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Slow-cooked American-style Maple Bourbon BBQ ribs

Slow-cooked American-style Maple Bourbon BBQ ribs

The way restaurants get that amazing fall-off-the-bone quality to their ribs is by cooking them in a sous vide/water bath for hours then adding the char at the end. Since most of us don’t have this as home, here is a way to make tender, fully flavoured and mouth watering ribs using your oven. 

If you have a BBQ you could finish the baked rubs off on it to give them the smoky flavour and caramelisation, alternatively you could add some smoked paprika to the rub and toast your cooked ribs under the grill. Let’s get started:

Total preparation and cooking time: 3.5 hours

Serves: 4-6


  • 2 kilos pork or beef ribs

Spice rub

  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. mixed spice
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder OR smoked paprika if you are using instead of BBQ
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. salt

BBQ sauce

  • 1 cup maple syrup (the real stuff not the “maple syrup flavoured sauce”)
  • 2 Tbsp. mustard
  • Splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Splash of vinegar
  • Splash of bourbon (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 220ºC
  2. Combine all the spice rub ingredients together and then rub all over your ribs.
  3. Place ribs on an oven rack above a tray and pour in a couple of cups of water
  4. Cook ribs at 220ºC for 30 minutes to begin the cooking process, then reduce down to 150ºC and bake for 2.5 hours. Halfway through the baking time cover ribs with aluminium foil to prevent drying out.
  5. Meanwhile for the BBQ sauce/glaze, combine all ingredients in a pot on the stove and bring to the boil. As soon as the first bubbles appear remove from heat and allow to cool.
  6. For the final 30 minutes of baking time, coat your ribs in the BBQ sauce and bake uncovered. You should have some BBQ sauce leftover for serving.
  7. Once cooked (a knife should easily slide into the thickest part of the ribs) remove from the oven and allow to rest. You can now either caramelise the ribs on a hot BBQ (only a couple minutes is needed), toast them under your grill on high or even use a kitchen blow torch if you have one!
  8. To serve, cut your ribs into chunks and accompany with the BBQ sauce and a fresh garden salad.
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