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: Smoked 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!).

Sticky BBQ Spare Ribs

Galatia Pamboridis
These are my best BBQ ribs beyond any reasonable doubt! Sticky, caramelized, meltingly tender and so, so flavourful. You can choose the finishing method, either on the grill or in the oven. Both work perfectly. You can bake them up to a day in advance and glaze/finish these an hour before serving. Top!
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Courses
Servings 4


For the ribs

  • 2 baby back ribs
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked (or regular) sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • ½ -1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar

For the sticky BBQ sauce

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups onion chopped
  • 2 Tbsp garlic chopped
  • 2 Tbsp ginger chopped
  • 1 tsp chili chopped
  • 1 ½ cups tomato ketchup
  • 6 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked (or regular) sea salt


  • 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.
  • Close 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.
  • Oven method: Unwrap the ribs and brush liberally with the BBQ sauce. Return to the oven and roast about 40 minutes, turning and brushing with more sauce every 10 minutes.
  • Serve ribs with potato chips, coleslaw and napkins. Enjoy!
Collections BBQ, Kids, Sundays

Write A Comment

Recipe Rating