This recipe for Baked or Barbecued Sticky Glazed Ribs makes the most gloriously sticky ribs for a finger-licking meal.
This recipe is a great option for summer parties – if the sun is shining you can BBQ, but if you end up with rain, you can still have a great meal!
I love a barbecue, but all too often in England, they get rained out. I like this recipe because you don’t have to be counting on the sunshine to plan a meal for summer gettogether.
I have learned to make dishes that don’t need the outdoors to cook them to perfection. These ribs are one of those meals. It’s an easy recipe that can be prepared ahead and finished off when you know what the weather will bring. It’s perfect served with my 10 Minute Greek Style Cous Cous Salad with Feta, wow your guests with this wonderful BBQ food.
Why this recipe works:
- The rub is simple and doesn’t require a trip to the store for fancy ingredients.
- These ribs can be made in the oven or on the grill. Either way, they come out tender and full of flavor.
- The bourbon adds a complexity to the sauce that levels up the whole recipe!
To add sweetness, I know it sounds odd, but I use plain old ketchup as well as balsamic vinegar and honey. I add soy sauce to balance it out with a salty flavor and bourbon to add a richness to the sauce.
This dish is packed full of sweet and savory flavors and is cooked to sticky perfection! It’s a real crowd-pleaser!
How to Make Baked or Barbecued Sticky Glazed Ribs:
In a small mixing bowl add the ingredients for the dry rub.
Mix well and apply the rub to the ribs.
Cover the pan with foil and bake.
Meanwhile, to make the glaze, place the ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, and bourbon into a saucepan, stir well and bring the mixture to a simmer.
Simmer for 5 mins until thickened and sticky, then remove from the heat and set aside until needed.
Once cooked separate the ribs and cover with the sauce.
At this point, they are ready to throw on the grill or finish in the oven.
Once they are cooked, add more sauce if you’d like and serve hot.
- You can do the first cook on the grill. If you don’t want to light the oven, you can also cook the ribs in the covered pan on the grill over cool heat (the coolest part of the grill).
- Place a drip pan on the grill grate under the section of the cooking grate where the ribs will be cooking. It will help minimize flare-ups of the flames and burning ribs. Ready-made drip pans can be store-bought or you can make your own out of foil.
- If you don’t like a charred sauce when grilling, add the sauce at the end of grilling to help avoid a burnt and crusted sauce.
- Smoked paprika gives a great smokey BBQ taste, but if you don’t have it on hand you can swap it out for sweet paprika.
- The sauce can be doubled if you like the extra sauce to dip or slather on finished ribs.
- Add cayenne pepper to taste if you prefer your ribs a bit spicy.
The alcohol in the sauce is cooked out, so don’t worry you can serve it to the kids!
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- 4 lbs spare ribs, cut into individual ribs
For the Rub
- ⅛ cup smoked paprika
- ⅛ cup sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 5 teaspoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
For the Glaze
- ⅔ cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup honey
- 5 tablespoons bourbon
- Heat oven to 325F/165C.
- In a small bowl, mix the spices for the rub.
- Cover the ribs with the rub so they’re coated all over.
- Place the ribs on a baking tray and cover the pan with foil and bake for 1 hour, until tender.
- Meanwhile, to make the glaze, place the ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, and bourbon into a saucepan, stir well and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Simmer for 5 mins until thickened and sticky, then remove from the heat and set aside until needed
- At this point, they can be dipped in the glaze and grilled on the BBQ for 10-15 minutes (brushing with the glaze again as needed)
- If Baking:
- When the ribs are done, remove from the oven and increase the heat to 400F/200C.
- Using a pair of tongs, dip each rib in the glaze, then return to the rack.
- Place the ribs back in the oven and cook for 10 mins.
- Remove from oven, dip into the glaze again, then return to the oven for another 10-12 minutes until sticky.
- Serve hot.
Update Notes: This post was originally published in July of 2015, but was republished with step by step instructions, new photos, tips, FAQs in June of 2018.