Cocoa Smokey Ribs

November 12, 2010

While reading my work forums I came across an inquiry about a dry rub made with cocoa powder.  One of the ingredients was ancho chili powder. Always looking for a new rub I went on my quest for ancho powder. Dried ancho powder was nowhere to be found-so if this happens to you just substitute the ancho for Mexican chili powder. My trial with these was made with that, and they were truly a new kick to ribs,especially with my addition of a scant tablespoon of ground coffee.Double the pleasure! Ancho chili has a coco-ey coffee taste so this was perfect.However I wasn’t giving up my quest for ancho powderand a few other kicks I thought the rub could use.though I came up with a lovely bag of dried anchos.As with sun dried tomatoes,these were still a bit “moist”. I seeded them,and put them in the grinder but they needed a more powdery texture. Into the oven at 150 for 20 minutes,back into the grinder and I had it.

Now onto these ribs -one of the best rubs you will ever try,especially if  you have an affinity for chocolate.

  • 2 racks baby back ribs,rinsed and dried well
  • 2 T. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 C. brown sugar
  • 1/8 C. smoked paprika
  • 1 T. finely ground coffee
  • 1/2 t. black pepper11 T. kosher salt
  • 1 T.  ancho chili powder (or Mexican,less if you don’t want them too spicey)
  • 1/2 T. cumin
  • 1/2 t. ginger
  • 1/2 t. coriander


Line a baking sheet with foil. Cover with a length of plastic wrap double the length of the ribs.Lay one rack on the wrap,meaty side up. Using about a quarter of the rub cover the meat well, and press it well into the meat. Turn the rack over and cover the bones,making sure to get the rub along the sides too.Wrap tightly in plastic.

 Repeat with the rest of the rub on the other rack. Lay one rack on top of the other and cover tightly with foil.


Refrigerate a minimum of three hours and preferably overnight. Before cooking allow enough time for them to come to room temperature,approximately an hour.

 Ready to hit the heat!

Heat oven to 250 degrees, bake covered for 3 1/2 hours.Raise temp to 300 degrees.Uncover and cook another hour.

 Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before cutting into riblets.

Finger licking good as an appetizer,the main course,tailgating or half time.

We enjoyed them with Cucumber Dill Slaw and Mandarin Baked Beans.


One comment

  1. nice……Gourmet meets comfort …..I like it.

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