If you’ve never smoked ribs at home before, this is a great starter recipe. Once you master this technique, it can become the foundation to your rib recipe.
Boiled Ribs5 3 5 1
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 were rarely smoked. So with this in mind, boiling ribs was the only way I knew how to cook them.
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.
4 cups orange juice
4 cups pineapple juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup shaoxing or white wine
1 (15cm) piece ginger
10 cloves garlic
2 racks pork ribs, preferably baby backs
1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
In a large pot combine the orange juice, pineapple juice, soy sauce and wine. Bring to the boil. While heating, slice the ginger against the grain into round slices then add to the juice mixture. Peel and halve the garlic cloves, then add to the juice mixture. (Ginger and garlic are best kept chunky so it doesn’t get bitty and stick to the ribs, yet still imparts its flavour.)
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 pot when at a rolling boil. When it returns to the boil lower 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, 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.
Preheat your BBQ to a medium hot temperature. While heating, combine the 1/2 cup BBQ sauce with 1/2 cup of the boiling liquid being sure not to get any of the ginger or garlic lumps, you can pass it 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, 10 to 12 minutes. The ribs are cooked by this point so it is all about getting the finish you want. The juices mean there is a high sugar content, so if left unattended the sauce could quickly burn.