The Only BBQ Ribs Recipe You Will Ever Need

Updated on April 27, 2016
Kaili Bisson profile image

Kaili loves to cook—from comfort food to fine cuisine—and was the recipient of a silver medal in a food and wine matching competition.

Did you enjoy this ribs recipe? Please rate it...

5 stars from 5 ratings of Best BBQ Ribs Ever

Perfect and juicy bbq ribs...the meat is just falling away from the bone

Yes, these bbq pork ribs taste as good as they look.
Yes, these bbq pork ribs taste as good as they look. | Source

The search for the best bbq ribs recipe

Maybe it's because we live in a cold climate, but when bbq season officially starts - that means when you no longer need to put on your winter jacket and boots to go stand out there - we bbq a lot. Everything from veggies to dessert is cooked this way.

But few foods done on the barbecue can match bbq ribs. There is just something so wonderful about the aroma when they are cooking, and how your fingers get all covered with sticky, sweet bbq sauce. And the taste and texture...oh man! Slightly caramelized and crusted on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside. Food just doesn't get any better than this.

We had tried several methods for cooking ribs, including boiling them before finishing them on the bbq. Nothing turned out quite the way we wanted it to. Then, one day, I stumbled upon a recipe that seemed just about right. We love to marinate food and cook with beer, and this ribs recipe called for beer. After a little experimenting, we knew we had found the perfect bbq ribs recipe.

The recipe below provides step-by-step instructions for the moistest, most tender and flavorful ribs you will ever eat, along with suggestions for selecting the beer for cooking them, as well as beer and wine pairings to accompany your meal.

Ready? Let's get cooking...

Why does beer make such a difference in this recipe?

This recipe isn't exactly a beer marinade, in that you don't have to marinate the ribs in a beer mixture prior to cooking. But, they do sit in the beer, slowly cooking, for at least 2 hours, and this has a wonderful effect on the meat.

Beer actually has enzymes in it that help to break down the meat's natural fibers, making the meat more tender than it would otherwise be. Studies have also proven that marinating meat in beer before putting it on the barbecue helps to inhibit the formation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a nasty group of organic compounds that can form on meat when it is cooked at high temperatures.

The other benefit that we have noticed with this ribs recipe is that much of the fat melts off the ribs as they slowly cook in the beer. Just leave the roast pan sitting on the counter for a few hours after the ribs are done, and you will be astonished at the amount of fat floating on top.

And, if you are worried that cooking with beer, or any other alcohol for that matter, might put you 'over the limit', fear not. Virtually all of the alcohol found in the beer burns off in the cooking process, leaving just the wonderful taste behind.

I'll bet your mouth is watering, isn't it? Won't be long now

Caramelized and crusted with bbq sauce, these ribs are ready to be pulled off the bbq.
Caramelized and crusted with bbq sauce, these ribs are ready to be pulled off the bbq. | Source

I prefer to use a strong, flavorful Belgian beer like Chimay, or a Belgian-style beer like Canada's 'Fin du Monde', but any of your favorite beers will work.

Prep time and cook time for this bbq ribs recipe (includes time on the bbq)

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 2 hours 30 min
Ready in: 2 hours 40 min
Yields: Serves 6 people a generous amount each

Ingredients for wonderful bbq pork ribs

  • 4 slabs baby back ribs
  • 2 lemons, cut into quarters
  • 2 TBSP peppercorns, black or red
  • 1 large bottle Belgian or Belgian-style beer, 750 ml. (1 pint, 9.4 ounces)
  • 1 bottle of your favorite bbq sauce

Such an easy recipe and you will love the results

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lay the racks of ribs in a large roast pan, being careful that they don't overlap too much.Now, distribute the lemon sections on top of each rack.Finally, sprinkle on the whole peppercorns. They should stick somewhat to the meat.
Lay the racks of ribs in a large roast pan, being careful that they don't overlap too much.
Lay the racks of ribs in a large roast pan, being careful that they don't overlap too much. | Source
Now, distribute the lemon sections on top of each rack.
Now, distribute the lemon sections on top of each rack.
Finally, sprinkle on the whole peppercorns. They should stick somewhat to the meat.
Finally, sprinkle on the whole peppercorns. They should stick somewhat to the meat.
You should have a 1/2 inch or so of beer in the pan.
You should have a 1/2 inch or so of beer in the pan. | Source
Cover the pan tightly with heavy BBQ foil.
Cover the pan tightly with heavy BBQ foil. | Source

