Sweet Boiled Ribs

Boiled Ribs

Ribs are boiled then glazed in a sweet sauce made of fruit juices, soy sauce, and aromatics. An element of smoke is added as they are finished on the grill.

Ribs weren’t that popular in Australia until recently, and what was available was rarely smoked. So with this in mind, boiling ribs was the only way many people knew how to cook them. This recipe is one of those ways.

This recipe is by far my favorite. You start with boiling the ribs in flavored pineapple and orange juices, then finish them on the BBQ for a smoky flavor. This is an easy recipe that anyone can cook at home without the need for a smoker.

Sweet Boiled Ribs Recipe

Boiled Ribs
Ribs are boiled and then glazed in a sweet sauce made of fruit juices, soy sauce, and aromatics. An element of smoke is added as they are finished on the grill.
Preparation 10 minutes
Cook 50 minutes
Ready in 1 hour
Servings 6 Servings
CourseMain Dish


  • 4 cups orange juice
  • 4 cups pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing rice wine or white wine
  • 3 inch piece ginger
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 racks pork ribs preferably baby backs
  • 1/2 cup your favorite BBQ sauce


  • large pot
  • grill


Boiling Liquid

  • In a large pot combine the orange juice, pineapple juice, soy sauce, and wine. Bring to the boil.
  • Slice the ginger against the grain into rounds. Peel and halve the garlic cloves. Add the ginger and garlic to the juice mixture.
    Tip: Ginger and garlic are best kept chunky so it doesn’t get bitty and stick to the ribs, yet still imparts its flavor.

Boiling the Ribs

  • Prepare the ribs, by removing the rib membrane and trimming any bits. If the pot can’t fit the whole rack of ribs, cut them in half or thirds as required.
  • Add the ribs to the liquid in the pot when at a rolling boil. When it returns to the boil lower the temperature to a gentle simmer.
  • Rotate the ribs occasionally to make sure none stick to the bottom.
  • When the ribs have pulled back about 1cm, leaving the rib bone exposed, they are probably done. This takes about 30 to 45 minutes. Check to see if it is cooked to your liking. If you want it ‘fall-off-the-bone’ you will need to cook it longer, however, this will make grilling them difficult.

Grilling the Ribs

  • Preheat your BBQ to a medium hot temperature. of about 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
  • While heating, combine the BBQ sauce with ½ a cup of the boiling liquid being sure not to get any of the ginger or garlic lumps. It can pass through a strainer if desired.
  • Coat the ribs with the BBQ sauce (painting with a food brush works well), then finish cooking on the BBQ until a good glaze or sauce layer is adhered to the ribs and caramelized to your liking, this takes about 10 to 12 minutes. The ribs are cooked by this point so it is all about getting the finish you want.
    Tip: The orange and pineapple juices are high in sugar content, so if left unattended the sauce could quickly caramelize and then potentially burn.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 1067kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 50gFat: 72gSaturated Fat: 23gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gMonounsaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 243mgSodium: 1037mgPotassium: 1373mgFiber: 1gSugar: 38gVitamin A: 392IUVitamin C: 100mgCalcium: 104mgIron: 4mg
Swipe to see all photos
Two finished sections of ribs covered in glaze with grill marks sitting on a wooden chopping board.
Finishing the ribs on a grill adds an element of smoky flavor.
Rack of ribs covered in barbecue glazing sauce cooking on a grill.
The pullback on the ribs exposing the bone shows they are well cooked.
Two finished sections of ribs covered in glaze with grill marks, one section cut in half to show the cooked meat.
Ribs will be cooked through but not ‘fall-off-the-bone,’ which would make grilling difficult.

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About Saffron Hodgson

Outdoor cooking has been Saffron’s passion since she was young, often choosing to go camping and cook hearty meals over fire rather than stay inside, watch TV, and eat take-out. Today she is the driving force of Bush Cooking bringing the skills of cooking outdoors to thousands of people.

Learn more about Saffron Hodgson
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  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe! Works like a charm, family loved it. I used Yoshida’s marinade instead of the plain Soy, since I had it on hand. Also, you may want to consider leaving the ribs to soak longer in the pot (1 additional hour) after the initial 30-45 minute cook, no added heat, still covered. The batch I left sit longer in the pot before bringing to the grill definitely had the best texture / tenderness, everyone agreed. I would leave an image of our results but I do not see how to do so. GREAT RECIPIE, EASIER, QUICKER, TRY IT! I finally got ribs right – thank you, much appreciated.