BBQ Grilled Pork Spare Ribs

Incredibly tender and moist, these BBQ ribs are first baked in the oven and then grilled to perfection.
BBQ Grilled Pork Spare Ribs

 I have a confession to make. This is actually not a recipe created and cooked by me but by my meat lovin husband. It’s funny because since we married 8  years ago, he has suspiciously forgotten any skills he had in the kitchen when I met him. I will admit however (shhhh don’t tell) that he has become quite the grill master. We have a great system worked out where several days a week, even in the dead of Michigan winter, that crazy man will grill outside and I’ll take care of everything else in the kitchen. I love it because it makes dinner and cleanup so super easy when the meat is not my responsibility. He is a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to grilling and that definitely works in our favor today.

BBQ Grilled Pork Spare Ribs

Over the years, he has absolutely perfected cooking / grilling ribs. Gone are the days of tough chewy meat (which considering the price of any and all meats these days is such a relief) These BBQ ribs are seriously so tender and moist, the meat practically falls off the bone. First you taste that sweet and tangy BBQ sauce just beginning to caramelize, the slight charred edges from the flames and then that tender juicy pork just melts in your mouth. Excuse me a moment while I clean the drool off my keyboard. 

BBQ Grilled Pork Spare Ribs

Now I know you may be wondering how I could feature such a fatty cut of meat on a blog that is supposed to be packed full of healthy options. Well, here’s the thing. First, I firmly believe that moderation is key to any successful diet or healthy lifestyle change. This is a great recipe to make as a treat on a “cheat” day. Sometimes if I find that I’ve been having too many “cheat” days but I’m overruled and everyone wants ribs, I just try to get a good workout in that day, eat a lighter lunch, and then just enjoy a smaller helping. Trust me though, these babies are worth that extra treadmill time or salad for lunch.  I mean just look…..

BBQ Grilled Pork Spare Ribs

Another thing I love about these ribs (besides their obvious drool-worthiness) is that you can prepare them ahead of time and then just pop them on the grill when you are ready. We often do the baking part at home the afternoon or evening before a fun packed weekend and then take them out to the lake or wherever we are going to grill for a no-fuss much loved dinner. Whether you break it up into two days of baking then grilling or do it all at once, the results are the same. Tender, juicy, ridiculously flavorful spareribs. FYI that potato salad you see in the background is super healthy and hands down the best ever and will be featured next so check back soon. Ribs….Potato salad….yep summer is definitely on its way! 

BBQ Grilled Pork Spare Ribs


BBQ Grilled Pork Spare Ribs

  • Yield: varies
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hour 40 minutes


  • 1 large slab of pork spare ribs (mine was 6.77 pounds)
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/3 cup of favorite BBQ sauce (we are die hard fans of Sweet Baby Ray's*)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F

  2. Cut the slab of ribs in half  and using two large baking dishes (I used two 9x13 pans) place meat side down in baking dishes.

  3. Pour enough water over the meat to completely submerge it.

  4. Cover with foil and bake for 2 hrs and 15minutes. **

  5. Remove from oven and carefully drain the water out.

  6. Turn the ribs over and generously sprinkle with garlic powder.

  7. Cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.

  8. Once you're ready to grill, turn the grill on a medium low-medium heat.

  9. Once hot, place the ribs on the grilling surface meat side down and VERY lightly brush with BBQ sauce all the way to the tips. You don't want to oversauce them at this point or it'll congeal and turn a bit gummy. Due to the fatty nature of ribs, keep a glass of water nearby to splash on flare ups.

  10. Once they have charred to your personal preference (about 10 minutes), flip them over and brush on BBQ sauce. Continue to brush on sauce until the ribs are heated up thoroughly and charred to your definition of perfect. Every grill is different, so you may need to adjust the heat accordingly. The purpose here is just to char the ribs up a bit and to heat them up.

  11. Serve immediately. The southerner in me likes to pair them with baked beans, corn on the cob and yellow potato salad (recipe coming soon). Enjoy!


*I am in no way being compensated by Sweet Baby Ray's. We just LOVE their sauce!
** If using baby back ribs, only bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Nutrition: This was tricky to figure out. The best I can do is 4oz of meat equals 240 calories + appx 50 calories for BBQ sauce. I say just enjoy in moderation:)

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