Step-by-step instructions for perfect ribs

  1. Preheat your over to 325 degrees.
  2. Cut each rack in two so they are easier to arrange in the pan. Place them meat-side up in a large roast pan, being careful not to overlap them too much (you want them to be in contact with the beer).
  3. Arrange the lemon wedges evenly over each rack, then sprinkle on the peppercorns.
  4. Pour the beer into the roast pan until you have about one half inch of beer in there (you might not need the entire bottle, depending on the size of the pan).
  5. Cover the pan tightly with heavy aluminium foil.
  6. Now, pop them in the oven and set the timer for 2 hours.
  7. At the 2-hour mark, carefully peel back the foil and check the ribs to see if they are done. If not, put the foil back in place and try another 15 minutes until they are done.
  8. Remove the ribs from the pan and transfer them to the pre-heated grill, applying your favorite bbq sauce with a bbq brush. Turn every few minutes, brushing on more sauce, until they are nicely browned and crusted with the caramelized sauce. This usually takes about 15-20 minutes total.
  9. Enjoy!

How do I know when they're done?

Use a bbq fork and insert it between two bones. Twist gently...the ribs are done if the bones move apart easily and the meat comes away from them slightly.

Now, slather on your favorite bbq sauce and in 15-20 minutes, they'll be ready to serve

Brush with sauce and turn them periodically until they are nicely crusted on both sides.
Brush with sauce and turn them periodically until they are nicely crusted on both sides. | Source
Source

Wine and beer pairings

You might be tempted to go with a Cabernet Sauvignon if it is fruit-forward and not to tannic. Otherwise, a Zinfandel is perfect with ribs. A slightly spicy/sugary sauce will go perfectly with a robust California Zin - think Old Vine Zinfandel with black fruit on the palate. Ravenswood Winery makes a great one.

Beer also works extremely well with ribs. The same brand that you use to cook the ribs is a good choice, as the flavors in the beer and the ribs will draw on each other and make the other taste better.

Can I substitute beef ribs for pork ribs?

The short answer is yes.

The very best ribs, in my opinion, are pork baby back ribs. They just naturally have more fat than beef ribs and turn out better on the bbq as a result. Beef seems to be a regional preference more than anything.

If you do use beef ribs, you may need to adjust the cooking time...just keep checking until they are done. You can also use a spicier sauce with beef ribs, and serve a big Cabernet Sauvignon with them.

How many calories in a half rack of baby back ribs? Figures do not include the sauce

Nutrition Facts
Calories 550
Calories from Fat333
% Daily Value *
Fat 37 g57%
Saturated fat 13 g65%
Carbohydrates 2 g1%
Sodium 570 mg24%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Questions & Answers

    © 2016 Kaili Bisson

    Comments

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      • Kaili Bisson profile imageAUTHOR

        Kaili Bisson 

        2 years ago from Canada

        Hello Norma, you are welcome! I hope you enjoy it.

      • norlawrence profile image

        Norma Lawrence 

        2 years ago from California

        I love ribs. Your recipe sounds delicious and I will have to try it. Thanks.

      • Kaili Bisson profile imageAUTHOR

        Kaili Bisson 

        2 years ago from Canada

        Hi Deb, I hope you like it!

      • profile image

        Deb Hirt 

        2 years ago

        Sounds great. I have never tried beer, so this will definitely be a new experience.

      • Kaili Bisson profile imageAUTHOR

        Kaili Bisson 

        2 years ago from Canada

        Hi Peggy. Yep, we have been known to shovel a bit to get to the bbq. I'm so glad you liked this recipe. Please post a new comment after you try it to let me know how your ribs turned out. Sam Adams Irish Red works well :-)

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        2 years ago from Houston, Texas

        This looks and sounds delicious! Will have to tell my hubby to use lemon and beer when he roasts the ribs in the oven prior to putting them on the grill. Pinning this so I can easily find it again.

        We had a neighbor when we lived in Wisconsin that grilled almost year round on his deck that went out from his second story. If he had to shovel snow first...no problem! Ha!

      • Kaili Bisson profile imageAUTHOR

        Kaili Bisson 

        2 years ago from Canada

        Hi bac2basics...good to hear from you; I had been away from HP for almost a year, and just recently starting writing hubs again...lots of changes!

        Let me know how the recipe turns out...maybe with a nice Alhambra Mezquita beer?

      • bac2basics profile image

        Anne 

        2 years ago from Spain

        Hi Kaili.

        I like the sound of this recipe, even better now I haven´t got as many teeth as I once had LOL.

        I´ll be using pork ribs when I do mine and homemade BBQ sauce.

      • Kaili Bisson profile imageAUTHOR

        Kaili Bisson 

        2 years ago from Canada

        Hello Chitrangada and you are welcome. Thank you for the lovely feedback. We finally have nice weather here, so I will probably do more bbq hubs in the coming weeks.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        2 years ago from New Delhi, India

        This sounds delicious and looks perfect BBQ recipe!

        Your presentation is very nice with helpful pictures and instructions.

        Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

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