Pork Ribs in Homemade BBQ Sauce

Everyone has the odd cooking disaster! It’s part of the learning process. My Dad once cooked my sister and I limpets on a camping trip, swearing blind they would taste lovely as he used to eat them in the boy scouts. Well, they were horrible! I felt like I was chewing through a pile of old rubber bands, so never again!

I also had a bit of a disaster once cooking some ribs Al Fresco at my parent’s house in Wales. My sister, who lives in America, had bought my Dad a giant authentic Smoker as a gift. It looked a bit like it was about to launch into space, especially when we got it stoked up and smoke started billowing out of the top.

My Dad enthusiastically dragged his new smoker out of the greenhouse where he had been storing it and was keen for me to help him cook something in it for the first time. We stoked the smoker up and put a whole chicken inside with some pork ribs covered in lashings of my homemade BBQ sauce, to smoke for many hours. Don’t ask me how for many hours we cooked this as it was a warm Summer’s day and I lost track of time after the second glass of wine!


Sadly all that BBQ sauce, which contained quite a bit of sugar, slowly cremated, or should I say incinerated the ribs to a bit of a sorry offering. It wasn’t the smoker’s fault but more a case of “user error”. We perhaps, in hindsight, should have spent more time reading the instructions but we were keen to get cooking something and the wine was flowing, so we didn’t bother with such trivialities ! Not even the seagulls were interested in eating my ribs!

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The chicken was pretty well done on the outside and resembled something out of an Alien movie but actually tasted great once we sliced it open. A few days later we also cooked an amazing pork joint in the smoker  (sauce free!) which was blooming wonderful, so my Dad was happy.

On the ribs front though, I can do better!  If you fancy some juicy tasty ribs, cooked how they should be, I would recommend cooking in the pressure cooker or slow cooker for fall off the bone results. If you cook in the oven, then keep an eye on them and cover with foil or place in an oven proof dish with a lid.

For ribs cooked in a smoker or BBQ , just add the sauce at the end and everything will turn out fine. Oven cooked ribs will come out more roasted, with less residual sauce, so it’s up to you how you like them.

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So here is my recipe, best eaten with your bare hands and a large bib!


BBQ Pork Ribs


750g – 1.5kg of Pork Ribs

For the Sauce

400g carton of passata
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of honey
half teaspoon each of mustard and chilli sauce
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons of teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon of ketchup
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of tomato puree.
4 crushed fresh garlic cloves
1 teaspoon of dried garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder


Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl

This will make enough sauce to cook up to 1.5kg of ribs so pour enough to cover however many ribs you have and save any leftover sauce for a few days, covered in the fridge.

For best results cook in a slow cooker on High for around 4.5 hours or pressure cook in an Instant Pot or similar, for 20 to 25 minutes on Manual. You can also cook in a covered casserole dish in the oven at around 160C or Gas Mark 3 for at least an hour.

You can also heat the sauce separately and serve hot at BBQs to pour over cooked meat. These were so tasty and a much better result!



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