and jalapenos that make the ribs super tender and dripping with unbelievable sweet and spicy flavor. Finally these beauties get a slather of Apple Jalapeno BBQ Sauce, (which you can make from scratch or buy from my store) and a little more time on the grill to set.

Sliced smoked ribs arranged into a pile on a wood cutting board.

How to Smoke Apple Jalapeno Ribs

I smoked these Apple Jalapeno Ribs on my pellet grill, so I can easily switch between the 180 degrees F for the first 3 hours and 225 degrees F for the remainder of the cook. If you have a traditional offset smoker, try and shoot for and even 225 degrees F for the whole cook. You might find that the ribs take 4-5 hours instead of 6, so just keep an eye on your ribs during the foiling phase. If you have an electric smoker, you can just set the ribs to smoke for the first 3 hours, then transfer to your oven during the foiled phase if you’d like to avoid refilling your pan with wood chips. These are not crock pot ribs, oven ribs, or boiled ribs, these are smoked ribs!

Tips for Perfect Smoked Ribs

  • Keep an eye on your rib bones. When the meat has pulled back about 1/2 inch from the bones, your ribs are likely ready.
  • Use the bend test. Another method for testing rib doneness is lifting one end of your ribs with tongs. If the top of the meat just starts to shred when you bend them, they are done!
  • Try an instant read thermometer! If other visual cues aren’t cutting it for you, use technology to help you along. It can be difficult to get a perfect read on ribs without hitting bones, but shoot for the meat in between 2 bones and look for about 200 degrees F for melt in your mouth ribs. The probe should slide into the meat very smoothly. 

Sliced apple jalapeno ribs fanned out across a wood cutting board.

Apple Jalapeno Ribs Recipe

Follow the recipe, and I’ll teach you the simple steps to making your own Apple Jalapeno Ribs at home. If you’re looking for the ultimate way to help you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero, join my members-only group The Grill Squad for full and exclusive access to all my meat, rubs, sauces, and meat buying master classes, podcasts, and so much more.

Making good food should be easy, and Hey Grill Hey is here to help! Over at our online store, Patio Provisions, we have all of the BBQ sauces, rubs, and more that you’ll need for these ribs. Check it out today!

Pile of sliced Apple Jalapeno Ribs on a wood board.

Apple Jalapeno Smoked Ribs

Beautifully tender fall off the bone ribs with a sweet and spicy Apple Jalapeno BBQ Sauce.
4.97 from 27 votes
Prep Time : 10 mins
Cook Time : 6 hrs
Total Time : 6 hrs 10 mins
Servings : 6 people
Calories : 611kcal




  • Begin by removing the thin membrane on the back of the ribs. Use a butter knife to lift a small corner of the membrane away from the bones, grip firmly with a paper towel, and pull slowly away from the rack.
  • Slather both sides of the ribs with the yellow mustard and season liberally with the Sweet Rub.
  • Prepare your smoker for indirect smoking at 225 degrees F. I use apple wood for this recipe. Place the seasoned ribs on the smoker and close the lid. Leave them to smoke for 3 hours.
  • Tear off a large piece of aluminum foil and place it on a large working surface. Transfer the ribs to the foil bone side up so the bones don't tear through the foil. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, top with the butter cut into small pads, fold up the edges of the foil to create a slight bowl, and then pour the apple juice over the ribs. Once the liquid has settled, top with the sliced jalapenos. Tightly crimp the foil together to create an airtight seal. Repeat with the second rack.
  • Return to the grill and keep your cooking temperature to as close to 225 degrees as you can get it. Let the ribs braise for 2 hours in the foil.
  • Carefully remove the ribs from the grill and place on a large working surface. Open the foil package (be careful of hot steam) and use tongs to remove the ribs and place them back on the grill, bone side down. Remove the cooked jalapenos from the braising liquid and set aside. Discard the foil and excess cooking liquid.
  • Brush the ribs with the Apple Jalapeno BBQ Sauce and arrange the jalapeno slices you set aside on top of the ribs. Close the lid of your grill and cook at 225 degrees for an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour until the ribs are done to your desired tenderness and the sauce is sticky and set.
  • Rest the ribs for 10-15 minutes before slicing into individual ribs. Serve with additional sauce on the side.


