Family Favorite Stickiest Pork Ribs
These pork ribs are sticky, tender and very tasty. This is a recipe you’ll make over and over because your friends and family will love it! Just allow 2 hours because we can't stress enough that grilling low and slow requires your time and patience. Let us assure you, though, it’s worth the wait for the stickiest and most delicious ribs you’ll ever eat.
Yields4 to 6 servings
- 3 pounds (1.4 kg) pork ribs (spare ribs or baby back ribs)
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
Pork Rib Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon (7 g) ground sweet paprika (or smoked paprika)
- 2 teaspoons (5 g) onion powder
- 2 teaspoons (5 g) garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 cup (360 ml) ketchup
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) honey
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) apple juice
Clean and pat the pork rib racks dry with a paper towel. Remove the thin membrane from the bone side of the ribs. Using a butter knife, loosen the membrane above the bone and use a paper towel to remove it completely, pulling it away from the bone. The paper towel helps grip the membrane more easily. If the membrane is left on the ribs, it won't break down during the cooking process and isn’t easy to chew.
To make the rub, in a small bowl, mix the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, celery salt, kosher salt and pepper. Apply the olive oil over both sides of the ribs then coat them with the rub and place them in a pan. Leave them, covered, overnight in the refrigerator or for a minimum of 4 hours. The longer you leave them, the more flavor the ribs will take on.
To make the Sticky Sauce, use a gas side burner, set to low heat. In a medium saucepan, stir the ketchup, apple cider vinegar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, maple syrup, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove once the sauce has thickened slightly.
Meanwhile, make the Spritzing Mixture by adding the apple cider vinegar and apple juice to a spray bottle. Set it aside until needed.
Prepare a grill for indirect heat and preheat it to approximately 230°F (110°C). Cook the ribs low and slow for 2 hours. During the cook, spray with the Spritzing Mixture every 20 minutes to keep the ribs from drying out. Brush the ribs with the Sticky Sauce during the final 30 minutes and wrap the rib racks individually and tightly with butcher paper or aluminum foil. Continue to cook the ribs until the internal temperature reaches 204°F (95°C).
Let the ribs rest for 15 minutes and serve with more Sticky Sauce on the side.
Reprinted with permission from The Grill Sisters’ Guide to Legendary BBQ by Irene Sharp & Desi Longinidis. Page Street Publishing Co. 2023. Photo credit: Irene Sharp & Desi Longinidis.
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