How to Make Sticky Ribs That Wow Every Time

There’s something utterly irresistible about a platter of sticky ribs. The allure lies in the perfect blend of tender meat, tantalizing spices, and that glorious, finger-licking sticky sauce.

How to Make Sticky Ribs That Wow Every Time

Recipe by Cinnamon GrayDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time







Sticky Ribs


  • 500g – 17.6oz passata

  • 1kg – 2.2 lbs lean pork ribs

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 2 tbsp soy

  • 1 tbsp Worchester sauce

  • 3 tbsp honey


  • (Brining) soak pork in salt water for at least 30 minutes or overnight
  • remove from salt water and soak in pineapple juice for 2 hours
  • Heat oven to 200c /fan 180c gas mark 6 / 392f
  • In a bowl add the passata, garlic, soy, Worcester sauce mix well
  • add the pork ribs to the mix, cover evenly
  • lay soaked ribs in a shallow roasting tray cover with foil bake for 35 minutes
  • remove foil, turn ribs, cook uncovered for another 45 – 60 min turning occasionally
  • to know when ready cook until ribs are very stick or sauce is almost gone
  • serve with sticky rice and enjoy!

Recipe Video


  • don’t be afraid to experiment.
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Whether it’s a summer barbecue, a family gathering, or just a regular weeknight dinner, sticky ribs are guaranteed to impress and delight.

Choosing the Right Ribs

When it comes to ribs, not all cuts are created equal. Baby back ribs, known for their tenderness and leanness, are a popular choice. On the other hand, spare ribs offer a meatier, more flavorful option. The key is to choose fresh, high-quality ribs from a reputable source. Freshness is paramount, so always check the color and smell before purchasing.

Essential Ingredients

Creating the perfect sticky ribs begins with the right ingredients. Essential spices like paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper form the foundation. For the marinade, ingredients such as soy sauce, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar work wonders. The secret sauce, often a closely guarded recipe, typically includes ketchup, honey, Worcestershire sauce, and a hint of chili for that extra kick.

Preparing the Ribs

Preparation is crucial for achieving mouth-watering sticky ribs. Start by trimming any excess fat and removing the silver skin from the underside of the ribs. This ensures even cooking and better texture. Cleaning the ribs thoroughly under cold water removes any residual blood and impurities. Once cleaned, marinate the ribs to infuse them with deep, rich flavors.

Creating the Perfect Dry Rub

A well-crafted dry rub is essential for enhancing the ribs’ natural flavors. Striking a balance between sweet and savory is key. Use brown sugar for sweetness, combined with salt, pepper, and a medley of spices like cumin and smoked paprika. For those who enjoy a bit of heat, a pinch of cayenne pepper adds a delightful kick.

Marination Techniques

Marination is an art in itself. Ideally, ribs should be marinated for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best for maximum flavor penetration. Keep the ribs in a refrigerator during this time to allow the flavors to meld and infuse deeply into the meat. Ensure the ribs are evenly coated and stored in an airtight container to prevent drying out.

Cooking Methods

There are various ways to cook ribs, but the “low and slow” method is a time-honored tradition. Barbecuing over indirect heat at a low temperature ensures the meat becomes tender and succulent. Alternatively, oven-baking is a reliable indoor method. Preheat the oven to 275°F, place the ribs on a baking sheet, cover with foil, and cook slowly to achieve similar results.

Making the Sticky Sauce

The sticky sauce is the pièce de résistance of any rib recipe. Start by combining ketchup, honey, soy sauce, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce in a saucepan. Simmer gently, allowing the sauce to thicken and the flavors to meld. The goal is to achieve a glossy, thick consistency that clings to the ribs perfectly.

Basting and Glazing

Basting is crucial for building layers of flavor. Begin basting the ribs with the sticky sauce during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Brush on the sauce generously, then allow it to caramelize slightly before adding another layer. This process should be repeated multiple times to ensure a rich, sticky coating that is packed with flavor.

Achieving the Perfect Texture

The hallmark of perfect sticky ribs is fall-off-the-bone tenderness combined with a slightly crisp exterior. To achieve this, ensure the ribs are cooked slowly and basted frequently. The slow cooking process breaks down the collagen in the meat, resulting in a tender texture. Meanwhile, frequent basting helps to create a delectable crust.

Serving Suggestions

Sticky ribs pair wonderfully with a variety of sides and beverages. Classic coleslaw, cornbread, and baked beans are popular accompaniments. For beverages, consider serving with a cold beer, a refreshing iced tea, or even a robust red wine. Presentation is also important – arrange the ribs on a platter, garnished with fresh herbs for a visually appealing feast.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Even the best cooks encounter challenges. To avoid dryness, ensure the ribs are cooked at a low temperature and not overcooked. If the ribs are cooking too quickly, reduce the heat and cover with foil to retain moisture. Prevent overcooking by checking for tenderness – the meat should pull away from the bone easily, but not fall apart completely.

In conclusion, making sticky ribs is an art that combines the right ingredients, careful preparation, and patience. With these tips and techniques, you’ll be able to create ribs that are deliciously sticky, tender, and unforgettable. Enjoy the process and, most importantly, the feast that follows!

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