Pork Ribs Recipe with Homemade BBQ Sauce

This pork ribs recipe is perfect for your next grilling session! The ribs are so tender, the meat practically falls off of the bone. Basted with homemade barbecue sauce, made with clean eating ingredients. As a result, this is a delicious summer grilling idea!

titled photo (and shown): Clean Eating Pork Ribs Recipe

How to avoid burning ribs on the grill

This was my first time making grilled ribs. Actually, ribs of any kind. Ever.

It was an experience to be sure, and as you can see, the ribs are burned in a couple of places. I also realized that the thicker parts of the pork ribs, with more meat on them, didn’t cook all the way through. So, I will embarrassingly admit that I ended up microwaving the thicker parts after cutting into the ribs at the dinner table. I KNOW!!!!! Terrible. But….

Despite all my problems learning how to barbecue meat that is not the same thickness all the way through, I have to say that these grilled ribs turned out crazy delicious!

In fact, if you have a better method than mine, I’m all ears (or eyes in this case)! But if you have never made a grilled pork ribs recipe either, I recommend making sure you get ribs that are as even in thickness as possible. It just makes life easier.


Some may not like this idea very much, but I tried making the pork ribs recipe again, this time, using aluminum foil. The ribs turned out more perfect than I could have ever hoped for! They were tender and absolutely delicious!!

All I did was set the ribs on a large piece of aluminum foil, coating them in sauce on both sides. Next, I wrapped the foil up, completely encasing the pork ribs. I then put them on the grill and cooked them until they reached an internal temperature of 165 F. on all parts of the ribs. They were A.M.A.Z.I.N.G., and nothing got burned!!

If you love the pork ribs recipe, YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY THESE OTHER PORK RECIPES:

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A rack of grilled Pork Ribs on cutting board, slathered in homemade bbq sauce

Clean Eating Barbecued Pork Ribs

Delicious, fall-off-the-bone ribs are always a fabulous meal. Pair with some mashed potatoes and a side of veggies for a complete meal!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 12 hours
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 day 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings of ribs and a scant 2 cups of sauce.
Calories: 539kcal
Author: Tiffany McCauley


  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 lbs. pork ribs


  • Marinate the ribs in half the sauce (or just enough to coat them. You don't want a ton of extra sauce in there). I put mine in a zipper-top plastic bag overnight.
  • Warm up your barbecue and place the ribs on the grill, being sure that excess sauce has been wiped away. If it drips down into the flames, the ribs will catch on fire. (Yes, I know this from personal experience)
  • Cook the ribs until a meat thermometer reaches at least 165 F. on all parts of the ribs. Check multiple spots to be sure! You can always cut off the thinner, already done ribs if the rest of the ribs still have a ways to go. (Wish I'd thought of that!)
  • When fully cooked, remove the ribs from the grill and place on a platter. Pour the second half of the sauce over the ribs and allow them to sit for about 10 minutes before cutting.


Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Calories: 539kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 306mg | Potassium: 857mg | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 300IU | Vitamin C: 2.3mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 2.5mg

This recipe from the Gracious Pantry archives, originally posted 6/28/15.

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  1. I was going to suggest aluminum foil on the top & bottom… But you figured it out! It works wonderfully.
    I’ll be trying the sauce the next time I make ribs. It looks delicious.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Amy – Great! Let me know how you like it! The foil really made all the difference. Can’t wait to make them again!

  2. Thanks for this recipe. I can’t wait to try it. How long would you say you cooked the ribs? I’m trying to get an approximate time to prepare. Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Gloria – I’m guessing it was about 40-50 minutes. But each barbecue will be different, so you’ll have to adjust for yours.

  3. I’m very new to this, but found that my usual tomato sauce has sugar in it. What do you use for tomato sauce in this recipe and others?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Rachel – You do have to look for tomato sauce without sugar. They are not always easy to find. If you absolutely cannot find one, I recommend looking for tomato paste without anything added and simply whisk in some water until you have the same consistency as sauce. It’s not ideal, but it works great in a pinch.

  4. Hi Tiffany
    It is very gracious of you to offer your recipes & encouragement
    @ NO CHARGE ! I really appreciate that.
    Just two questions : Why do you prefer other sweeteners over stevia ?
    and….( w//o sounding too negative on my part, ) what’s the deal,
    calling, ” meat from a butcher, ” ” clean ” ? Unless one knows where
    the animal was raised, what it was injected with, such as steroids &
    hormones, & what the animal ate, it is not, ” clean “.
    Even w/o discussing the unethical, cruel treatment of animals who
    are being used & abused in factories, we must consider the HEALTH of
    the animal if we are to think about our own.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Ruth – I agree. But some people simply don’t have that option. My site caters to people of all income levels. While many people do have healthier options, many do not. My philosophy is to do the best with what you have available to you.

  5. Amanda Jeffries says:

    I have a really good receipe for cooking ribs I’ve used for years that makes them fall off the bone!!!
    You’ll need a roasting Pan (long and oval)
    Cook time: 5 Hours

    Preheat a Oven to 250F

    Take slab of Ribs and pull thin layer of skin off inside

    Season with a small amount of EVOO and coat evenly (you can also use pork rub/salt, pepper and/or garlic.

    Place Ribs into oven with Lid On for 2 hours

    Remove ribs from oven and pour BBQ Sauce on them coating evenly, place back into the oven with lid on for 2 hours

    Repeat above (Remove ribs from oven and pour BBQ Sauce on them coating evenly, place back into the oven) WITHOUT LID for 1 hour.

    I can’t wait to make them with your sauce!!!!

    Let me know if you try this …. ENJOY!!!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Amanda – Sounds wonderful!! Thank you! 😀

    2. Thanks Gracious Pantry and Amanda J. I have no grill and no experience with ribs. I will try both recipes. The sauce sounds delicious and will be fun to make it myself.

      1. The Gracious Pantry says:

        Carol – Enjoy! 😀

  6. Love your website….thanks Amanda Jeffries for this Rib recipe….can’t wait to make these…..I just cannot cook ribs…..they are never tender…..no matter what I do…..but I have never cooked them this long before….if it works I will be a happy camper…..thanks so much….
    Looking forward to making your 3 Bean Salad too Tiffany…..now I have my next cook out planned 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Mona – Fabulous!! Let me know how you like them! 😀