Honey BBQ Beef Ribs

My mom had a way with BBQ ribs. One of my fondest memories growing up is sitting down to dinner and she would place a large platter of BBQ beef ribs on the table usually once a month. These ribs were huge... like Fred Flinstone huge. Then for several years, we all got busy schedules, grew up and out, and the BBQ beef rib dinners no longer continued. It wasn't until my mom decided on a whim that she would make them again a month or so ago. You'd think it was like Christmas morning if you saw our reaction!  Although my parents are back overseas, I was grateful for them to prepare a childhood favorite before they left. For Easter, I made a twist on mom's ribs with these Honey BBQ Beef Ribs so they were with us  to celebrate despite being half way across the globe...

My mom did some kind of magic to her beef ribs. I didn't get her exact recipe (she rarely gives away all her secrets, even to me!) but I did throw in some of my tricks for tender ribs. The slabs of ribs are coated with a homemade rub using spices you most likely already have in your pantry. Once coated, the ribs are wrapped in foil and left to chill overnight, allowing the meat to both tenderize and absorb some flavor from the spices. The next day, place the foil wrapped ribs on a baking sheet and let them cook low and slow in the oven or crockpot. The ribs are removed from their foil wrapping, basted with a honey BBQ sauce and then baked once again for a slight crust. These ribs may not be traditional in the sense of being cooked low and slow on an open flame, but they sure are finger lickin' good and ridiculously tender without much effort!

Honey BBQ Beef Ribs
recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated & AllRecipes

5-7 pounds beef spare ribs (in slabs)

1/4 cup smoked paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Honey BBQ Sauce:
1 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 1/2 cups brown sugar

Combine all the rub ingredients in a small bowl. Coat the beef ribs with the rub and wrap each slab of ribs in foil. Place rubbed and wrapped slabs of ribs in the fridge to chill at least 6-8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place foil wrapped ribs on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 4-6 hours. Alternately, you can place the foil wrapped ribs into a large crockpot; cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours. (If doing in a crockpot, have butcher cut your slab of ribs to fit your crockpot.)

Meanwhile while ribs are baking, combine the BBQ sauce ingredients.

Remove the foil wrapped ribs from the oven and carefully transfer the ribs out of the foil and onto another baking sheet. Increase the oven temperature to 375. Baste the cooked ribs with the prepared BBQ sauce and place back in the oven to form a slight crust. Bake for 10 -15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving.


  1. What!? Your mom doesn't share all of her cooking secrets with you?? You need to remedy that! ;) Ribs are something I need to dive in and tackle. Maybe this summer, because these look finger smacking good! :)

  2. Sounds delicious,I think I'll try them this weekend!!

  3. This will be done this weeked

  4. well just did the rub and threw them on the BBQ... we'll see how it turns out :)