Finger-Lickin’ Good: Chili-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs Recipe

Are you tired of the same old barbecue sauce on your baby back ribs? Do you crave something bold and adventurous? Look no further than our chili rubbed baby back ribs with dark roast coffee barbecue sauce recipe.

This recipe is not for the faint of heart. The dry rub alone packs a punch with a blend of chili powder, paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper. But wait until you taste the smoky coffee flavor in the barbecue sauce. It’s like nothing you’ve ever tasted before.

Trust me when I say, this recipe is worth every minute you spend preparing it. So fire up your grill or preheat your oven and let’s get started on making the best baby back ribs ever.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Chili Rubbed Baby Back Ribs W/ Dark Roast Coffee Barbecue Sauce
Chili Rubbed Baby Back Ribs W/ Dark Roast Coffee Barbecue Sauce

Ladies and gentlemen, coffee lovers and BBQ enthusiasts, you are about to embark on a culinary journey that will leave your taste buds begging for more. Allow me to introduce you to the Chili Rubbed Baby Back Ribs with Dark Roast Coffee Barbecue Sauce Recipe.

If you’re a fan of bold flavors and mouth-watering aromas, this recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings. Not only does it have the perfect blend of salty, sweet, and spicy notes, but it also incorporates one special ingredient that takes it to the next level: coffee.

That’s right; this recipe features a tantalizing dark roast coffee barbecue sauce that infuses smoky coffee flavor into every inch of the succulent baby back ribs. The sauce is made with a blend of ketchup, honey, golden brown sugar, water, and an irresistible combination of spices, including chili powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, ground black pepper, and ground cayenne pepper. Plus, don’t forget our signature ingredient – 2 tablespoons of dark roast coffee – which gives this recipe its unique and unforgettable taste.

But wait, there’s more! The chili rubbed baby back ribs are coated in a dry rub that uses dark brown sugar as the base to create a balance between sweetness and heat. This rub also includes garlic powder, ancho chile powder, kosher salt, paprika, cumin – all blended together with finely ground espresso coffee powder. Once cooked in the oven for two hours at low temperature (300 degrees Fahrenheit), the ribs become so tender that they fall off the bone.

So why should you love this recipe? Because it is an innovative twist on traditional BBQ ribs that delivers unbeatable flavor and texture. Whether it’s for family dinners or hosting guests during summer BBQs , these Chili Rubbed Baby Back Ribs with Dark Roast Coffee Barbecue Sauce will become your go-to dish for any gathering. Trust me; your guests will thank you for serving them this delicious masterpiece.

Ingredient List

 The perfect BBQ ribs recipe for coffee lovers!
The perfect BBQ ribs recipe for coffee lovers!

Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to make these delicious Chili Rubbed Baby Back Ribs with Dark Roast Coffee Barbecue Sauce:

For the Dry Rub:

  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar

For the Ribs:

  • 2 slabs of baby back ribs (about 3-4 lbs.)
  • 2 tablespoons dark roast coffee
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

For the Coffee BBQ Sauce:

  • 1 bottle of dark beer (preferably a smokey coffee stout)
  • 2 tablespoons dark roast coffee
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup golden brown sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons steak sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

To save time while preparing this recipe, make sure to have everything measured out and ready to go before you start cooking.

The Recipe How-To

 Tasty and finger-licking good ribs!
Tasty and finger-licking good ribs!

Step 1: Make the Dry Rub

The coffee rubbed ribs can be cooked in a smoker or in an instant pot. To start with, make the dry rub by mixing together 1/4 cup coffee, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 tablespoon kosher salt in a small bowl to create a spice mixture.

Step 2: Apply the Spice Mixture

Rub the spice mixture generously all over the ribs to make sure that they are well coated. If possible, let them sit for at least half an hour or even overnight to allow the flavor of the spices to penetrate through.

