barbecue ribs

barbecue ribs

“How to cook perfect barbecue ribs” proclaimed the headline. It would be rude not to give them a try. I knew I had most of the stuff lurking around the office, so after buying some ribs and some sandwich bags from the local supermarket I could marinade everything at lunchtime. By the time I’d got home it had plenty of time to impart flavour.

3 hours of roasting and barbecuing later, I had a pile of ribs to enjoy. What a crushing disappointment. For something labelled “perfect barbecue ribs” there was almost no BBQ flavour at all. Mildly sweet, but all the umami had gone. I note that as per Felicity Cloake’s “perfect” series she runs the gamut of celeb and other chefs to hone in on perfection. She tried Jamie Oliver’s recipe from Jamie’s America, but not the one which to my mind is superior – the one from Jamie At Home. I cooked a whole chicken with it last year, and it’s great. That’s your perfect BBQ rib sauce right there.

Barbecue ribs (serves 4):

2 racks of pork ribs

1 tablespoon Marmite

1 tablespoon English mustard

1½ teaspoon smoked paprika

2 tablespoons tomato ketchup

2½ tablespoons dark muscovado sugar

  1. Mix together the marinade ingredients and rub half all over the ribs. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Pop the ribs in a baking tray and cover with foil. Cook for 2½ hours and baste from time to time.
  3. After 2 hours oven cooking light the barbecue. Once the coals have turned ashen grey, transfer the ribs to the BBQ and cook for around 15 minutes, basting as you go. Make sure they catch a little and go all crispy and gnarly. Eat with baby wipes.


  • I’m glad i read your post before i ruined some ribs this weekend. I was going to try it. I’ve never been very impressed with that column. It seems that the author is missing some important texts from her bookshelf (for instance McGee) who have covered a lot of the topics she has written about in great depth. She seems to end up with recipes that are a mashup between mediocre recipes from cooks who aren’t experts on the topic and which end up bland and disappointing. This “how to cook the perfect” theme is done much better elsewhere. See The Food Lab and serious eats, for instance…

    Or even Alton Brown of Good Eats fame.

    • The article seems more like an SEO landgrab for those recipe titles than anything else. Research seems to consist of looking up Jamie, Hugh and Delia’s respective recipes then throwing most of it away.

      Good shout for Alton Brown, he really needs more exposure on this side of the Atlantic.

      This one in particular is just poor. If you’re looking for a decent BBQ sauce recipe please try Jamie’s from Jamie At Home, which is dynamite. I did it again this past weekend for a whole chicken and it went down a storm.

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