Sticky sweet maple glazed 3-2-1 ribs

I love ribs, whether that be with a sticky sweet sauce or a hot dry rub, they have to be one of my favourite foods. So when I was asked by a friend to throw something together for a bbq the other day, I knew exactly what I would go for – sticky sweet maple glazed spare ribs and melt in your mouth beef short ribs.

I have to say the beef short ribs glazed in a simple homemade bbq sauce were the star of the show; the first mouthful was greeted with a “wow” and they had completely disappeared within mere moments. Even the bones soon disappeared – munched on by a couple of very happy dogs!

BBQ glazed beef short ribs

The spare ribs, recipe adapted from Grillstock: The BBQ Book, also went down a treat; they had a lovely bite and texture and clean bones were soon stacking up – no need for napkins as everyone was more than happy to lick their fingers clean.

Sticky sweet spare ribs 1 |

I didn’t have the camera to hand this time so unfortunately only managed to get a few iPhone snaps.

The full beef short ribs recipe is here.



1 rack of spare ribs, cut and trimmed to leave a uniform rack of ribs

splash of whatever beer you have to hand

favourite dry rub – I used equal amounts smoked paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, salt and pepper

for the glaze:

125ml dark brown sugar

125ml Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey

125ml soy sauce

125ml ketchup

125ml maple syrup

75ml honey

1 tbsp smokey chipotle dry rub

1 tbsp cyder vinegar


Trim your spare ribs and liberally sprinkle one side with your dry rub. Leave for 20-30 minutes and then turn over and do the same to the other side. Try and balance the rub you use, in mine I have smoked paprika for heat with some brown sugar for sweetness.

Trimmed rack of ribs |

Light up you BBQ and bring it up to 120C ready for indirect cooking. I banked my coals on one side, with one deflector plate directly over them so I could cook the spare ribs indirectly yet have a little more direct heat for the short ribs.

Once your ribs have taken the rub lay them over the deflector plates. Always bone side down.

Spare ribs and short ribs on the Joe |

After 2.5 hours take them off the grill, wrap in foil, pour in a little beer and then lay back on the grill for a further 2 hours. Double wrap if bones start to poke out.

While you are waiting for the ribs to braise, heat all the ingredients for the glaze allowing it to thicken slightly.

After 2 hours take the ribs off the grill, remove from the foil and throw back onto the bbq.

Brush liberally with your maple glaze every 10 minutes until they are beautifully sticky. 30 minutes to an hour. Reserve your remaining glaze in the fridge for future use or serve as a dipping sauce with the ribs.

Sticky sweet spare ribs | butterwouldntmelt.comSticky sweet maple spare ribs

Wrap in foil and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes.

Sticky sweet spare ribs 1 |

Slice them into individual ribs to serve, or leave as a whole rack for a fun messy feast.

A few photos of the short ribs smoked in the same cook. If you choose to cook the two together, be aware the beef short ribs take an hour longer.

Beef short ribs with marmite rub | butterwouldntmelt.comBBQ beef short ribs | butterwouldntmelt.comBBQ beef short ribs with marmite glaze |






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