Calories: 611kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 150mg | Sodium: 841mg | Potassium: 671mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 691IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 181mg | Iron: 5mg
Ready to Become a Backyard BBQ Hero?Join The Grill Squad today!

Rack of smoked ribs topped with sliced jalapenos.

Slab of mahogany colored sliced smoked ribs on a wood cutting board. One rib has been tilted to show the meat.Overhead view of a rack of smoked ribs topped with jalapenos. Ribs are on a wood cutting board with an apple and jalapenos on each side.
**This recipe was originally published on Feb 6, 2016. It has since been updated with more information, a new video, and new photos. The recipe remains the same.**

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119 thoughts on “Apple Jalapeno Smoked Ribs

  1. These look amazing. Adding the jalepenos to the ribs is a novel idea thats going to go down well at my next cook out (well with those that like spice!)

  2. I love this recipe! We have the Traeger so cooking out all year is a norm for us! Even did the Thanksgiving turkey and ham out on the grill!

    1. We are new to smoking and traeger! Trying these now but says to smoke at 225 but smoke setting drops it to 200. Plus it’s not really smoking??

      1. Hi Heather! Pellet grills are unique because they cycle feeding pellets into the hopper. You’ll often have waves of smoke instead of a continuous smoke. I would recommend just setting your grill to 225 degrees and letting it go.

  3. Hi there! Making these right now for the games today!! I have a Traeger. Do I just smoke the first three hours and then bump up to 225 for foul stage?

    1. Yeah, that works great! Your smoke setting should be hovering pretty close to 180, if it isn’t, I would bump your temp setting up to 180 degrees. Hope you like them!

      1. Just a quick follow up….these were friggin’ amazing! 🙂 I used the rub and the bbq sauce that was mentioned in the recipe. Wouldn’t change a thing!

    1. Absolutely! If you’re cooking on propane, just turn on the burner on one side of the grill and set your ribs on the other. Adjust the heat on that burner as necessary to maintain 235 degrees. You can also make a foil pouch with wood chips inside (puncture the pouch all around) and place that on top of the burner to get Smoke during the first step.

  4. Can you give me the link for the sweet rub? Can’t seem to find it on here. Found the sauce, but not the rub. Thanks!

  5. Hey! I can’t find the sweet rub mix (just the spices you put on the mustard) .
    Can you point me in the right direction.

  6. I made these last Sunday for dinner and my wife said they were the best ribs she has ever eaten. I have been making BBQ for over 25 years and am a chef and they were fabulous!

  7. These babies are on the smoker as we speak!! I prepared the sweet rub and the sauce yesterday.. just by the way those taste.. I know these ribs will be awesome!! I can’t wait!!! Thanks!!

  8. I made this last week at my company’s smoke out. Fantastic! The rub and the sauce are key….along with keeping the smoker at 225 degrees for 6 hours. Thanks, lady!

  9. Hey I was just wondering what type of wood to use for the smoking process? I will be smoking them on a traditional smoker.

  10. I have these ready to go today, cant wait! Question, is there any particular reason to using the foil during the brazing process as opposed to a foil pan with top? It seems less a mess for me. But if it matters Im all in.

    1. Hey John- I’ve done both and go back to the tight wrapped foil every time. I think it helps to keep all of the apple jalapeno flavor right by the ribs as they braise. If you’re concerned about mess, you can tight wrap the ribs and then set them in the aluminum pan, that way you don’t have to stress about leaking, etc.

    1. Not silly at all! Since the rub and sauce are both homemade, just be sure you are using ingredients that are gluten free (they all should be, but some garlic powders and ketchup have gluten). You should be good to go!

  11. Going to be giving these a shot tomorrow at work. Using my newish Green mountain Grill for ribs for the first time. Curious, the Trager comments said 180 and 225? Is this something unique to the trager? Thank you! And keep up the delicous work!

      1. Sorry it took so long, these were a HUGE HIT. I have been designated to roll smoke at work for every holiday now. THANK YOU!!

  12. OMFG…made these today. Rubbed them and let them sit overnight. Skipped the yellow mustard….not a fan. 4 hr smoke with the 2 hr braise, and around 45 on the glaze on a Pit Boss 5 vert smoker. My 7 yr old loved them too, minus the sauce glaze an Jalapenos on “her” rack lol. We made 3. She did like it on the side for dipping though, so 3 thumbs up here.

