Sticky Pork Ribs are finger licking good! Marinated, oven baked then basted with an irresistible honey barbecue sauce they are sweet, juicy and succulent. We use minimal effort and are rewarded with maximum flavour. Sticky bbq ribs can be the main event, an appetizer or side to feeding a crowd.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Better than dining out: when you make your own ribs you know exactly what ingredients were used, the methods and the cook time. When you eat ribs out you can never be too sure of the same things. Plus they will work out cheaper to make yourself than to head out for.
- Family friendly: this is a recipe that the whole family will love! An easy recipe where you can omit the cumin if you are feeding smaller humans. The remaining combination of flavours are not too intense as to be enjoyed by a wide range of age groups.
- Versatile: these ribs lend themselves to many occasions. Be it game day, a special occasion, family get together or street party they will go down a treat at any of these events and more.
- Weekend cooking: Monday to Friday and the daily grind don't allow us enough time for much else in the day. Weekends, however, allow us to devote time to recipes that will fill our hearts and soul. Family dinners based around delicious recipes are what weekends are made of! This sticky ribs recipe ensures the pork ribs get marinated, cooked, basted in sauce and grilled. We take our time with them in order to achieve the 'finger licking' ness of sticky ribs.
- Alternative protein: it is easy to get bored if we do the same thing every night, night after night. Beef, pork, chicken and seafoods give us plenty of variety when it comes to proteins and we might want to vary our intake from time to time. These ribs tick the protein box without ticking the 'another roast chicken' box.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Pork ribs: from your nearest supermarket or local butcher. These are commonly sold in a pair of 2 whole racks and are also known as 'baby back ribs'. They require reasonably minimal prep time and deliver best results when cooked for at least 2 hours.
- Barbecue sauce: you can use your favourite brand and type of this be it smoky, sweet or plain.
- Honey: sweet and sticky, this ingredient helps us to achieve the 'sticky pork ribs'.
🍖 Sticky Asian Ribs Marinade
- Worcestershire sauce: give the bottle a shake before using as some brands can have a little sediment like texture if not shaken before use.
- Apple cider vinegar: a complimentary pairing to the above, it is light, bright and brings a lively taste to the ribs.
- Cumin: a great dried spice that works well with pork. We only need a small amount to deliver the distinct cumin flavor. Too much and it over powers the rest of the flavours. You can also omit this ingredient if you want to stick to a more mainstream flavour combination.
- Garlic: chunky minced is good as it brings a little texture as well. You can also use 2 to 3 fresh garlic cloves, finely chopped.
- Ginger: brings a complimentary flavour to match the garlic. Minced, ginger from a jar is my recommendation.
- Kosher salt and black pepper: a little of each goes into the marinade as a means to season the meat.
Tasty Tip: I like to offer a number of substitutions and variations to give you options when making the recipe. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section before jumping into the instructions on how to make the recipe below 👍😉.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by preparing the ribs (grab a chopping board) and gathering the ingredients for the marinade.
- Remove membrane (Photo 1)
- Gather marinade ingredients (Photo 2)
- Whisk to combine (Photo 3)
- Cut into individual ribs (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Sticky Pork Ribs
To make the ribs, start by removing the ribs from the packaging and using paper towel to pat them dry.
Next working one rack at a time place them face down on a chopping board.
Find the edge of the membrane (silver skin) on the back of the ribs and pull to remove from the whole rack and discard this. You can use paper towel if it helps you to get a better grip.
Next gather the ingredients needed for the marinade. In a glass or small bowl combine the Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, garlic, ginger, cumin, salt and pepper. Use a mini whisk to combine.
Next use a sharp knife to cut the rib racks (again working one rack at a time) into individual ribs. Once done place ribs including the smaller pieces into a large bowl.
- Pour marinade over ribs (Photo 5)
- Toss, cover and refrigerate (Photo 6)
- Transfer to baking dish (Photo 7)
- Cover, bake for 1 hour (Photo 8)
Next pour the combined marinade over the ribs. Then use a pair of kitchen tongs to toss and coat.
Cover the bowl and then place cling wrap over the top. Place into the fridge for 30 minutes up to 24 hours (overnight).
