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Lunch / Dinner

Mezcal Ribs with Margarita Glaze

Take baby back ribs, tequila's smokier, cooler cousin mezcal and your smoker and make magic happen with these Mezcal Ribs with Margarita Glaze. The ribs are marinated in citrus, aromatics, jalapeños and hickory-smoked salt (for extra smoky flavor), then brushed with a citrusy mezcal glaze reminscient of margaritas for a spicy, saucy finish. If you're a newbie with the smoker or just need a refresher, here's a helpful article on how to prepare and smoke ribs.


8 servings

Total Time

5 hours

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Test Kitchen Tip

Artisanal mezcal is very trendy, despite having been around for over 200 years. If you can’t find mezcal, substitute with silver (aka white or blanco) tequila.


Prepare smoker and wood chunks according to manufacturer’s directions to maintain a temperature of 225–275°.

For the paste, coarsely mince cilantro, onions, jalapeño, garlic, lime and orange juices, mezcal, agave, salt, cumin, and pepper in a food processor.

Rub ribs with paste, covering all surfaces; refrigerate, 2 hours, turning occasionally. Shake loose paste off ribs.

For the glaze, boil orange juice, mezcal, agave, lime juice, chipotle, and salt in a saucepan over high heat until syrupy and reduced to 1 cup, 10 minutes.

Arrange ribs on rib rack, then place on smoker rack.

Smoke ribs, covered, 2 hours, then transfer to grill grate; baste ribs with glaze. Smoke ribs, covered, 3060 minutes more, glazing once more. Ribs are done when they droop, and crack, when held up with a pair of tongs.

Transfer ribs to a platter, let stand 10 minutes, then slice into individual ribs; serve with any remaining glaze.

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