Spare ribs, smokey twice cooked pork ribs

Sticky caramelised spicy sweet smokey flavoured finger licking pork spare ribs. An all time favourite of my young boys.

To get the best results for melt-in-your-mouth tender soft pork ribs, I cook the ribs twice. After marinating the ribs overnight, I firstly slow-cook the ribs in the oven for 3-4 hours and then quickly on the barbecue for that extra bit of flavour.

Get yourself some good quality ribs from your local butcher and marinate them overnight. You can slow-cook them in the morning and finish them on the barbecue just before you serve them.

From the marinade and beautiful juice that you will have from the slow cooking, we are going to make a nice sticky sauce to serve with the ribs.

Serves: 4 |Preparation: 20 min|Marinate overnight|Cooking time: 4 hours

Who connected us?!  It was my oldest son birthday this weekend and I know that if I really like to spoil him, I best make him some ribs.


  • 2 kg pork ribs
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 crushed garlic gloves
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika powder


Mix together all the ingredients, put the ribs in a shallow bowl and coat well with the marinade. Leave for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.


Preheat the oven to 140c. Put the ribs in an oven proof dish, brush all the marinade on top, cover the dish with foil and put it in the oven for 3-4 hours. After this time the meat should be soft and tender, almost falling off the bone.

Place the ribs on a rack, carefully so they won’t fall apart. The ribs will not be brown yet, but don’t worry that will happen on the BBQ. Safe the marinade and beautiful juices because we are going to make an awesome sauce.

You can now choose to grill the ribs straight away or cover them to cook on the BBQ later.

Making the sauce

We are going to use all the beautiful juices and marinade to make a nice sauce to accompany the ribs. Place the juices and marinade in a saucepan and simmer over low heat until the sauce is reduced half. You now have a thick sirupy sauce to dip the ribs.

Grilling the Ribs

Preheat the BBQ and turn it on low heat. Carefully cook the ribs on both sides. This is to caramelise the ribs, giving them that nice dark brown colour. Stay with the ribs, the sugars in the marinade can easily burn, and the whole process should only take 5-10 minutes.

Serve with a bowl of water and plenty of napkins to clean your sticky fingers.


  • Pork Ribs; This recipe is for making pork ribs. Beef or other ribs are not a good substitute and require a different way of cooking.
  • Spice it up: If you like it hot, add some extra chillies, you can’t go wrong with that.

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