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Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Country-Style Ribs with Apple and Onion

These ribs are full-flavored, tender, meaty, and moist – a tasty lick-your-lips bite of heaven to add to your weekend menu.

Addicted to BBQ, Grilling, and Smoking? We are too! At Lac du Nibiinaabe getting creative with recipes to make weekend smoked, grilled or barbequed meals it is not only a summertime pastime but a year-round obsession.

Our grill-master is my dear hubby Mark who’s designed his dream of a grill kingdom into our backyard patio area. An ever-growing and I must add always getting better work-in-progress; the whole idea started with a grill roof so that we could grill and stay dry when it was raining, stay cooler during the heat of the day, and have a place for the grills (yes, that’s plural), his electric smoker, and us to hang out under. It is a destination all on its own, and we love it!

It’s a hobby and a destination that provides us with a pastime where we can enjoy the process of continually working to develop our outdoor cooking skills. And, who seriously does not love the smells that come from low and slow barbecue and the intoxicating flavors of wood smoke?

A few years ago, I discovered three secrets for making country-style pork ribs cooked in the smoker. These additions in prepping and smoking country-style ribs keep them moist and add an extra delicious flavor.

Country-style pork ribs made their way to the meat case in the 1970s. According to Merle Ellis, author of “The Great American Meat Book” (Knopf, 1996), legend has it that Scott Detrie, president of a chain of markets in Kentucky, came up with the idea as a way of marketing the shoulder-blade section of the pork loin, where the chops aren’t as neat and as lean as pricier rib chops. The idea was that the narrow ribs would be perfect for grilling or prepared under the broiler.

Country-style ribs usually are tougher, and have a fattier quality like pork shoulder, making them less than desirable as a pork roast. Never-the-less they make a thick meatier rib, but to purists, they’ll always be a pork chop.

The confusion for shoppers looking for country-style ribs is that their shape can vary. They can be cut from the meaty top end of the loin, or the bottom end of the shoulder. Also, because of the way country-style ribs are cut, sometimes they will have a long rib bone, they may have a portion of the blade bone, or others may include a piece of the backbone. And, boneless country-style pork ribs could conceivably be made from any piece of pork, my butcher tells me. When I asked if the label would specify the cut, I was told, “probably not.” If you’re curious, you’ll want to ask.

I’ve found that it’s nearly impossible to find proportioned cuts of country-style ribs, so you’ll want to look for an even assortment if buying prepackaged. But, if you’re looking to try country-style pork ribs, whatever the cut, they’re best when cooked low and slow, being braised, or prepared by barbequing them.

In this recipe, I’ve used a combination of all three cooking methods to prepare Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Country-Style Ribs with Apple and Onion. These cooking methods combined with my three secrets make country-style ribs that are to die for good and has become one of our favorite ways to prepare them.

My first secret is to marinate the ribs overnight. 

Secret number two is to up the flavor and fat by wrapping them in bacon.

Finally, my third secret is to semi-braise the ribs while they’re smoking by loading them up with apples and onions on top, and adding water below in the pan to add moisture.

These ribs are full-flavored, tender, meaty, and moist – a tasty lick-your-lips bite of heaven to add to your weekend menu!

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Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Country-Style Ribs with Apple and Onion

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Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Country-Style Ribs with Apple and Onion
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3 ratings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Category: G-Free Deliciously, Dinner, Main Course, Pork

Cuisine: American

Yield: 6

Serving Size: 3-4 ounces

Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Country-Style Ribs with Apple and Onion

These ribs are full-flavored, tender, meaty, and moist – a tasty lick-your-lips bite of heaven to add to your weekend menu.


