Grilled Baby Back Ribs

Baby back ribs, cut from the loin, are smaller and meatier than spareribs, which are cut from the side, and either can be used here. This is the easiest and most foolproof way to cook ribs, and the recipe can be multiplied to feed a crowd. Be sure to serve with lots of crusty bread to mop up the extra homemade sauce.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Marinate: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: Serves 4 to 6


  • 2 pounds baby back pork ribs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Orange slices and watercress for garnish (optional)


1. Put the ribs into a large zipper-lock food storage bag.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the honey, ketchup, wine vinegar, orange juice, soy sauce, garlic, mustard, hot pepper sauce, and paprika, and stir well to blend.

3. Pour the sauce over the ribs in the bag. Close the bag, pressing out the air, and turn to coat. Refrigerate the ribs for at least 1 hour, turning occasionally, and no more than 6 hours.

4. Transfer the ribs to a large plate. Pour the marinade into a medium saucepan. Remove 1/4 cup of the marinade to a small bowl and set aside. Bring the remaining marinade to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and syrupy.

5. Meanwhile, heat a gas grill to medium-high, prepare a medium hot charcoal fire, or heat a broiler.

6. Grill or broil the ribs 4 to 6 inches from the heat source for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once and brushing with the reserved 1/4 cup marinade, until crisp on the outside and cooked through.

7. Transfer the grilled ribs to a serving platter and pour the sauce over the ribs. Garnish with orange slices and sprigs of watercress and serve right away.

Recipe Notes

• You can also use a dry rub for these ribs instead of a marinade. In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons paprika, 2 tablespoons granulated minced onion, 2 tablespoons granulated minced garlic, 2 tablespoons coarse salt, 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse-ground black pepper, 1 1/2 tablespoons dill weed, 1 tablespoon crushed coriander seeds, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, and mix until well blended. Run the mixture into the meat on the ribs, cover, refrigerate, and proceed as directed.
• Marinades can make delicious sauces. Just be sure to boil for at least 5 minutes to destroy any harmful bacteria that may have been transferred from the raw meat. 


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