Like Buttah! Grilled Pork Riblets With Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

Attention all BBQ lovers!

Get ready to fire up your grill for a finger-licking good meal with my “Like Buttah! Grilled Pork Riblets With Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe.” This recipe will become a staple in your family’s meal rotation, and it’s perfect for any occasion – from a casual summer dinner to a cookout with friends.

As a BBQ chef, I know that the perfect sauce is what takes any recipe to the next level. That’s why I’ve put together my homemade BBQ sauce recipe using simple ingredients like ketchup, vinegar, light brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, and peanut butter, to create an undeniably delicious flavor. Trust me, this sauce is so good it’s “like buttah!”

This recipe uses pork riblets, which are smaller than traditional baby back ribs and easier to handle on the grill. It takes only 30 minutes of cooking time and can be grilled outside or cooked in the oven if desired. The pork riblets come out juicy and fall-off-the bone tender, making them the perfect meat to complement my signature homemade BBQ sauce.

Whether you’re new to grilling or an experienced pit master, my “Like Buttah! Grilled Pork Riblets With Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe” is sure to impress everyone at your table. So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Like Buttah! Grilled Pork Riblets With Homemade BBQ Sauce
Like Buttah! Grilled Pork Riblets With Homemade BBQ Sauce

Are you tired of bland, boring pork recipes that leave your taste buds wanting more? Look no further than this “Like Buttah!” Grilled Pork Riblets with Homemade BBQ Sauce recipe. I guarantee that you will absolutely fall in love with this dish from your very first bite.

Firstly, these riblets are incredibly easy to make, with only 30 minutes of cooking time needed to reach tender, juicy perfection. The homemade BBQ sauce, made with ketchup, light brown sugar, and a variety of spices like ground black pepper and garlic powder, is the perfect complement to the savory flavors of the pork riblets.

But what truly sets this recipe apart is its versatility. Not only can you use it to make smoked or grilled pork riblets, but it also works wonderfully with baby back ribs and spare ribs. You can even swap out the ingredients or adjust the heat level to make this recipe your very own.

Additionally, this recipe is perfect for any occasion. It’s a crowd-pleaser at backyard barbecues, and it’s also a delicious weeknight dinner option for busy families. Plus, the recipe includes suggestions for substitutions and variations, so even those with specific dietary needs or preferences can enjoy the dish.

In conclusion, there are countless reasons to fall in love with this “Like Buttah!” Grilled Pork Riblets with Homemade BBQ Sauce recipe. From its ease of preparation and versatility to its delicious flavors and wide appeal, there’s no doubt that this dish will soon become one of your go-to recipes for any occasion.

Ingredient List

 Slow and steady wins the race: low and slow-grilled riblets
Slow and steady wins the race: low and slow-grilled riblets

Ingredients for Grilled Pork Riblets

  • 2 lbs. of pork riblets: Pork riblets are perfect for this recipe as they have a higher meat-to-bone ratio, making it easier to eat and enjoy the juicy and flavorful meat.

  • 1 tbsp. of ground black pepper: To add a balanced depth of heat and earthy flavor to the pork riblets.

  • 1 tbsp. of garlic powder: Garlic gives the pork a sweet, aromatic quality that blends perfectly with barbecue flavors.

  • 2 tbsp. of light brown sugar: Sugar caramelizes during cooking helping create crispy crust and adding some sweetness to balance the spicy and tangy bbq sauce.

  • 1/2 cup of vinegar: Acidic ingredients such as vinegar help break down the tough tissues in meat, resulting in more tender and juicy pork.

  • 1 cup of ketchup: This tomato-based sauce forms the base for our homemade bbq sauce.

  • 2 tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce: For savory depth of flavor and extra umami kick.

Ingredients for Homemade BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup of ketchup: Adds body to the sauce, while also being overly sweet or tangy.

  • 1/2 cup of water: To thin out the sauce to make it more spreadable over ribs, preventing dryness or uneven cooking.

  • 2 tbsp. of light brown sugar: To caramelize during cooking, adding sweetness and depth of flavor to the BBQ sauce.

  • 1 tbsp. of peanut butter: Gives a velvety texture to the BBQ sauce, enhancing its thickness without losing its smoky savory flavor

  • 1 tbsp. of vinegar: To provide tanginess balancing sweetness and adding depth.

  • 1 tsp. of ground black pepper: For mild heat and slight smoky undertones.

Optional Ingredients

Feel free to experiment with different types of ribs, what kind of bbq style you’d like your homemade bbq sauce to be based on whether it is Texas-style barbecue or Asian-inspired ribs. Some optional ingredients include apple butter or red wine sauce if you want your ribs to be fancier or elevated. Other meats such as beef or short ribs can also be used and marinated the same way as pork ribs .

The Recipe How-To

Now that you have gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to start preparing the pork riblets and barbecue sauce. This recipe requires 30 minutes of cooking time and preparation of both the pork riblets and BBQ sauce.

