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Ribs with a Kick

The meat just falls off the bones of these slowly grilled spareribs. My mom created the delicious sauce, tweaking it until it suited my dad's taste to a T. I have to agree with him that these ribs are the best I've ever had.—Desiree Whittaker, Rathdrum, Idaho
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Grill: 2 hours 5 min.
  • Makes
    5-6 servings


  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup spicy ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Liquid Smoke, optional
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 5 to 6 pounds pork baby back ribs


  • In a large saucepan, saute onions in butter until tender. Add garlic, cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the brown sugar, water, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Liquid Smoke if desired, mustard, chili powder, paprika and cayenne. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 10-12 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.
  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, onion salt, garlic salt and pepper; sprinkle over ribs.
  • Grill ribs, covered, over indirect medium heat for 1-3/4 hours or until tender.
  • Set aside 1 cup barbecue sauce for serving. Brush some of the remaining sauce over ribs; cook 20 minutes longer, turning ribs occasionally and basting with sauce. Serve with reserved sauce.
Editor's Note: This recipe was tested with Heinz Hot & Spicy Kick'rs ketchup.
Nutrition Facts
1 pound: 889 calories, 55g fat (21g saturated fat), 214mg cholesterol, 1524mg sodium, 54g carbohydrate (49g sugars, 2g fiber), 43g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Jeannie
    Jun 1, 2020

    I’ve been making this BBQ sauce for a few years now. My son in laws request a batch of it for their birthday’s and Christmas. It’s a lot of work when you are making 2 large pots of it at a time but well worth it. I made chicken wings today and brushed this sauce on them then broiled for a few minutes to make them sticky. WOW, best wings I’ve ever had. It is the only sauce I use when grilling ribs they are always finger licking good. I don’t use the smoke and I put the onions in a food processor so the grandkids can’t see them. It’s hard to find spicy ketchup sometimes so I collect it throughout the year. Not only the best BBQ sauce but makes a Great gift too. I do make the boys return the 1/2 gallon containers So I can refill them.

  • justmbeth
    Jul 3, 2011

    This recipe turned out great. I used regular ketchup since I didn't have any spicy ketchup on hand. Also used pork ribs and not the baby backs.

  • tnbsmith
    May 25, 2011

    For several years I have not been able to make ribbs or chicken without the family wanting this sauce.

  • sportsmom2200
    May 8, 2011

    The sauce is absolutely delicious! When I make it, I usually double the recipe and use it for when I grill chicken. The only thing I do different is bake my ribs in a pan tightly covered with aluminum foil at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours and then grill them for 20 minutes basting with the sauce. They are fall-off-the-bone delicious!

  • Liz21078
    Apr 28, 2010

    No comment left

  • penny38_1999
    Apr 6, 2010

    I got this recipe from this taste of home subscription I get every 2 months. The first time I tried this recipe, myself and the crowd I made them for was crazy over them. They were eaten instantly with regret there wasnt more to share. I make this for lots of occassions and there isnt one rib left ever. I would reccommend this with out a doubt. I only change a couple of things to work better for me. I use chili sauce in place of the ketchup to tone down the kick a bit. I also cook the ribs first in a electric roaster on low untl the ribs fall off the bone, then I let them cool. I place them on Tinfoil, then dump the sauce over the ribs, wrap them up and put them on the grill for about 10 mins a side. Finger licking good. thank so much for sharing this recipe. I also freeze very well this way for occassions down the road. They take awhile to make. So do them again and freeze them

  • krystaljoy
    Mar 4, 2010

    love love love this sauce!

  • dcb1958
    Jul 14, 2007

    No comment left