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Sweet and Spicy BBQ Pork Ribs

  • People

    Serves 4

  • Prep Time

    30 min.

  • Refrigeration Time

    1 h

  • Barbecue Time

    4 to 5 h

Serves 4
Prep Time
30 min.
Refrigeration Time
1 h
Barbecue Time
4 to 5 h

the Ingredients

Sweet And Spicy Bbq Pork Ribs
  • 2 to 3 racks American-style pork ribs

Spice rub

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


  • 50 grams butter, cubed
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 200 millilitres tomato sauce
  • 125 millilitres whiskey, such as Jack Daniel’s®
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 80 millilitres apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


  • 01 Mix all of the spice rub ingredients together in a large bowl. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs (otherwise ask your butcher to do so) and coat both sides of the ribs with the spice mix, rubbing the spices into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  • 02 Prepare the barbecue for indirect cooking over very low heat (95° to 130°C, low and slow).
  • 03 Lay the racks bone side down, or in a rib rack, on the cooking grills over indirect very low heat, close the lid, and cook for 3 to 4 hours or until the meat has shrunk back from most of the bones by 5mm or more. Meanwhile, make the sauce.
  • 04 In a saucepan over low heat on the stove top, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes or until the onion has softened. Add the remaining sauce ingredients. Increase the heat, and cook for a further 10 minutes over high heat or until the sauce is thick and sticky, stirring regularly.
  • 05 After the ribs have been cooking for 3 to 4 hours, brush the racks with the sauce and continue to cook for a further 45 minutes to 1 hour, basting every 20 minutes.
  • 06 The ribs are done when you lift a rack at one end with tongs, bone side up, and the rack bends so much in the middle that the meat tears. If the meat does not tear easily, continue to cook until it does.


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