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Sweet ‘n Sticky Honey Barbecue Pork Ribs

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These smoked honey barbecue pork ribs are some of the best I've done and I am excited to share them with you. The honey and barbecue glaze added on before and during the cook makes them sweet, sticky and delicious!

Grab some paper towels 'cause you're gonna need 'em!

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225°F (107°C)
  • Meat Finish Temp: 195°F
  • Recommended Wood: Cherry/Mesquite mix
What You'll Need

Note: I recommend prepping the ribs the night before you want to cook them. The fridge time amps up the flavor and improves the bark on the outside.

Step 1: Remove Membrane

Place the pork ribs meat side down on a good flat surface or your cutting board.

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Use a knife or other semi-sharp utensil to pry up on the thick plastic-like skin that covers the bones.

Once you have it started..

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..grab it with a paper towel for good grip and tear it clean off in one fell swoop.

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It doesn't always come off that easy but it does get easier with practice. Cook a lot of ribs and practice, practice, practice!

Step 2: Make Some Honey BBQ Glaze

Pour about 1 cup of Jeff's barbecue sauce (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled sauce) into a small bowl.

Then add about ½ cup of honey and stir well until combined.

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Set aside for a moment.

Step 3: Prep the Surface for Rub

We will be using some super flavorful rub to make these ribs taste amazing but since we don't want to lose any of it, it's wise to add a little stickiness to the meat.

I often use yellow mustard and it works well but this time, we are pulling out the stops and going big!

Let's brush on some honey barbecue glaze!

Spoon about 2 or 3 TBS of that glaze you just made onto the boney side of the ribs and then use a sauce mop or a basting brush to spread it all over.

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You can also use your hands if you like to get up close and personal with what you are cooking.😁

Step 4: Rub Time

My original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled sauce) is undoubtedly the best thing I've ever tasted on ribs.. in fact we used to call it Jeff's naked rib rub because it was designed to be used solely on pork ribs.

We found out by accident that it was good on a lot more stuff, but let's not get sidetracked.

After making a batch I always eat a spoonful (it's that good) but I'm still digressing!

Sprinkle the original rub generously on the bone side of the ribs. You are looking for complete coverage.

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As I mentioned earlier, you can use a different rub if you really must but make sure it's low in salt. Rubs based on salt are not worth their salt in my opinion.

Let the ribs just sit there for a bit as the rub and the glaze sort of get to know each other. You want that rub to start getting a “wet” look before flipping them over.

If you get impatient (as we all do at times), you can use a fork to press down on the rub all over to speed up the process.

Step 5: Glaze and Rub the Meaty Side

Flip the ribs over to meaty side up and once again, spoon about 2-3 tablespoons of the honey barbecue glaze onto the top of the ribs.

Spread it out with a sauce mop or a basting brush and don't forget the sides and edges.

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Sprinkle on more of Jeff's original rub on the top of each slab of ribs. Be generous as this is the main layer of flavor and it's doggone important I tell ya'!

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Step 6: Refrigerate Overnight

This is optional but I highly recommend it.

Place the ribs onto a pan with a rack or just put them down in a full size foil pan if that's all you have. Cover with foil.

Place into the fridge overnight.

This gives the seasoning and the meat time to really marry together and sets the stage for a much better bark on the outside of the ribs.

Take the time for this and it will reward you!

Right before you're ready to cook, or the next morning, get the ribs out of the fridge and set them on the counter while you go get the smoker ready.

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Step 7: Smoke Time

Set up your smoker for cooking at 225°F (107°C) using indirect heat and a cherry/mesquite mix for smoke. If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.

Place the ribs directly on the smoker grate or, if you used a pan with a rack, you can place that on the smoker grate without removing them from the rack.

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Let them smoke for about 3-4 hours in this configuration while maintaining the set temperature.

Note: if you are using a pellet smoker such as the Camp Chef Woodwind, start it up on the special “smoke” setting for the first hour. After 1 hour, you can turn it up to 225-240°F and continue as normal.

Here's some tips for pellet grills

After the ribs have been cooking for 4 hours, apply a layer of the honey barbecue glaze we made earlier. If you don't have enough, make up another batch.

Use a sauce mop or a basting brush and apply it generously to the top of the ribs.

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You can expect these St. Louis style spare ribs to take about 6 hours depending on how thick they are.

We are looking for a temperature of about 195°F for tender meat that pulls easily from the bone without falling off on it's own.

If you like them more tender, you can use the 3-2-1 method which is described on the website on other rib recipes.

If you don't have a thermometer, ribs are one of those meats that you can easily check using other methods.

  • When you can pick the ribs up in the center and they almost bend in half without breaking in half, they are perfectly done.
  • You can also grab two adjacent bones and pull them away from each other to get a sense of the tenderness.
Step 8: Slice and Serve

When the ribs are done to your liking, bring them into the house and place them onto a cutting board for slicing.

With a good sharp knife cut them up right between the bones and serve immediately.

