California Fig Baby Back Ribs

Servings: 4

Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time

Spice Mix:

  • 3 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup oil

Fig BBQ Sauce:

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped California Dried Mission Figs
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce


  • 2 racks baby back ribs (approx. 2lb each)
  • 8 California Dried Mission Figs
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  1. Spice Mix: In small bowl, stir together cumin, brown sugar, chili powder, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, coriander, paprika, oregano and oil.

  2. Fig BBQ Sauce: In medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, jalapeño and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes or until starting to soften. Stir in 4 Tbsp spice mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in 2 cups water, figs, balsamic vinegar, molasses, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, mustard and Worcestershire sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 30 minutes or until thickened. Transfer BBQ sauce to blender and pulse until smooth. Let cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  3. Ribs: Rub spice mixture evenly all over each rack of ribs. Transfer to resealable plastic bag, add 1 1/2 cups fig BBQ sauce, seal and shake to coat; refrigerate overnight.

  4. Preheat grill to 300° Turn off burners on one side of grill; decrease temperature to low heat on remaining burners.

  5. Wrap marinated ribs in tinfoil and transfer to heated side of grill. Cover grill and cook ribs, flipping every 30 minutes, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until meat is tender.

  6. Unwrap ribs and transfer to direct heat. Grill, turning and basting with remaining fig BBQ sauce, for 8 to 10 minutes or until well glazed and BBQ sauce has started to caramelize. A few minutes before ribs are ready, add figs to grill and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until grill-marked.

  7. Cut ribs into 2-rib portions and slice figs; arrange on a platter. Garnish with parsley and serve with remaining BBQ sauce.

  • TIP: Alternatively, wrap spice-marinated ribs in double layer of tinfoil. Place on baking sheet and bake in preheated 300ºF oven. Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until meat is very tender and just starting to fall off the bone. Remove ribs from foil and brush with BBQ sauce. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes or until well glazed and BBQ sauce starts to caramelize.