Sweet and Spicy Ribs

Cooking ribs takes some dedication and patience. The only things that makes a good rack of ribs are the sauce and a nice crunchy bark. (Notice I didn’t say marinade or rub? – “Aint, nobody got time for that!”) Sure there are some folks that do all of the above – wait, let’s break it down.

Marinade – if you marinade ribs, most of the marinade will be absorbed by the rib bone -when was the last time you ate a rib bone?

Rub  – (aka “burn”) There is almost no fat on ribs (where it counts) and none of that flavor will be able to “hitch a ride” into the meat  – like an Eye Round Roast; it will just burn like flash paper on the outside of the rib rack.

Sauce – effectively a marinade with a more intense flavor profile that is cut with broth or water to cover the meat during a long cooking process. Using a sauce on low heat over a longer period of time, better penetrates leaner cuts. Never boil a lean cut in a sauce – there is no point – Willy Wonka already tried to make a similar chewing gum.

We are going to make a sauce for the ribs that has intense flavor, similar to my Lake House Ribs, but this time – they are going to be sweeter and richer:

The Sauce:

Chili Powder
Tomato Paste
Brown Sugar
Sesame Oil
Olive Oil
Beef Broth

Note: make enough sauce to cover the ribs 1/4 of the way up; you never want to completely submerge the bone! But poor some sauce in the center of the rack to help penetrate the flavor.


Cook the rack(s) in the oven on 275 for 4-5 hours, top side down. (patience)

Next, preheat your grill to 450 degrees, and “slap those ribs” down (face down) for about 4 minutes to start the barking process. Reduce the heat to low and move the racks to the top shelf (face up). Maintain a temperature of about 415 degrees lid down. We are trying to caramelize all those sugars we added in the sauce.

Baste every 5-6 minutes with the pan “juice,” flipping the rack(s) every second baste. You should flip three times until the rack is face up again.


First baste


Third baste

After cooking the meat for the last 5-6 minutes, during the third baste, remove the meat and let it rest for 5 minutes under the cover of aluminum foil. Then cut with a serrated knife and serve warm.



Enjoy with some good friends and beer!



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