Sticky Ribs with Bourbon

Pork ribs are a wonderful thing. There is no better meal for me than a rack of back ribs. Anytime I look at a flyer and see that they are on sale, I buy a bunch to throw in the freezer. That way, if I am in the mood to fire up the smoker, or if we are having some people over for dinner, I can pull out a few racks we are good to go.

Ribs need to be saucy, sticky and fall off the bone tender. They are great in the smoker and that is the typical way I prepare ribs. Sometimes, when the weather is bad or I am in the mood for a different flavour of ribs, I prepare them in the oven. This recipe is the simplest way I have ever prepared ribs and they turned out phenomenal. They were so sweet, tangy and sticky. The meat was tender and fell off the bone. The bourbon gave the sauce on the ribs an awesome flavour.

Stick Ribs sq1-1a

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4.5 from 2 votes

Sticky Ribs with Bourbon

Slow braised ribs with rub and bourbon bbq sauce. Cook in the oven or crock pot / slow cooker. Meat is fall off the bone tender.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 2 -4
Author Steve Cylka


  • 2 racks pork back ribs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbsp dried onion flakes
  • 1 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard


  • Make the rub by mixing the 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp paprika, 1 tbsp cumin,1 tbsp salt,1 tbsp oregano,1 tbsp garlic powder,2 tsp cayenne pepper,3 tbsp dried onion flakes together.
  • Peel the membrane off the back of each rack of ribs. Cut them into 3-4 bone lengths. Generously rub the BBQ spice rub all over the ribs. Place the ribs in the fridge for 1-2 hours and let the rub set on the meat.
  • Set a grill or griddle to high heat and place the ribs on the grill. Cook for about 3 minutes per side to create a char on the meat. This will enhance the flavour of the ribs. If you are unable to use a grill or griddle it is acceptable to skip this step.
  • Mix the remaining ingredients together to create the sauce for the ribs.
  • Place the ribs in a baking dish and pour the sauce over the ribs. Turn the ribs around in the sauce to ensure that they are completely coated.
  • Cover the baking dish and place in a 350F oven for 2 - 2 1/2 hours. Flip the ribs over after the first hour.
  • Remove the cover when there is about 30 minutes of cooking time left.

About Steve Cylka

Steve is the author of The Black Peppercorn. He is a recipe developer and food photographer. His recipes have been featured on websites like Bradley Smoker, Times Picayune, Buzzfeed, and Basil & Salt. He has also authored and co-authored a couple cookbooks.


  1. We love your Kansas City Ribs (but usually speed up the cooking process), but these look pretty yummy too! Definitely worth a try!

  2. ps – Any tips for removing the membrane? Its such an annoying part of the prep!

  3. Love sticky. Love the bourbon. Love the spices! You gettin’ it on, Stevie Wonder!! 🙂 Ally

  4. Hey, I gave 5 stars but it just registered 4!!! Arrghhhh!

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