Two Awesome Cherry Wood–Smoked Rib Recipes

Posted on: 12 January 2018

When it comes to preparing pork ribs, no method beats smoking. And cooking on cherry wood is the ideal way for smoking ribs. Its sweet, rich flavor does not overwhelm the flavor of the ribs or other seasonings, but instead blends well with them. Here are two recipes for cherry wood–smoked ribs that you and your dinner guests will love.

Spicy Cherry Wood Ribs

These ribs are spicy, yet balanced. The barbecue sauce that you brush onto them at the end helps balance out the spice, and those who like their ribs less spicy can just use more of it.


  • 3 racks of baby back ribs, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup molasses

Combine the salt, sugar, pepper (cayenne and black), dried mustard, and garlic powder. Stir to combine, and then pack the dry rub mixture onto the racks of ribs. Wrap the ribs with plastic wrap or place them in a sealed container, and let them rest for an hour.

Unwrap the ribs, and place them on the smoker. Add plenty of cherry wood chips to the smoker, and adjust the temperature to 300 degrees F. Smoke the ribs for one hour. While they are smoking, combine the apple juice, ketchup, vinegar, and molasses on the stove top. Bring it to a simmer, and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Brush the ribs with the sauce. Close the smoker door, and let them smoke for an additional 3 hours, brushing them with sauce and tuning them again every hour. When they are finished smoking, remove the ribs from the smoker. Brush them with any remaining sauce, and let them rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Coffee-Rubbed Cherry Ribs

This recipe really takes a unique approach to barbecue. The cherry wood flavor is accentuated by the barbecue sauce, which contains real cherry juice. And a coffee rub gives the ribs a bold flavor that, believe it or not, does not really resemble that of coffee.


  • 3 racks of baby back ribs
  • 1/4 cup instant coffee granules
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1/2 cup cherry juice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Combine the coffee, brown sugar, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Pat the mixture onto the ribs. Cover the ribs, and let them rest for an hour at room temperature. Meanwhile, prepare the barbecue sauce. Combine the cherry juice, tomato paste, molasses, ketchup, mustard, and vinegar in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, and simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened slightly. Add the white sugar, and stir until the sugar dissolves—about 1 minute.

Once the ribs have had a chance to rest, place them in the smoker. Load up the smoker with cherry wood, and set it to 300 degrees F. Smoke the ribs for 4 hours, opening the smoker to brush them with the barbecue sauce every hour. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the sauce.

When the ribs are finished cooking, place them on a plate, and brush them with the remaining barbecue sauce. Let them sit for about 15 minutes, and then serve. If you like your ribs extra saucy, you can make another batch of the cherry barbecue sauce while they are resting and use it for dipping your delicious ribs.