Sticky BBQ Spare Ribs


This is my first recipe with Foodsaver stores and I have to say, these are my best BBQ ribs beyond any reasonable doubt! Sticky, caramelized, meltingly tender and so so flavourful. It’s BBQ season after all and baby back ribs have to be on the menu. I keep a stack in the freezer in case I get the “Flintstones” cravings (remember the dino spare ribs?)


Anyway. First you will make the spice rub and here’s a recent discovery: Smoked Maldon sea salt. It’s heavenly! Incredibly aromatic and flavourful. So be generous! While the ribs bake you will make the perfect BBQ sauce. You can make the sauce in advance of course and store it in the fridge for a rainy day. It keeps for weeks!

Baking the ribs wrapped for two hours makes them so soft and tender. They steam and absorb all the flavours from the spices. If you don’t want to cook them that day, you can let them cool in their “package” and then refrigerate for 24 hours or freeze them up to one month.

And then comes the fun part. You will put the ribs on the grill and brush them generously with the BBQ sauce (while listening to Bruce Springsteen) until they become darker and caramelized and sticky and irresistible! Enjoy (you will. Immensely!).



  • 2 Foodsaver baby back ribs
  • 2 tsp Maldon black pepper
  • 2 tsp Maldon smoked sea salt
  • 1 Tbs ground cumin*
  • 1 Tbs paprika*
  • ½ -1 tsp chili powder*
  • 2 Tbs dark brown sugar*

For the sticky BBQ sauce

  • 2 Tbs Minerva extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups Foodsaver chopped onion
  • 2 Tbs Ardo chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbs Ardo chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp Ardo chopped chili
  • 1 ½ cups tomato ketchup
  • 6 Tbs Soy sauce
  • ½ cup TOP cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar*
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp Maldon black pepper
  • 1 tsp Maldon smoked sea salt

*All ingredients from Foodsaver stores except those with an asterisk


First make the spice rub for the ribs. In a bowl combine the pepper, sea salt, cumin, paprika, chili powder and sugar. Mix well.

Place a large piece of aluminium foil on the kitchen counter. Place a large piece of greaseproof paper on top. Place one rack of meat on the paper. Rub meat all over with half of the spice mix. Repeat with the other rack of ribs.

First fold the paper, then fold the foil to enclose the meat and create a package. Repeat with the other piece of meat. Place “packages” on the grill, over indirect heat. Close the grill and adjust temperature to maintain 180 C. Cook meat undisturbed for 2 hours. Alternatively, you can roast “packages” in the oven, 180 C fan, for 2 hours.

Make BBQ sauce: In a medium saucepan, add olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally until beginning to colour. Add chopped garlic, ginger and chili. Cook a couple of minutes more.

In a bowl mix together, ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and water. Mix everything together well. Pour mixture into saucepan and lower the heat to medium-low.

Simmer sauce for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly. Let sauce cool for a while. Blend sauce in a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender) until smooth. Sauce keeps covered in the fridge for at least 2 weeks.

Finish the ribs: After two hours, take the meat “packages” off the grill and let them cool slightly. At this stage, ribs can be kept wrapped in the fridge for 24 hours or frozen up to 1 month.

Open packages and transfer meat back on the grill, over indirect heat. Maintain the same temperature, 180 C. Brush ribs liberally with the BBQ sauce.

8CF15A96-D769-4079-8E70-891574793428Close the grill and cook for 30 minutes (40 minutes if ribs are cooked cold), turning and brushing with the sauce 3-4 times, until ribs have darkened and sauce is sticky, caramelized and wonderful.


Serve ribs with potato chips, coleslaw and napkins. Enjoy!

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