side-ribsby Andrea Alden

Serves 8
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Marinade Time: Overnight
Grill time: 3 Hours

Cooking for a crowd isn’t easy. When I decided to celebrate Mother’s Day with my husband’s family, I decided we needed to kick off barbecue season too. These Easy Side Ribs With Simple BBQ Sauce will tickle your mom’s ribs! They were easy enough to get that smoky deliciousness, and fast enough that we were serving dinner by 4 pm. The simple sauce was sticky sweet and ideal for pork ribs.


6 racks of side or St. Louis style ribs
Memphis Rib Rub – you’ll need all of it
6 tbsp. prepared yellow mustard
2 cups of brown sugar
¾ cup apple juice
tin foil
a mix of apple and maple wood chips

The Sauce

1 tbsp. oil
¼ of an onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, grated
1 cup of American Ale style beer
¾ cup ketchup
½ cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
pinch of red chili flakes


Step 1

Prepare the ribs by removing extra fat and meat so that you have ribs that are uniformly shaped. Remove the membrane off the back by loosening a flap on an edge and gripping tightly with a paper towel.

Step 2

Rub the backside of each rack of ribs with 1 tbsp. of mustard before rubbing in the rib rub. Be sure to cover them thoroughly. Flip the ribs over and repeat. Chill in the fridge overnight.

Step 3

Preheat your unit to 250°F. If you’re using a charcoal smoker with water pan, be sure to use boiling water in the pan when starting, or you will be there a month of Sundays trying to get your grill up to heat. If using a gas grill, prepare for indirect heat, placing a Smoker Pipe over the lit burner. Be sure to have a spare on hand so you’re not attempting to refill a hot pipe.

Step 4

Place the ribs on the grill over indirect heat, or on the smoker, bone side down, and smoke them for 1½ hours.

Step 5

When the time is up, remove each rack from the grill or smoker, sprinkle both sides of the ribs with some brown sugar. Wrap each rack of ribs, bone side up, in foil. Before sealing the foil packet, pour a few tablespoons of apple juice over them. Return to the grill to cook for another hour. You won’t need smoke for this part.

Step 6

While the ribs are cooking, make some sauce. Sauté the onion until it’s translucent, then add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the beer, ketchup, maple syrup, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Bring to a simmer and reduce over medium low heat until the sauce has thickened.

Step 7

Once the ribs have been braising in their own little packets for an hour, you can unwrap them. Be careful, the liquid will be hot. Turn the heat on the grill up to 300°F. Place the ribs, bone side down once more, brushing them with the fresh sauce. Grill over indirect heat, with the lid down, brushing with sauce every 5 to 6 minutes until well shellacked.

Step 8

You can serve in racks, third or half racks, or even slice and serve each individual rib. Just remember to have loads of napkins and extra sauce.