Step 3: Preheat Oven and Boil Beer and Coffee

Preheat your oven to 325°F (162°C). Place the ribs (bone side down) on a heavy large roasting pan. In a separate pot, bring an 8-ounce bottle of dark beer and 1/4 cup coffee to boil, then reduce heat to low.

Step 4: Baste Ribs with Coffee Beer Mixture

Brush the ribs generously with the coffee-beer mixture on both sides, making sure that they are well coated. This will give it an incredible smoky coffee aroma once cooked.

Step 5: Cook Ribs Slowly

Cover the ribs tightly with aluminum foil and place in preheated oven for approximately 3 hours or until tender. The meat should be soft and should pull away from the bone easily but still stay intact.

Step 6: Make The Coffee Barbecue Sauce

While waiting for the ribs to cook, you can prepare the homemade barbecue sauce. In a medium-sized saucepan over low-medium heat; mix together 1 cup ketchup, 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey, 2 tablespoons dark roast coffee, 1 tablespoon steak sauce, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk it well and let it cook on low heat for about 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.

Step 7: Brush Sauce Generously over Ribs

Remove the ribs from the oven and discard the foil. Brush some of the coffee barbecue sauce over the meaty side of the ribs. Return to the oven uncovered for approximately 15 more minutes or until they become a delectable golden brown color.

Step 8: Serve Hot

Serve your coffee rubbed baby back ribs with dark roast coffee barbecue sauce hot as it is or pair them with your favorite sides. Enjoy the flavorful taste of these ribs paired with a cold dark beer or your preferred drink!

Substitutions and Variations

 The aroma of grilled ribs with chili rub and dark roast coffee sauce is sensational!
The aroma of grilled ribs with chili rub and dark roast coffee sauce is sensational!

One of my favorite things about cooking is how recipes can be tweaked and adjusted based on personal preferences and ingredient availability. Here are a few substitutions and variations for this chili rubbed baby back ribs recipe:

– If you don’t have dark roast coffee, you can use espresso powder or regular coffee instead.

– For a sweeter barbecue sauce, you can add more honey or brown sugar. Conversely, if you prefer a less sweet sauce, reduce the amount of sweeteners used.

– If you don’t have ketchup on hand, you can substitute it with tomato paste or canned crushed tomatoes.

– The dry rub can be customized by adding different spices or adjusting their quantities. Smoked paprika or ancho chile powder would add a smoky depth to the rub, while garlic powder or steak sauce could add more savory flavors.

– For an extra kick of heat, increase the amount of cayenne pepper in the rub. On the other hand, if you don’t like spicy foods, simply omit this ingredient.

– If you don’t have an instant pot, you can still make these ribs by slow-cooking them in the oven at 250°F for about 3 hours instead. Just cover them with foil before baking to ensure they stay moist.

– You can experiment with different beers in the barbecue sauce. Try using a stout for a richer flavor or a pale ale for a brighter taste.

– To make these ribs even smokier and more coffee-infused, try using wood chips soaked in strong coffee or espresso when smoking them.

Remember that cooking is all about having fun and being creative! Feel free to try any variations that inspire you and let your taste buds guide you towards your perfect dish.

Serving and Pairing

 Get ready for a BBQ feast!
Get ready for a BBQ feast!

One of the best things about these chili rubbed baby back ribs with dark roast coffee barbecue sauce is how versatile they are when it comes to serving and pairing. These ribs pair well with a variety of sides, such as corn on the cob or grilled vegetables, but there are a few standout pairings that really bring out the depth of flavors in this dish.

First and foremost, these savory ribs are a match made in heaven for robust red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel. The bold tannins and dark fruit flavors in these wines complement the complex rub and smoky coffee flavors of the dish.

If you prefer beer with your barbecue, try serving these ribs with a rich, malty porter or stout. The dark, roasted flavors of the beer will play off the coffee and spice notes in the barbecue sauce.

