Slow Barbecue-Roasted Beef with Molasses Bourbon Sauce

Beef ribs are cut from Prime Rib so they’re rich and hearty, making them the perfect canvas for the full-flavoured Molasses Bourbon Sauce. There are many ways to prepared beef ribs and this version uses a low-n-slow cooking method to enhance the tenderness of the meat. Brush ribs generously with the sauce during the last few minutes of grilling to maximize the caramelized crusting - just be sure to watch carefully to avoid scorching. Feel free to substitute whisky or rye for the bourbon. The sauce is also delicious with grilled Strip Loin or Rib Eye steaks, brushed on in the last 2 minutes of grilling.
Yield 4 Servings Prep. Time 15 min Cooking Time 195 min Total Time 210 min


Here are the following ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) chili powder
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) EACH packed brown sugar, salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) EACH garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1 rack Beef Grilling Back Ribs (about 5 lb/2.2 kg)
  • Molasses Bourbon Sauce
  • ½ cup (125 mL) fancy molasses
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) EACH bourbon and apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) grainy Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) EACH salt and fresh ground pepper

Shopping List

Here are the following shopping items to buy:


Follow these cooking methods/directions:

  1. Combine chili powder, brown sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder in a small bowl. Place ribs on a platter and rub all over with spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  2. Molasses Bourbon Sauce: Meanwhile, combine molasses, bourbon, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, for 4 to 5 minutes until slightly reduced. (Make ahead: sauce can be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week.)

  3. Fill drip pan with water and place under grill (off to one side). Preheat barbecue to low (250°F/120°C) or preheat smoker to 250°F (120°C) according to manufacturer’s directions.

  4. Unwrap ribs. Place ribs on grill over drip pan; turn off burner under drip pan or place ribs in smoker. Close lid and cook for 3 to 3½ hours until meat is fork tender.

  5. Carefully remove drip pan and turn barbecue burners to medium heat (350°F/180°C). Grill ribs over direct heat for 5 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally and basting often with some of the Molasses Bourbon Sauce, until well-marked and well-glazed.

  6. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut rack into individual ribs. Serve on a platter with remaining Molasses Bourbon Sauce.