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4.9 from 9 votes

Sweet 'n Sticky Honey Barbecue Ribs

These smoked honey barbecue pork ribs are some of the best I've done and I am excited to share them with you. The honey and barbecue glaze added on before and during the cook makes them sweet, sticky and delicious!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time6 hours
Total Time6 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Main

  • 2 each racks of St. Louis style spare ribs
  • 1 cup Jeff's original rub (Or your favorite low salt barbecue rub)

Honey Barbecue Glaze

Instructions

  • Remove membrane from boney side of ribs
  • Make honey barbecue glaze by combining 1 cup of Jeff's barbecue sauce and 1/2 cup of honey.
  • Apply thin to medium coat of honey barbecue glaze to boney side of ribs, then sprinkle on Jeff's original rub generously.
  • Flip ribs over and repeat the glaze and rub on the meaty side.
  • Put ribs into a pan or on a rack inside of a pan and place into the fridge overnight.
  • Set up smoker for cooking at about 225°F (107°C) using indirect heat and a cherry/mesquite mix for smoke. If your smoker uses a water pan fill it up.
  • Place ribs on grate and smoke cook for approximately 6 hours or until tender and thermometer probe inserted between the bones measures 195°F (91°C).
  • Place ribs on cutting board and slice them apart. Serve immediately.

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Recipe Rating




21 Comments

  1. I have been eating smoke from around 1975, cooked tons of chicken, pork butts, Lord knows how many ribs, and yes even whole hogs, but your recipe for these sticky ribs is WOW THE BEST. This is how and why ribs were born to taste.

  2. 5 stars
    I use baby backs. Only had one rack. I cut it in half and placed each half on a rack on a pan in the smoker. Oh man, did they take forever! I took them off at 190 deg. I put them on at 2pm and they finally reached that temp by 7pm! Was it because of the rack in the pan? They came out really good though. Even better than the 2-2-1 method.

  3. I made this recipe yesterday. Found the flavor to be very good. However it took seven hours instead of six and could have been on another hour to make them more fall off the bone good. Should I have left them in another hour or bumped the pit temperature up another ten degrees? My smoker did a good job maintaining a constant 250 degrees but they just did not seem completely done after seven hours?

    1. Your ribs may have been extra meaty or sometimes it just takes what it takes. I have had a few racks over the years take 7-8 hours. You can certainly cook the ribs a little hotter if you like, they can handle it or you can wait them out and just let them get done when they get done. Either way works great.

  4. Hey Jeff
    I hope this reaches you and I hope to get some kind of answer.
    I love saving your recipes and have tried almost everyone.
    So I would save them and now I can’t PIN them to my phone
    I would save them on my Pinterest app. And now I can no longer save them.
    Trust me I love to smoke and have made just about anything you post.
    Can you look into the reason why you no longer have it so people pin your recipes
    Than you very much

    1. Something i’ve been wondering and hoping for as well. Would love to be able to pin some of these great recipes.

  5. 5 stars
    I too don’t like the ads, but understand why Jeff uses them. I wanted to say that I use the 3-2-1 method, then bring them to a hot grill and smoother them in Sweet Baby Ray’s to get them “Wet” and sticky. I also baste them in honey before the 2 hour tin foil. But, I’m going to try this method next time to compare. Thanks Jeff!

  6. 5 stars
    Recipes are great as always. I have many years worth archived. Love it.

    What I don’t love is all the adds. There seem to be adds between every paragraph and on the sides. Some of them cause the screen to jump up or down while reading. I know the adds are valuable for an income stream but it sure takes the enjoyment and usefulness away from what we are looking for. Just now a new add above this page popped up and scrolled what I was typing off the screen. Really annoying. At least there is still the save and print options. Keep up the great recipes Jeff. You are appreciated.

    1. Lance, I completely understand. The ads are annoying as heck but there’s a reason why most publishers of larger websites allow ads.. they do a great job of supporting the website. I paid for everything out of pocket for years and now it pays for itself and I can focus on other products, creating recipes, etc.

      I have considered a membership model where you can turn off the ads for a small fee. We already do this on the forum and folks seem to really love it. Let me know your thoughts on this.

  7. 5 stars
    Standing ovation Ribs…Best I’ve ever made! Jeff….your BBQ Sauce is the best. I’m partial to Pitts & Spitts Rubs. I went with 3-2-1 and covered the ribs with granulated Monk Fruit for step 3. Almost forced to sign autographs!

    1. Yes, baby backs will work just fine. they typically get done about an hour sooner than the spares. Also, I recommend purchasing baby backs that are not “extra meaty”. The extra meat is from the loin which is very lean and while it “sounds” good from a marketing perspective, it gets dry during the long cook.

  8. this site is becoming way to full of ads. pissed off at having to wait for like indeed to finish to see videos and such. if this continues im just going to unsubscribe and move on. i know Jess gets compensation for the ads but its to annoying for me to continue.

    1. Granted there are ads. Maybe tone it down a bit, Rick, for someone like Jeff who is nice enough to post great recipes and advice.