For a non-alcoholic option, try serving these ribs with an iced tea spiked with a splash of lemon juice. The bright acidity from the lemon helps cut through the richness of the meat, while the sweetness of the iced tea complements the honey in the sauce.

When it comes to presentation, we recommend serving these ribs family-style on a large platter garnished with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro. This not only looks impressive but also encourages guests to dig in and enjoy this delicious recipe together.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These smoky and succulent ribs will melt in your mouth!
These smoky and succulent ribs will melt in your mouth!

If you’re looking to prepare these finger-licking Chili Rubbed Baby Back Ribs with Dark Roast Coffee Barbecue Sauce ahead of time, I have good news for you – this recipe can be made a day or two ahead! Once you’ve finished cooking the ribs, transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.

When it’s time to reheat, preheat your oven to 350°F. Place the ribs on a foil-lined baking sheet and cook for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. If you’re short on time, another option is to reheat using a microwave. Place the ribs in a microwave-safe dish and heat in 30-second intervals until hot, making sure not to overcook them.

Storing leftovers is also an option with this recipe. Make sure the leftover ribs are fully cooled before transferring them into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days. To reheat, follow the previous mentioned steps.

One thing to keep in mind is that as with many barbecue dishes, reheating too many times can potentially dry out the meat. To avoid this issue, make sure that the sauce fully covers the meat while reheating and only reheat once when taking out of refrigeration.

Remember that smoky coffee and chili spice will always taste better and stronger if they have had some time to infuse the meat after cooking. So if you are not serving immediately, consider waiting a day for it absorb all those smoky flavors before reheating it.

In conclusion, this recipe is perfect for make-ahead occasions like backyard barbecues or family gatherings where time is a factor. Just remember to store and reheat properly to get the most out of your Chili Rubbed Baby Back Ribs with Dark Roast Coffee Barbecue Sauce leftovers.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Spicy and bold chili flavors combined with the rich taste of coffee create an incredible sauce!
Spicy and bold chili flavors combined with the rich taste of coffee create an incredible sauce!

To achieve perfectly tender and delicious chili-rubbed baby back ribs with dark roast coffee barbecue sauce, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Firstly, it is crucial to make sure the ribs are cooked low and slow. You want to cook them at a low temperature for a long period, which allows the meat to become tender and fall-off-the-bone juicy. If you rush the process or cook the ribs at high temperatures, they will become tough and chewy.

Secondly, don’t forget to remove the silver skin membranes from the back of the baby back ribs before rubbing them with spice mixture. This step helps the spices to penetrate better into the meat and results in more flavorful and tender ribs.

Thirdly, use a heavy large roasting pan to keep your ribs steady while cooking. This will prevent them from tipping over or losing any of their juices.

Fourthly, adding smoky coffee to your spice rub can take your barbecue sauce to the next level. Using dark roast coffee for extra flavor in your barbecue sauce is already a bonus, but adding smoky coffee gives your rub more character.

Lastly, let your ribs rest for a few minutes after removing them from the oven or grill. This allows time for the juices to settle and redistribute throughout the meat. Cutting into them too soon will cause some of their juices to escape resulting in dry ribs.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to serving up delicious chili rubbed baby back ribs with dark roast coffee barbecue sauce that everyone will love!


As readers prepare to make these delicious chili rubbed baby back ribs with dark roast coffee barbecue sauce, they may have some questions about the recipe. To address those queries, here are some frequently asked questions alongside detailed answers to help ensure perfect results each time.

Should I put BBQ sauce on ribs before cooking?

Hey folks, when it comes to making mouth-watering meat dish, the sauce is the cherry on top. But it’s important to know that different types of sauces react differently to heat. If you’ve got a sweet sauce with sugar in it, applying it too early can lead to a gooey, burnt mess. So, my advice is to wait until the meat is almost done before applying the sauce. This will give it enough time to add that rich and luscious flavor you’re after, without any unpleasant textural surprises. Aim to apply it during the last 15-30 minutes of cooking and you’re sure to get the best results.

