Go Back

Coffee Brined, Smoked Baby Back Ribs

This recipe uses a coffee brine to give the ribs some added dimension and even goes so far as to introduce some coffee grounds into the rub to bring some cohesiveness to the flavors.
Course Entree
Cuisine Barbecue, Hot Smoking
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 45 minutes
Servings 5


  • 2 racks of baby back ribs
  • Jeff's original rub and barbecue sauce
  • 2 Large foil pan
  • Foil Heavy duty

Coffee Brine

  • 32 ounces brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt coarse
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (dark is best)
  • 1/4 cup Jeff's original rub recipe


  • Make the brine by mixing the coffee, brown sugar and kosher salt together. Stir until the ingredients are dissolved. Add the rub and stir to combine.
  • Place the brine solution in the fridge, preferably overnight, to get cold.
  • Prep the ribs for brining by removing the membrane on the boney side of the ribs
  • Place the ribs in a plastic container or a large zip top bag then pour the brine solution over the top of the ribs to cover. Refrigerate for 6 hours then rinse with cold water and discard brine.
  • Rub yellow mustard on the bone side of the ribs then sprinkle Jeff's original rub generously onto the ribs to cover. Flip the ribs over and repeat the mustard and rub on the meaty side. Lay aside while you set up the smoker.
  • Prepare the smoker for cooking at 225-240°F with indirect heat. If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.
  • Stage 1: Place the ribs directly on the grate and let them smoke cook for 2 hours using apple wood for smoke.
  • Stage 2: Remove the ribs from the smoker and wrap with 18-inch wide heavy duty foil. Place them back into the smoker and cook for 2 hours wrapped. No smoke required during this stage.
  • Stage 3: Remove the ribs from the foil and place them back into the smoker, directly on the grates. Smoke cook for 1 hour using apple wood for smoke.
  • Remove ribs from the smoker when they reach 195 degrees or when they have reached the level of tenderness that you desire. Let the ribs rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing.


Note 1: The ribs are perfectly done when they reach 195°F using a Thermapen or other digital meat thermometer.
Note 2: Feel free to use another type of smoke wood if you do not have apple wood.
Note 3: Mix ¼ cup of finely ground coffee to ¾ cup of Jeff's original rub before applying the seasoning to the outside of the ribs for some additional coffee flavor. Try it.. it's great!