These smoky St. Louis pork ribs with mango jalapeño BBQ sauce from chef Glenn Rolnick of Virgil’s Real Barbecue are tender and delicious through and through. You can make them on the grill or adapt them for the oven.
Either way, the dry rub (which features paprika, garlic, sugar, and chili powder) and the hot-sweet sauce (with fresh mango, ginger, and pineapple juice, among many other things) make these destined for greatness.
Watch the chef demonstrate the recipe and get more tips. And see our ultimate guide to ribs for more pointers on different types of ribs.
Special Equipment: If using a gas grill, you’ll also need a smoker box and wood chips.
Note: You’ll have extra dry rub and BBQ sauce. You can store the rub in an airtight container in your pantry pretty much indefinitely, though as with all spices and seasonings, the flavor’s best when fresh. Freeze the extra BBQ sauce, or use it up on grilled chicken and shrimp within the week.
- Yield: Medium
For the Jalapeño Mango BBQ Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
- 1 large ripe mango, peeled and pit removed, cut into medium sized pieces
- 7 cloves of garlic, smashed
- ½ white onion, sliced
- 2 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 pieces large jalapeño, sliced in half with seeds
- 6 ounces pineapple juice
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 cups ketchup
- ½ cup yellow mustard
- 5 tablespoons molasses
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons cilantro
- Juice from 2 limes
For Virgil’s Dry Rub:
- 2 ½ cups sweet paprika
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups Texas-style chili powder
- ½ cup dry minced onion
- ½ cup granulated garlic
- ¼ cup dried parsley flakes
- 6 tablespoons kosher salt
For the ribs:
- 2 racks of St Louis pork ribs
- 2 tablespoons smoked coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup Virgil’s Dry Rub (see recipe above)
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 2 cups orange juice or apple juice
- 2 cups cold water
- 2 cups Jalapeno Mango BBQ Sauce (see recipe above)
- 2 cups water soaked wood chips, preferably hickory or cherry; place on a smoker tray or wrap in heavy-duty foil and poke holes to vent
Make Virgil’s Dry Rub:
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together until completely incorporated. Transfer to a covered bowl with a tight-fitting lid. Store in a cool, dry place.
Make the Jalapeño Mango BBQ Sauce:
- In a large one-gallon sauté pot, add vinegar, sugar, pineapple juice, onion, garlic, jalapeño, and ginger and bring to a boil on high flame for approximately 12 to 15 minutes until reduced by half.
- Add all remaining ingredients except for lime, bring back to boil for another 12 to 15 minutes.
- Blend with stick blender and add the lime juice.
- Strain through medium hole strainer and cool down.
Make the ribs:
- Generously season ribs top and bottom with salt and pepper.
- Combine Virgil’s Dry Rub with the extra granulated garlic and onion mixture and generously sprinkle top and bottom of both racks.
- Let ribs sit 6 to 12 hours ahead for best results.
- Place ribs into a baking sheet with curved side upward.
- Combine orange or apple juice with cold water and pour mixture into pan.
- Cover tightly with heavy-duty foil.
- Place pan directly onto grill and cook on low flame for 2 hours.
- Remove ribs from pan and place directly onto grill grates. At the same time, place smoker tray or foil-wrapped chips next to ribs
- Cover grill and cook an additional hour on low-low flame.
- Open grill and brush tops of ribs with all the BBQ sauce.
- Cover grill and cook an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until glaze browns and crisps nicely.
- Remove to cutting board. Cut and enjoy.