Do you put BBQ sauce on dry rub ribs?

When it comes to ribs, I’ve found that applying a spice rub before cooking is a surefire way to boost the flavor profile. However, I also think that adding a sticky barbecue sauce in the last few minutes of grilling takes these fatty cuts of meat to a whole new level. So why not combine both for the ultimate taste experience?

Start by applying a generous amount of your preferred spice rub onto the ribs before cooking. Gently rub it into the meat to ensure the flavors penetrate the surface. I like to use a mix of paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, and chili powder, but you can use any combination that suits your taste.

Once the ribs are on the grill, cook them until they’re almost done, and then brush a layer of your favorite barbecue sauce onto the meat. Let the ribs cook for another 5 minutes or so, allowing the sauce to caramelize and create a crusty, gooey texture that’ll have your taste buds singing with joy.

The result will be fall-off-the-bone tender ribs that are bursting with flavor thanks to the combination of rub and sauce. Give it a try and impress your guests at your next barbecue!

When should I add BBQ sauce to ribs?

When it comes to ribs, applying some BBQ sauce towards the end of the cooking process is a must. However, be cautious not to overdo it and smother your ribs with sauce. So, take your time in brushing on the sauce to ensure the perfect amount is added.

Can you mix dry rub and BBQ sauce?

For an excellent barbecuing experience, it’s recommended to use both a dry rub and a BBQ sauce when cooking your meat. In reality, most BBQ enthusiasts prefer using both flavors while grilling. Applying the dry rub to the meat before cooking it will allow it to absorb maximum flavor.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this chili rubbed baby back ribs with dark roast coffee barbecue sauce recipe is a must-try for all coffee lovers and barbecue enthusiasts. The combination of the smoky coffee flavor and the spicy, sweet and tangy flavors make it an exciting dish that will elevate your barbecue game.

By using high-quality ingredients such as dark brown sugar, honey, ketchup, and dark beer, this recipe delivers a depth of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds. Furthermore, the dry rub made with chili powder, paprika, cumin, ancho chile powder, salt and pepper creates a delicious spice mixture that adds complexity to the dish.

Whether you are cooking for a special occasion or just looking for a way to impress your friends and family on game night, these chili rubbed baby back ribs with dark roast coffee barbecue sauce is a great option. So fire up the grill, put on some music and get ready to enjoy the aroma of the smoky coffee as it permeates through the air.

In conclusion, if you try this recipe once, you will definitely want to make it again and again. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you.

Chili Rubbed Baby Back Ribs W/ Dark Roast Coffee Barbecue Sauce

Chili Rubbed Baby Back Ribs W/ Dark Roast Coffee Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Coffee inspired barbecue rib rub.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 3 ribs (lbs)
Calories 248.4 kcal


For the rub

  • 1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried chipotle powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces dark beer

For the BBQ sauce

  • 14 -18 ounces prepared hickory barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons golden brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground dark roast coffee (or espresso)


  • For the rub:
  • Whisk rub ingredients together in small bowl.
  • Rub spice mixture all over ribs.
  • Gently boil beer in medium saucepan until reduced to about 1 cup.
  • Place ribs in roasting pan or thick foil for grill. Pour beer around ribs. Cover ribs with foil and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400F or preheat gas grill to approximately 350-400°F
  • Once heated, roast ribs for about 1.5 hours. If using outdoor gas grill try adding some alder or cherry wood chips (if not for anything other than a neighbor jealousy-inducing aroma).
  • For the BBQ sauce:
  • Combine ingredients in medium saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Brush ribs with sauce. Grill ribs over medium heat, about 5 minutes per side. Save some sauce for slathering and dipping.
  • Serve with polenta.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 1012gCalories: 248.4kcalCarbohydrates: 43.7gProtein: 4.5gFat: 4.1gSaturated Fat: 0.6gSodium: 2446.4mgFiber: 4.4gSugar: 22.1g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein
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