When ready to cook, remove from the fridge, discard the cling wrap and transfer ribs into an oiled baking dish. It doesn't matter if the ribs are bone side up or on the side as we will rotate them later in the cooking process.
Cover this with foil then place the ribs on the middle rack of a pre heated oven and let the ribs bake to start with for 1 hour.
- Gather honey and barbecue sauce (Photo 9)
- Whisk to combine (Photo 10)
- Flip the ribs after 1 hr and bake for a further hr (Photo 11)
- Baste in sauce, grill 10 mins (Photo 12)
👌 Sticky Ribs
You can use this time to combine the honey and barbecue sauce for the sticky sauce.
Then once the 1st hour of cook time is up, you can use oven mits to remove the ribs, use kitchen tongs to flip them each to the other side, put the foil back on and cook them for another hour.
Once this hour is up, again use your oven mits to remove the baking dish and you can now discard the foil.
Use the kitchen tongs to transfer each cooked rib to a silicon mat on a baking tray with rack.
Change the oven setting to grill at 200°C 392°F6.
Use a pastry brush to coat the honey bbq basting sauce over each rib. Then place the baking tray into the hot oven for 10 minutes. When the 10 minutes is up, use oven mits to remove the baking tray from the oven, re baste the ribs with the sauce and then grill again for 10 minutes.
- Repeat baste and grill (Photo 13)
The total cooking time for the ribs will be 2 hours and 20 minutes.
This results in golden brown, juicy meat and a sweet glaze that calls for licking the sauce of your fingers 😉😘!!
🍽 Serving Suggestions
The recipe allows for enough of the honey bbq sauce to be used for drizzling, dunking or dipping. You can double the specified amount if you wish to.
The above mentioned yogurt sauces are ones which offer lower sugar options to the honey bbq sauce. They are best for serving, not basting however.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftover sticky ribs in a sealed, airtight container or plate with cling wrap. They can be refrigerated for 2 days.
How to Freeze
I don't recommend freezing leftover cooked ribs as they will never taste as good as when freshly cooked then grilled if they have been frozen. You can however, purchase your ribs then freeze them (ahead of time) and thaw prior to using when you are ready to make the recipe.
How to Reheat
Place the ribs onto a silicon baking mat and reheat in the oven (moderate temperature) for 5 to 10 mins to reheat. If you are in a hurry, you can microwave them on high for 2 to 3 minutes.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- You can omit the cumin if you are not a fan of aromatic spices. Or reduce this to ½ tsp.
- You can use maple syrup to the equivalent amount in place of the honey if you wish to.
- There are varieties of barbeque sauce that are 'sweet', spicy' or 'smoky', each flavor of these is fine to use!
- You can use this marinade and sauce for other ribs such as short ribs.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- Lay the ribs flat onto a chopping board when removing the membrane. If you cannot grab the edge of it, fold a piece of paper towel into quarters and use that to help grip onto the edge of the membrane 😉.
- Kitchen tongs will be super handy for the cooking process for the ribs. They offer the best way to handle them as you marinate, cook, rotate then baste.
- Liberally spray the baking dish with cooking oil before adding the ribs as this will ensure the cleaning up process will be easy with no scrubbing necessary.
- The recipe will work best when you pre heat the oven. This allows you to follow the cook time accurately. As the oven will be hot after oven baking the ribs, you won't need to wait when you change the setting to grill.
- There will be leftovers of the honey barbecue sauce. If wanting even more sauce for dunking, you can double the honey and bbq amounts for additional sweet, sticky goodness 👍😉.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What to serve with sticky ribs?
Here are 11 serving suggestions to pair with sticky ribs:
- Garlic bread
- Gravy fries
- Roast potatoes
- Pasta salad
- Potato salad
- Macaroni salad
- Garden salad
- Mac and cheese
- Corn on the cob
- Cheesy pizza bread
- Sweet potatoes
What are good things about ribs?
Ribs are a tasty protein that deliver exceptionally delicious results. They are best cooked for a long period of at least 2 hours to ensure that the meat becomes tender, juicy and falls off the bone. They are a great alternative to cuts of beef, a roast chicken or pork chops.
How many ribs per person?
Portion size of ribs per person depends on whether you are serving them as the main, a starter (appetizer) or alongside other dishes.
