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This Maple Glazed BBQ Ribs Recipe Will Make You The Boss Of Your Block

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Sliced maple glazed ribs

Impress guests at your next cookout with this delicious smoked pork rib recipe starring a sweet and savory maple syrup-based glaze.

These smoked, maple glazed ribs might just be the most delicious, lip smacking pork ribs recipe you’ve ever tasted! The secret is that you’ll use the Texas Crutch, which is wrapping the meat in foil late in the cook, and then take the juices from the foil, some apple juice, and real maple syrup to make a sweet, sticky sauce with an impressive sheen. 

Warning: Don’t compete with these ribs!

Several readers have written to tell me that they’ve won their local rib-off with this smoked BBQ pork ribs recipe but do not use this recipe for a Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) or Memphis Barbecue Network (MBN) competition. The judges there usually only give awards to classic red sauces like my Kansas City Classic. But serve them to friends and neighbors and they will worship you!

Hungry for more ribs recipes, tips, and techniques? Click here to download our ebook “Amazing Ribs Made Easy” $3.99 on Amazon (free Kindle app runs on all computers and devices). Or, get this book and others FREE as a member of the Pitmaster Club. Click here to join.

Maple Glazed Ribs Recipe

Maple glazed rack of ribs with a pair of tongs
Tried this recipe?Tell others what you thought of it and give it a star rating below.
4.24 from 130 votes
Ready for the shiniest, most lip smacking, finger licking, smoked BBQ pork ribs ever? This recipe featuring a glaze of real maple syrup is certain to be an instant hit at your next cookout.
Serve with: your favorite pale ale.

Main Course
difficulty scale


Servings: 2 servings, 1/2-rack each


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours


About the salt. Remember, kosher salt is half the concentration of table salt so if you use table salt, use half as much. Click here to read more about salt and how it works.
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page


  • Prep. Rinse the ribs in cool water to remove any bone bits from the butchering.
  • Remove the leathery membrane from the back of the ribs and trim off any excess fat on both sides. Click here for an extensive tutorial on how to skin 'n' trim ribs.
  • Season. Wet your hands and pat the the meat so the surface is damp and then sprinkle on the salt. If you can do this the night before, please do. Otherwise anytime prior to cooking will do. Then sprinkle with Meathead's Memphis Dust, enough to coat the surface, and massage it in.
  • Fire up. Heat up your smoker or set up a grill for 2-zone cooking. Bring the cooker temperature to 225°F (107.2°C).
  • Cook. Place the seasoned ribs on the smoker or grill, add the cover, and allow them to cook for 2 hours.
  • Crutch. Next, pull off two sheets of 18" (457.2 mm) wide heavy duty aluminum foil, about 2' (610 mm) long and place them on top of each other. Place the slab in the center, bone side down, pull up the sides so you have a boat, and drizzle 1/2 cup (118.3 ml) of the apple juice over the meat, wetting the surface. Then wrap the slab tightly in two layers of foil. This is called the Texas Crutch. Cook in the foil for 1 hour at 225°F (107.2°C).
  • Firm. Take the meat out of the foil while carefully reserving the liquid that has collected and put the ribs back on at the 225°F (107.2°C) smoker or grill for another 2 hours to firm up the crust.
  • Make the sauce. While the ribs are back on the smoker or grill, pour the apple juice from the foil, now enriched with the flavors of the rub, into a sauce pan. Add the remaining half cup (118.3 ml) of apple juice. Boil it until about 1/3 cup (78.1 ml) remains. Add the maple syrup and heat over medium high and watch it very closely. It will bubble gently away for a bit and then at a certain temperature the sugars will go nuts and the glaze will foam aggressively. Watch it as attentively as a hungry teenager. As soon as it foams up, immediately turn down the heat and remove the pan from the flame until it stops frothing. You don't want it foaming for long or it could turn to hard candy. That would be bad.
    Heating the maple glaze in a pot
  • Finish the sauce. Add the salt and hot sauce and stir. It may bubble furiously again.
  • Paint the ribs with a coat of the sauce and put it back into the cooker til the glaze sets a bit, perhaps 3 minutes. Add one more coat. Don't use too much.
  • Serve. Slice the ribs and serve immediately.

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Published On: 7/7/2020 Last Modified: 6/23/2024

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  • Meathead, Founder And BBQ Hall of Famer - Founder and publisher of, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", and is a BBQ Hall Of Fame inductee.


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