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Independence Day Ribs

I think our family recipe for ribs has evolved to near perfection. These country-style beauties are a legend in our close circle. —John Purifoy, Bristol, Virginia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour + chilling Grill: 1 hour 25 min.
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 10 to 12 pounds pork baby back ribs (4 racks)
  • 1-1/3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons each garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, white pepper, chili powder, ground cumin and cayenne pepper
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef broth
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup each fresh sage, parsley, rosemary and thyme sprigs
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • SAUCE:
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Sprinkle brown sugar over ribs and let stand 15 minutes. In a small bowl, mix seasonings; sprinkle over ribs.
  • In a large roasting pan, combine steam bath ingredients; place a wire rack on top, making sure rack is above liquid. Place ribs bone side down on rack, overlapping slightly as needed. Bake, covered, 3 to 3-1/2 hours or until ribs are tender and meat starts to pull away from the bone; drain.
  • In a small bowl, mix sauce ingredients. Carefully remove ribs; cool slightly. Spread sauce over top of ribs; transfer to a large roasting pan. Refrigerate, covered, 8 hours or overnight.
  • Place ribs over direct heat. Grill, covered, over medium heat 15 to 20 minutes or until ribs are heated through and slightly charred, turning occasionally.

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