Go Back
+ servings
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Melt-in-your-mouth Bourbon-Honey Glazed Ribs

You don’t have to be a grill master to make perfect bourbon honey ribs because there is an easy, no-fuss technique that works every single time. And our homemade BBQ sauce will knock your oven-mitts off. It’s sweet, spicy and you’re going to want to slather it on everything! 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time4 hrs 30 mins
Total Time5 hrs
Servings: 26 Ribs
Author: Emily Clifton - Nerds with Knives


  • 4 lbs pork baby back or spare ribs about 2 racks.
  • 8 oz apple juice
  • For the Dry Rub or use a good store-bought rub:
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • About 1/2 tablespoon ground mustard powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • A tablespoon paprika
  • A tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • For the Bourbon-Honey Glaze BBQ Sauce
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup bourbon + 1 tablespoon at the end
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang optional, though if omitting, you might want more hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark molasses
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Chili garlic sauce like sambal or Sriracha*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • For the Sauce: Combine all the ingredients (except for 1 tablespoon of the bourbon) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until reduced by 1/3, stirring often. Sauce should be dark and slightly thickened (about 20 minutes). Turn of the heat and stir in the last tablespoon of bourbon. Sauce can be made up to 4 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
  • For the Ribs: Preheat the oven to 225º F. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. Slide a sharp knife under the white membrane on the back of the ribs and cut a hole into the membrane. Use your fingers to slide under the membrane and pull it away from the meat. Usually it helps to use a paper towel for extra grip. Remove all of the outer membrane and discard.
  • Pat ribs very dry with paper towels and cut each rack in half (to make them easier to turn later). Sprinkle a good tablespoon of dry rub on each side of the ribs and press until it’s well-coated all over. (you should use about 4 tablespoons for 2 whole racks).
  • Lay a large piece of foil on a baking tray and place one rack on it, meat-side up. Fold up 3 sides of the foil to create a rim: pour half the apple juice into this pocket and then fold over and crimp the packet closed. Wrap the packet in a 2nd layer of foil. Repeat with the second rack. Cook for 4 to 4 1/2 hours. The ribs are ready when you can pierce them easily with a fork. Remove the ribs from the oven and set aside. Unwrap the ribs carefully and place them on a baking tray, meat side up. (Ribs can be par-cooked the day ahead and refrigerated at this point. If making the day ahead, let the ribs cool for 20 minutes, then take them out of the foil and place in sealable bags and refrigerate overnight. Let them come to room temperature before the next step).
  • Note: Ribs can be finished in the oven or on a grill. Turn the broiler on high (or prepare a grill with medium-high heat) and set an oven rack about 6 inches from heat. Coat the the ribs well with BBQ sauce. Place the ribs under the broiler or on grill and cook until the sauce just starts to bubble (4-5 minutes). Take them out and apply another coat of glaze and cook again until glaze bubbles and browns (Do not walk away while broiling! They can burn easily so watch carefully). Remove from the broiler or grill, cut the ribs and serve.
Tried this recipe?Mention @NerdsWithKnives or tag #nerdswithknives!