If they are a finger food, 2 ribs per person is a good amount, however, if you are serving them as a main consider a portion size up to 6 ribs per person.
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
I like to give you plenty of variety through taste, texture and cook time when it comes to getting dinner sorted. These recipes are ones that I hope you will come to turn to over and over again.
- Spaghetti Al Pesto
- Tuna Pesto Pasta
- Crumbed Lamb Cutlets
- Pesto Pasta Bake
- Pasta Al Pesto
- BBQ Lamb Ribs
- Pork Osso Bucco
- Coca Cola Ribs
- Beef Osso Bucco
- Beef Pesto Pasta
Lets get our fingers all sticky and then lick every single drop off as we devour these (I appreciate that I may have lost some of you with detailed my visual 😂👍). You can also find all of my dinner recipes in the one spot.
Sticky Pork Ribs
- 1 Chopping board
- 1 Glass jug
- 1 Mini whisk
- 1 Knife
- 1 Large bowl
- 1 Kitchen Tongs
- 1 Baking dish
- 1 Cling Wrap
- 1 Spray oil
- 1 Aluminum foil
- 2 Oven Mits
- 1 Glass measuring jug
- 1 Teaspoon
- 1 Silicon Baking Mat to place the ribs on when they are grilling
- 1 Baking rack
- ! Baking tray
- 1 Pastry Brush to use to baste with the honey bbq sauce
- ⅓ cup/80ml Worcestershire sauce
- ⅓ cup/80ml apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon garlic chunky, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin optional
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- ⅓ cup/80ml honey
- 1.5kg/3 pounds pork ribs
- Ribs: place the ribs membrane side up (whiter looking side) on a chopping board. Starting at one corner edge grab hold of the membrane then pull this up and off the back of the ribs. Discard the membrane.
- Marinade: add the Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, garlic, ginger, cumin, salt and pepper to a glass jug and use a mini whisk to combine. Then set aside.
- Individual ribs: use a sharp knife and working one rack at a time, cut the rack into individual ribs. Add these to a large mixing bowl as you go.
- Marinate: pour the combined marinade over the chopped ribs and use a pair of kitchen tongs to toss and consistently coat. Then place cling wrap over the bowl and refrigerate up to overnight.
- Preheat the oven: preheat the oven to 180°C / 350-375°F / Gas Mark 4-5. (This step is only needed 15 mins before the ribs go into the oven, so if marinating overnight, leave till the next day).
- Oven bake: remove marinated ribs from the fridge, discard the cling film and transfer them into an oiled baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and then place into a preheated oven on the middle shelf for 1 hour.
- Honey barbecue sauce: add barbecue sauce and honey to a mixing jug and use a teaspoon to whisk together.
- Rotate: after 1 hour use oven mits to remove the baking dish from the oven and place on a heatproof surface. Pull the foil off and use kitchen tongs to rotate each rib to the other side. Put the foil back over the top of the baking dish and place the ribs back into the oven for another hour.
- Grill/broil: change the oven setting to grill at 200°C 392°F6. Remove the ribs from the oven, place on a heatproof surface and discard the foil. Let the dish sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Then use kitchen tongs to transfer each cooked rib to a silicon mat on a baking tray. Use a pastry brush to brush the combined honey barbecue sauce over each rib, including the sides. Then place the ribs into the oven on the top shelf. Grill them for 10 minutes, then remove and re-baste. Return the ribs to the oven for another 10 minutes of grill time.
- Note 1 - Garlic: try and use a chunky minced garlic if you can as it allows the texture to be part of the dish also. Otherwise normal jarred minced garlic or 2-3 fresh garlic cloves finely chopped will work well.
- Note 2 - Cumin: omit or reduce to ½ teaspoon if you don't like cooking with aromatic spices. Even if you do enjoy cooking with aromatic spices, I recommend not adding more than the specified 1 tsp. Cumin is an incredibly strong spice and can overwhelm the other flavours in the recipe if too much is used.
- Nutritional information: this really depends on how many ribs you want per person. 2-4 as an appetizer will feed 6, the 2 racks between 4 people or a larger portion of 2 racks between 2 people. The kcal information listed in the recipe card is for 2 racks being served between 4 people.