Serving up some baby back ribs with bourbon bbq sauce today! They’re sweet, tangy, smoky, and going to be the perfect dish for your next summertime backyard gathering.
We’re talking baby back ribs today!!
And perfect timing because it is officially summer, and I think you may be needing a few outdoor grilling recipes up your sleeve. If you love melt-in-your-mouth ribs smothered in sweet, smoky bbq sauce…then these are for you.
Here’s a quick rundown before we get right into this delicious recipe…
Baby Back Ribs
1. Fully cover ribs with a punchy spice rub.
2. Wrap each slab of ribs in foil.
3. Slowly roast the ribs for 2 hours in the oven or low and slow on the grill.
4. Uncover the ribs, cool them down, and save the roasting drippings.
5. Make the bbq sauce.
6. Grill the ribs directly oven flames, basting with the bbq sauce until caramelized.
7. Slather with more bbq sauce to serve.
Really straightforward and really good. I serve these baby back ribs with a pickle and radicchio slaw. It’s perfect for our Sunday dinner because everyone can gather around the table and just go to town on their own slab of ribs (my dad and brothers especially being big fans of this!).
Baby Back Ribs with Bourbon BBQ Sauce
smoky baby back ribs slathered in a bourbon bbq sauce and served with pickle radicchio slaw
Baby Back Ribs
- 3 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp dry mustard
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 5–6 slabs baby back pork ribs
Bourbon BBQ Sauce
- 1 ½ cups ketchup
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp molasses
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- ½ cup pork drippings (from the ribs)
- 2 heads radicchio, cored and thinly sliced
- ¾ cup mayo
- ¼ cup pickling liquid
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp salt, or more if needed
- 1 cup thinly sliced pickles
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine the salt, garlic powder, dry mustard, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. Mix well and set aside.
2. For each slab of ribs, lay out a double layer of aluminum foil. Place each slab of ribs in the center of the foil.
3. Generously rub the ribs with the spice blend, pressing the spices into the meat. You want a full, even coating on each slab.
4. Fold the foil over the ribs from one end, tuck in the sides, and wrap the ribs like a burrito. Place each slab onto a sheet pan. Slowly roast the ribs for 2 hours.
5. Remove the ribs from the oven and let cool slightly while wrapped in the foil. Open the foil and carefully pour out a half cup of the pork drippings into a small bowl. Allow the ribs to cool completely.
6. Heat the grill over high heat. Place the cooled ribs directly on the hot grill. Let cook for 5 minutes to heat back through.
7. Use a brush to slather the ribs with a generous amount of bourbon bbq sauce (below). Continue to cook for about 8 minutes. Brush on more bbq sauce, and let the ribs cook until the sauce sticks to them and creates a nice crust.
8. Transfer the ribs to a cutting board. Cut the ribs along each bone.
Bourbon BBQ Sauce
1. Combine the ketchup, bourbon, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, molasses, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, smashed garlic cloves, and reserved pork drippings in a small saucepan.
2. Heat the mixture over medium heat until bubbling.
3. Lower the heat and gently simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring often.
4. Use some of the sauce to coat the ribs on the grill. Reserve the rest to serve alongside the ribs.
1. Place the thinly sliced radicchio in a bowl. Cover with cold water and let soak for about 20 minutes (this removes some of the bitterness).
2. In another bowl, whisk together the mayo, pickling liquid, honey, and salt. Stir in the pickles.
3. Drain the radicchio and let it completely dry…I like using paper towels here. Add the radicchio to the mayo mixture and toss until well combined.
4. Taste the slaw and season with more salt if needed.
5. Serve alongside the ribs.
I suggest making these roasted potatoes on the side. They’re crispy, summertime potato perfection.