spicy sweet grilled ribs with cool cucumber salad

Barbecue season officially begins Memorial Day weekend, and this is a delicious, finger lickin good recipe!  It starts with a simple rub, and then is slow cooked on the grill.  Before it comes off, a sticky, sweet, slightly spicy glaze is brushed on and charred to perfection.  Pair it with a cool, crunchy cucumber salad, and this will become one of your favorite summer meals!


5 lbs pork baby back ribs
4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp coarse ground pepper
1 tsp ground cayenne (you may want to opt for less for younger palettes- it can get pretty spicy with the full teaspoon)

Glaze: 1 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 T cider vinegar
3 T beer
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
1 tsp ground dry mustard

Remove membrane from ribs by wiggling a knife or sharp object underneath (near a bone is easiest) Using a cloth or dishrag for grip, pull membrane off and discard.
Sprinkle salt rub on both sides of ribs. Rub into meat and let sit at room temperature for half hour.   For gas grilling, wrap ribs in foil.  We have a 3 burner grill, so the ribs go in the middle and the outer two burners are on medium heat.  If you have a two burner grill, place ribs on the side without direct heat. If you are using a charcoal grill, click here for the best source on indirect heat charcoal barbecuing.  Cook in foil for approximately 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.  This keeps the ribs nice and moist while cooking.

Brush the glaze on meat the last 10 minutes of cook time and place ribs directly on barbecue.  This creates lots of nice charred bits on the meat. Discard remaining glaze and serve.

Cool Cucumber Salad

2 cucumbers
1/2 red onion sliced thin
1 tsp dried dill or 1/2 tsp fresh

1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Combine veggies and dill.  Set aside. Combine all seasonings and pour over veggies.  Chill for one hour.


Ribs recipe originally featured in Sunset magazine under Grilled Baby Back ribs with Sticky Brown Sugar Glaze, and cucumber salad from All Recipes.com


  1. O Lordy have mercy, this looks sooo good. I am so not good at cooking on the grill, tho.
    have a great holiday.

  2. I'm loving your grilled ribs recipe. My husband (bless his heart) has tried so many times to grill ribs but they never come out quite right. I can't wait to show him this recipe. It looks and sounds so delicious! We will definitely try this over the weekend AND the cucumber salad! So happy to find this :)

  3. This looks so good Denise!! I have never done ribs before but I might have to try that this summer. Thank you for you sharing!


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