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Rauchbier Ribs

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These smoky, tangy ribs only taste like they’ve slow-smoked since sun-up. The secrets? A couple hours in the oven before the slabs touch grill grates, and a rich rauchbier that ups the sauce’s smoke factor. Use any traditional German smoked lager, or layer on more roasted flavor with a malty smoked porter; we like Ranger Creek’s mesquite-fired version.

Makes: 4

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup rauchbier
  • 1½ tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • RIBS
  • 4-5 pounds pork ribs (about 1 pound per person)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 10-12 ounces rauchbier barbecue sauce


• MAKE THE SAUCE: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix well, and refrigerate at least 1 hour. The sauce can be made and refrigerated up to 1 week ahead of time.

• MAKE THE RIBS: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

• Sprinkle the ribs liberally with the salt, pepper and smoked paprika; rub the meat thoroughly to work in the spices.

• Place the ribs in a large roasting pan, and pour in the rauchbier until the ribs are covered halfway. Cover the pan with foil and place it in the center of the oven. Bake the ribs about 21/2 hours, or until the meat tugs off the bone with minimal resistance. Do not overcook.

• Heat a well-oiled grill to high, about 500 degrees F. Place the ribs meat-side-down on the grates and let cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until the meat develops a crispy char. Turn the ribs, brush the barbecue sauce onto the meat, and let cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

• Brush the ribs with a final coat of sauce and serve.


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