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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.53 / 5 (584 votes)

Prep time:
30 min, plus 1 hour marinade time
Cook time:
3 hrs 30 min

The Hairy Bikers' BBQ rib recipe uses a traditional dry rub to flavour these Mississippi-style ribs, before slow cooking them and then finishing them off on the grill with a glossy BBQ sauce


1. For the dry rub: mix the brown sugar, paprika, salt, cayenne, mustard, pepper and oregano. Take 3 tbsp of the mixture and put in a medium saucepan to use for the wet barbecue sauce later.

2. Put the pork on a board and rub with the remaining dry rub on both sides, massaging into the meat. Place the pork on a low metal rack in a large roasting tin and leave to stand for 1 hour, or overnight if you have time.

3. Preheat the oven to 170C/150 fan/Gas 3. Add 100ml cold water to the roasting tin and cook the pork in the oven for 3 hours or until very soft and tender – the meat should be almost falling off the bones. Turn every hour and add a little extra water if the base of the pan becomes dry as the pork drippings may stick and begin to burn. (Cover the ribs with a piece of foil if they begin to dry out.)

4. For the wet barbecue sauce: While the pork is cooking, make the barbecue sauce. Stir the ketchup, water, vinegar, sugar, honey, Worcestershire sauce and garlic into the saucepan containing the 3 tbsp reserved dry rub. Place over a medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened, stirring regularly.

5. Remove from the heat and pass through a sieve into a bowl to get rid of the garlic that might otherwise burn on the barbecue. Pour roughly half the sauce into a serving dish and set aside. Leave the rest in the bowl.

6. Roughly 45 minutes before the pork is ready, light the barbecue. Take the pork out of the oven and, using a pastry brush, brush liberally on both sides with the barbecue sauce.

7. When the barbecue coals have been burning for a while and are covered with a light dusting of grey ash, carefully place the pork on the barbecue grill and cook over a low heat for 20-30 minutes, turning and brushing with more of the barbecue sauce every 5-8 minutes as it cooks.

8. Don’t leave the pork for a minute or the marinade could burn and be prepared to move the rack up if the coating starts catching. (You’ll need to use a decent set of tongs to turn the pork as it barbecues too.)

9. The idea is to get a thick, sweet, smoky coating on the pork. Carve the ribs and serve with the reserved barbecue sauce for dipping or drizzling.


  • 2 kg rindless well-trimmed pork ribs

For the dry rub

  • 25 g light soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp oregano

For the barbecue sauce

Tips and suggestions

  • If you don't want to finish these ribs off on the BBQ, you can put them back in the oven after basting, and cook at 170 degrees/ Gas 3 for 45 minutes.

  • You can keep any leftover BBQ sauce, covered in the fridge for up to a week.

  • Comments & Ratings

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    Latest Comment


    I mis rated this and wanted to rate it 3 stars. I used it for chicken wings which were delicious but very very spicy

    GillianW83738 GillianW83738  Posted 20 Mar 2015 2:33 PM

    Duffie Duffie  Posted 11 Dec 2012 10:11 AM

    Loved this recipe, didn't use a BBQ just did them in the oven, they turned out great, you just have to keep an eye on them. Everyone raved over the sauce.

    Duffie Duffie  Posted 11 Dec 2012 10:10 AM

    really tasty rib recipe. i found them a little too peppery. you do have to reduce the cooking time if you have less weight in ribs. i marinated overnight, great flavor. loads of sauce left, so ive kept it in the fridge and will use it on something else, yum!

    christineP22 christineP22 Posted 03 Dec 2012 12:22 PM

    Have found that after making these several times now, if your rack of ribs weigh less than the stated 2 kg then you need to reduce the cooking time. For example, if your rack weighs 1 kg then halve the time to 1 1/2 hours, turn every 30 mins and keep the ribs covered. I have also found that you need to keep the water topped up when you turn the ribs. Love the sauce, even tried it with an extra 1/2 tsp of cayenne!

    Baeowulf Baeowulf Posted 18 Nov 2012 11:35 AM

    Way too much honey!

    AnnaC31133 AnnaC31133 Posted 11 Nov 2012 5:30 PM

    2nd time making these ribs. lovely. nothing needs to change only add or take away the amount of cayenne needed. i find common sense goes along way when it comes to seasoning. never have i had to measure

    hey8811 hey8811 Posted 16 Oct 2012 5:25 PM

    2nd time making these ribs. lovely. nothing needs to change only add or take away the amount of cayenne needed. i find common sense goes along way when it comes to seasoning. never have i had to measure

    hey8811 hey8811 Posted 16 Oct 2012 5:25 PM

    made these today, i dont have a bbq so they were cooked in the oven, they came out really good. i covered them after the first hour as i didnt want the ribs to dry out. The wet sauce is lovely and i have some left over to use in the week.

    traceyF76769 traceyF76769 Posted 16 Sep 2012 6:44 PM

    I quiet liked this recipe although I did find it a bit too peppery.I would omit the cayenne next time.

    LeonardB91415 LeonardB91415 Posted 09 Sep 2012 6:50 PM

    I am assuming that a UK rack of ribs is considerably smaller than a US rack. The one I bought weighed 0.6 of a kilo. I followed the recipe to the letter but found the following.
    The rib was dried out and over cooked. The spice mix for the sauce was too peppery
    Overall I was looking forward to this as we were out while the ribs were cooking ( the oven was on auto). The end result was profoundly disappointing.
    I suggest that some indication of the weight/size of the ribs is given as this directly affects the cooking time.

    MikeJ9895 MikeJ9895 Posted 08 Sep 2012 6:53 PM

    excellent,finished the ribs in the oven also had sauce leftover which i used on chops and chicken

    paul2653 paul2653 Posted 06 Sep 2012 11:55 AM

    Excellent, delicious, I made it up to stage 6 a day in advance and due to the weather, finished it off in the oven Fan 200

    pickle41 pickle41 Posted 27 Aug 2012 7:31 AM