Grilling the Pork Riblets

  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Season your pork riblets with garlic powder and ground black pepper for flavor.
  3. Place the seasoned pork riblets on the grill for about 5-7 minutes per side until they are browned, turning them occasionally to prevent burning.
  4. At this point, use a “basting brush” to add additional flavor by brushing some of your homemade BBQ sauce onto the pork riblets on one side.
  5. Before putting in the basting brush on your BBQ sauce mixture, lower down the grill heat to a medium-low temperature (about 300°F) and cook each side for about 5 more minutes, after which you will need to flip each riblet over to ensure even cooking and add more sauce on that side. Repeat this process for two or three times until the cooking temperature reaching an internal temperature of 145°F.

Making Homemade BBQ Sauce

Here are the steps to prepare your topping for your delicious pork riblets!
1. Take a pot and put it on medium heat then pour in ketchup, light brown sugar, apple butter
2. Keep stirring until they blend well with each other after a minute Add vinegar, peanut butter, ground black pepper, worcestershire sauce**, and a little bit of water Cook for another minute constantly stirring with a whisker
3. Adjust taste and add more seasoning depending on how tangy or sweet you want it, let it boil afterwards lower down the heat to let it simmer for about 10 more minutes until thickness is achieved.
4. The desired texture for this kosher dish will resemble a puree/sauce consistency.

So now that you have cooked tasty grilled pork riblets, let them sit at room temperature before serving them up hot!

Substitutions and Variations

 Sweet meets savory with our homemade BBQ sauce
Sweet meets savory with our homemade BBQ sauce

It is quintessential to experiment with ingredients when it comes to grilling. You can add a bit of personal touch by using some substitutions and variations in this recipe.

One quick modification you can make is by changing the type of ribs used for this recipe. Instead of pork riblets or baby back ribs, you can use pork spare ribs or beef ribs. These cuts of meat are larger and allow for more meaty flavor and texture. You may need to adjust cooking times slightly for different cuts.

For those looking to explore different flavors, try making an Asian-inspired sauce by adding soy sauce or hoisin sauce to your homemade BBQ sauce recipe. You can also add a spoonful of apple butter or red wine sauce for a tangy, bittersweet flavor.

If you want a smoky twist on BBQ sauce, you can smoke the ribs instead of grilling them. You’ll need to plan ahead- smoked pork ribs require a different cooking method than grilled ones- but the result will be worth it.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try marinating your pork ribs in a jar of peanut butter overnight before grilling. This may sound unusual but it gives your ribs a wonderful nutty taste that perfectly complements the tangy BBQ sauce.

Don’t be afraid to try out different barbecue sauces like Texas-style or benchmark barbecue sauces available in the market if you don’t have time to make homemade sauce. Each variation of barbecue sauce has its own unique flavor profile, and experimentation is the key to finding your perfect BBQ sauce.

Using these variations not only helps you discover new flavors but also helps build up your knowledge and confidence in cooking ribs. Give them a go!

Serving and Pairing

 Like Buttah: tender and juicy grilled pork riblets
Like Buttah: tender and juicy grilled pork riblets

Once you’ve got these delicious pork riblets grilled to perfection and coated with that homemade BBQ sauce, it’s time to serve them up for some finger-licking goodness. I like to plate them up with some extra sauce drizzled over the top, garnished with a sprinkle of chopped parsley or green onions for a pop of color.

These grilled pork riblets with homemade BBQ sauce are versatile and can be paired with a variety of sides. I love serving them up with classic sides like creamy coleslaw, tangy baked beans, or warm cornbread. For a healthier option, try pairing your riblets with a side of mixed greens or grilled vegetables.

If you’re looking for something a bit more filling, consider serving your riblets alongside some classic macaroni and cheese, garlic mashed potatoes, or some sweet potato fries. The rich flavors of the meat are perfectly complemented by the creamy textures of these hearty sides.

For beverages, I recommend serving up an ice-cold beer or a refreshing lemonade to help cut through the richness of the dish. If you prefer wine, go for something bold and full-bodied like a red wine sauce or Zinfandel.

No matter how you choose to serve them up, these grilled pork riblets with homemade BBQ sauce are sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your next cookout or backyard BBQ. Just don’t be surprised when your guests start asking you for the recipe!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Get your hands dirty with these finger-lickin' good riblets
Get your hands dirty with these finger-lickin’ good riblets

Making the most of leftovers is always a great way to save time while enjoying delicious and nutritious meals at home. You may have grilled pork riblets with homemade BBQ sauce leftovers, and the good news is that they will store well in the fridge for up to three days.

When storing your grilled pork riblets, allow them to cool down first before packing them into an airtight container or resealable bag, along with a few spoonfuls of the homemade BBQ sauce. Ensure that you label the container with the date for easy tracking of how long it’s been in the fridge.

