Bangin’ Bourbon Baby Back Ribs

These baby back ribs will wow with a bourbon marinade, smoky dry rub and kickin’ sauce. They are the perfect weekend grilling recipe – tender, rich flavor and a great way to feed a crowd. Baby back ribs are the ultimate pitmaster’s pleasure. 



Rib Ingredients:

4 racks Five Star Home Foods baby back ribs

1 cup bourbon of choice


Rub ingredients:

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup smoked paprika

3 tbsp black pepper

3 tbsp coarse salt such as kosher

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp cayenne powder less if you are not into a bit of spicy



1/4 cup onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon olive oil

14 ounces ketchup

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup honey

3 tablespoons hot sauce

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

How to Prepare

1.  Cut each rib rack in half – it’s easier for handling later on. To marinate in the bourbon, place a couple split racks in a plastic bag and pour the bourbon over and then lay flat on a sheet pan or roasting pan. Wrap a couple at a time in heavy duty foil, then re-use the foil for the pre-baking. Let them sit in the bourbon in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight, turning them once or twice to distribute the juices.


2. Meanwhile, make the rub by combining all of the rub ingredients in a bowl, mixing it up well with your hands or fork, making sure you combine completely and remove any clumps of brown sugar.


3. When the ribs are done marinating in the bourbon, pour off the extra liquid and then rub them all over with the rub mixture. Put them back in the tin foil and let them “marinate” for at least 1-2 hours. You can let them sit in the refrigerator for as long as overnight but they are ready to cook within a few hours.

4. Before they go out to the gas barbecue, pre-cook the ribs in the oven, wrapped in the foil for 1 hour at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. About an hour before you’re ready to bbq, soak the smoker chips in some water or bourbon and place the chips in the smoker tray of the gas grill when you’re ready to start grilling.

6. To make the sauce, saute onions and garlic in olive oil in sauce pan over medium heat until fragrant and golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Add remaining sauce ingredients and stir to combine.

7. Your total time on the barbecue is about 2.5 – 3 hours. Most of the cooking is indirect but you’ll start with the bbq on high and sears the ribs briefly all over. Then turn off one side of the grill, and turn the other side to medium to medium low, placing a pan of water on the bread rack to create some moisture. The ribs remain on the no-heat side, and rotate the ribs every 20 minutes for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours until tender. Turn the heat back up to high for about 20 minutes to brown the ribs again. Then back down to medium to start brushing with sauce for about the last 1/2 hour. The exact timing and heat settings will depend on your grill. The ribs are done when they are very tender but offer some resistance when you bite them; the meat should easily pull off the bone. The sauce should caramelize without burning.


New to the Five Star Home Foods Family!? Welcome! Let’s get started with a chef’s sampler.

Love this blog? Share away!

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp
Share on print
Share on email
Claim a FREE Week of Food!
Get Started Today!
Claim your Free Week of Food!