    1. Awesome John!! That’s how we roll at our house too! We make a “kid’s rack” but they usually end up dunking them in the sauce. So glad you liked them!

  13. Any suggestions on what kind of wood is good to smoke them with? My husband saw an apple wood at the store. Guessing that would work. Can’t wait to try it.

  14. LOVE this Recipe!!! Saw it on Thursday & made it Sunday. Super easy, amazingly tender & SO Flavorful. The sauce is to die for. Can’t wait to make it again!!! Thank You! Yours is my Go-To site for grill recipes????

  15. Holy smokes! So, I tried this for a big family gathering and received nothing but compliments. Because of that, I decided to use this recipe for my first ever BBQ competition and received 2nd place! (I also entered the competition using your Cherry Chipotle Chicken!
    2nd place!) While I was super stoked about the placement, in hindsight I realized that I forgot to throw on the brown sugar & butter right before foiling. Gah! Next time!

  16. Stumbled across this recipe last Thursday and had to make it the same day. It was a little after noon so, it was kinda late by the time we ate and all I can say is WOW! Absolutely delicious and worth the wait!!! Way to go! I will be checking out other recipes now. Thank you very much!

  17. I tried them today, they are the best ribs I have ever tasted in my life. This is my first time smoking, this recipe was so easy to follow, I cannot wait to do them again.

  18. I’m on my 3rd time making these! They come out super tender and so delicious! The last time I made them the bones were ready to fall off the meat before I got to the braising step. The jalapeño gives them a nice kick. Thanks for the great recipe!

  19. This was the first thing I smoked on my new pellet grill. The ribs came fantastic. Falling apart tender and such a sweet spicy taste. My wife absolutely loved them. Thank you for the recipes

  20. Great recipe!
    Great sauce!
    Great rub!

    I’ve been following and using your recipes for a few years now on my Traeger. Everything turns out great.
    Have found if smoking baby backs it’s better to reduce the 2nd step to 1 hour though. They get so tender after 2 hours they fall apart when you try to remove them from the foil.


  21. OK. I need a moment. When I bit into these ribs, I swear I could hear angels singing. That BBQ sauce!

    Unbelievable balance between the richness of the meat, the brightness of the rub, the smoky-sweet-heat of the sauce.

    We were making our way through all of your recipes, but we may need to pause on this one…for a couple years!

    Thank you, thank you for this.

  22. I made these ribs and the BBQ sauce. I smoked them just as the video said and they were fantastic! My wife and her sister both said they were the best ribs they have ever eaten! I thought they were pretty good too. I will definitely use this recipe again.

  23. Bravo! Everything was perfect about this preparation. Flavor balance and tenderness were second to none.

    Served with cheesy biscuits, baked beans and potatoes au gratin.

    Crowd already clamoring for more.

    Thanks for another keeper!

  24. This meat dish looks delicious, the most important step is to find enough spices and marinate meat properly, otherwise the meat will not be able to be perfect.
    I will make my family a party this weekend.
    thank you

  25. Your food is wonderful. You probably learned it in a restaurant. It looks really good.
    Thank you for sharing that secret. I will try to make one for my family. I will send you feedback after it’s done. yeah.

  26. Woooow…..Homemade!!! It’s the only thing that taste good! And so easy to do…

    I think I will look for these and try your recipe this weekend. Thank you for sharing!

    Dang Thai from Embeya!

  27. I’ve made these ribs multiple times now, and they are bu far the best you can make. I use offset charcoal with a smoke box attached. Temps can vary while cooking so keep an eye on them because they may move faster than the time frame. I’ve had them finish at around 4 house and still fall off the bone. But the slower and lower you can make it go, tenderness will increase. They take some time and planning, but are always worth the effort.

  28. So glad I found this! These ribs are truly exceptional. Doubled the recipe and made 4 racks. They were annihilated in no time to rave reviews from my sons and their friends. Will be doing this one again and again!

  29. Great! I am hungry after reading your blog. Everything is looking very tasty. Your topics are very helpful for this community. Thank you so much for sharing a good article with us.

  30. Hi there. Big fan. One question. I normally do a straight smoke, no wrap, on my ribs. Do you think this would work with topping with jalapenos and misting with apple juice every thirty after the first three hours but not wrapping?

  31. Used this recipe today to smoke my very first rack of ribs. OMG they were sooooooo GOOD! My husband said they were some of the best ribs he has ever eaten.

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