  • 4-6 Country-Style Pork Ribs (1 ½ to 2 ½ pounds)
  • Prepared BBQ Sauce
  • 1 ½ Cups water
    For the Marinade
  • 2 cans Coca-Cola
  • 1 package Beef Bouillon, (Herb-Ox Gluten-Free)
  • 2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Granny-Smith Apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
  • 1 large Onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Ginger, grated
  • 1/8 teaspoon black Pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt


    For the Marinade
  1. Combine Coca-Cola, beef bouillon, vinegar, and mustard in a gallon-size zipper bag. Zip closed and turn a time or two to combine the ingredients. Place the bag inside a large casserole dish or bowl to provide stability.
  2. Core and peel apples and slice thin, add to bag.
  3. Remove onion skin, cut off the root end and slice thin, add to bag.
  4. Add garlic, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and pepper to bag mixture. Seal bag and turn it a few times to mix the liquids and ingredients.
  5. Add the ribs, seal the bag, and marinate in the refrigerator overnight to let the flavors blend, turning occasionally.
  1. Preheat the smoker and start the chip burn according to the manufacturer instructions. We used cherry wood chips in the smoker box. Apple chips would work well too. Once your smoker is preheated, set the temperature to 225ºF
  2. Remove ribs from the marinade. Reserve and set aside the apples and onions to top for prepared ribs for smoking.
  3. Sprinkle the ribs with Herb Seasoning Blend and then wrap each rib with 2 to 3 strips of bacon, tucking the ends of the bacon under each rib when placing. Place the bacon-wrapped ribs on a rack placed inside a grill-safe baking pan. Be sure to allow enough space around each rib and the edge of the pan for the smoke to circulate easily.
  4. Insert a grill-safe temperature probe horizontally through the end of one of the meatiest ribs.
  5. When all the ribs are in the pan, pile the reserved apples and onions on top of the ribs in an even layer. The moisture in the apples and onions will cook out and braise the ribs as they smoke and cook. Add 1-1/2 cups water to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Set your cook-to temperature to 135ºF. Add the pan to the smoker and smoke for approximately 1-1/2 hours until the internal temperature reaches 135ºF.
  7. Towards the end of the smoking, preheat your charcoal or gas grill to 350ºF.
  8. When the desired temperature is reached, you’ll want to remove the ribs from the smoker, pick the apples and onions from the top of the ribs and place them into an 8x8-inch aluminum pan. Top the apples and onions with your favorite BBQ Sauce and place them on the top warming rack of your preheated grill to stay warm.
  1. Next, place the smoked bacon-wrapped ribs on the grill-grate of the preheated 350ºF grill, and grill the ribs on all sides until the bacon is crisp.
  2. Once the bacon is crisp, brush each rib with a coating of your favorite BBQ Sauce and continue to flip and grill until the sauce is slightly caramelized and the internal temperature of the ribs reaches 145ºF (an instant-read thermometer is perfect for checking this). Remove the ribs onto a serving platter and top with the apple, onion and sauce mixture, garnish with a little extra BBQ Sauce drizzle. Cover and let rest for 5-minutes. Serve.

Copyright © 2018 G-Free Deliciously | Kymberley Pekrul |

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Nutrition label does not include the Herb-Spice Blend – head on over to the recipe to find its nutritional information.

Kymberley Pekrul


  • The activities I to do most are cooking, being creative with food, gardening, quilting, sewing, and writing! 
  • In my life, I have traveled to 31 of the states in the USA where I’ve enjoyed the food, history, people and the local culture while visiting. Among the places, I’ve lived in Arizona, California, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
  • As a little girl I grew up living next door to my grandma and grandpa on a small lake in rural southern Michigan.
  • The first thing I learned to make was pancakes.
  • The craziest thing I ever made was mint-flavored green cupcakes when I was 13. My family didn’t like them 🙄  Learn more →


I’m Kymberley: former nonprofit director, now full-time blogger. My husband Mark, and I share our rural home in the heart of Central Wisconsin in an area known as “The Holyland.” We love visiting cool places across America, learning about the food, the people, culture, and the local history. Our favorite things are eating great food, dark chocolate, weekend coffee, lazy summer days, all sorts of music, and time with our grandchildren.  
Learn more →

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