If you want to make the most of your leftovers but don’t feel like eating them cold, reheating them for a warm and comforting meal is an excellent option. To reheat grilled pork riblets, simply preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and wrap the ribs tightly in foil, adding a tablespoon of water per riblet or so. Place the wrapped ribs on a baking sheet, then let them heat up in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

If you’re looking for an alternative reheating method without having to use your oven, you can use a microwave as well. In this case, remove any bones so that you do not end up with bone fragments in your meal. Afterward, place the meat on a plate and cover it with plastic wrap before microwaving it for one minute. Check after one minute and continue microwaving in 30-second intervals until hot.

Whether you store or reheat your grilled pork riblets, they will remain succulent and tasty. Remember that this process won’t take long if done correctly, so you can enjoy a delicious homemade meal without spending too much time preparing it from scratch every day!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect summer BBQ recipe: pork riblets with homemade sauce
The perfect summer BBQ recipe: pork riblets with homemade sauce

Grilling is one of the oldest cooking methods, and over time people have perfected it to produce sumptuous meals. As we make those savory pork riblets, achieving perfection can be tricky, but a few helpful tips can make our barbeque stand out.

Firstly, we should mix the rub ingredients and season the meat generously for at least an hour before grilling. The key to a well-seasoned meat is to use enough spices and let them rest. We can be creative with the spices and add more or less depending on our preferred taste.

Secondly, we should maintain a steady temperature while grilling the pork riblets. A temperature of 275-300 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for perfectly cooked riblets. By continuously monitoring the grill’s temperature, we prevent them from burning or undercooking.

Thirdly, once we set the desired cooking time, resist the temptation to peek too often. Opening the lid several times will prolong the cooking time and cause heat loss. We should also use tongs instead of piercing it with a fork when turning it; this prevents juices from escaping.

Another tip is to use indirect grilling when cooking spare ribs as they tend to be tougher than back ribs. Direct heat causes them to go tough and chewy. We can move them to one side of the grill while turning regularly until they are tender enough.

Finally, waiting for five minutes after taking off meat from direct heat allows it to continue cooking slowly thus redistributing its juices evenly. This wait time also helps us wrap up other meal preparations before serving up that glorious dish.

By incorporating these tips into our cooking ritual, we elevate our barbeque skills to new levels, achieving that sought-after “like buttah” texture for our grilled pork riblets.


Now, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions about this recipe. These FAQs address common queries that might arise whilst making the dish and offer insight into how to handle various situations. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cook, these tips will help you achieve perfect results every time. So without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Do you put BBQ sauce on ribs before grilling?

One of the most common questions we receive is about when to add barbecue sauce to ribs. To get perfectly saucy ribs, you should add the sauce during the last 20-30 minutes of cooking. It’s crucial to remember not to go overboard with the sauce while brushing it on your ribs.

How do you get BBQ sauce to stick to ribs?

When it comes to cooking ribs, there’s a bit more flexibility with the sauce. Unlike other meats, ribs can handle a generous amount of sauce applied earlier in the cooking process. The goal is to achieve a thick and sticky layer of sauce, which most people expect when they bite into a delicious rack of ribs. To achieve this, it’s best to layer on the sauce during the last 30 minutes to an hour of cooking. Use thin coatings and repeat the process several times to build layers of flavor. This will result in a lip-smacking, finger-licking surface that’s sure to impress your guests.

What can I add to barbecue sauce to make it better?

When it comes to enhancing the flavor of barbecued dishes, garlic and onion powder are the usual suspects. However, exploring alternative seasonings like various chili powders, peppers, cumin or dried herbs can bring a whole new dimension to your barbecue sauce. So don’t be afraid to experiment and spice things up a bit.

How to caramelize BBQ sauce on ribs on grill?

Before we start grilling, let’s make sure the grill is preheated to medium heat. To add some sweetness to our ribs, let’s rub them down with some delicious caramel sauce. Once that’s done, it’s time to place the ribs meat side down on the grill. To ensure they cook evenly, keep a close eye on them and make sure they’re not on the grill for more than 5-8 minutes. It is important to keep an eye on the sugars so that they don’t burn and ruin the taste.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this “Like Buttah!” Grilled Pork Riblets with Homemade BBQ Sauce recipe is an absolute game-changer when it comes to cooking ribs. With its mouthwatering flavors and succulent feel, you’re sure to impress your taste buds and your guests with the deliciousness that this recipe offers. You don’t have to stick to one set of ingredients as many substitutions and variations can be made based on what’s in your pantry or fridge.

Furthermore, you have the option of making the sauce ahead of time and/or storing and reheating it for later use. This flexibility in preparation lets you spend less time worrying about the meal and more time enjoying it.

Moreover, using a few simple tips and tricks can help you master cooking ribs like a pro. Whether you’re grilling them on the barbecue or smoking them in the oven, there are ways to ensure that your ribs turn out perfectly in terms of flavor, texture, and tenderness.

To sum it up, if you’re looking for the perfect “like buttah” culinary experience, then you must try this recipe! Give yourself a chance to create tender grilled pork riblets with homemade BBQ sauce that will literally melt in your mouth like butter from Land o’ Lakes. As a bonus point, experiment with some of the suggested variations to add even more flair to your meal. Trust me; you won’t regret it!

Like Buttah! Grilled Pork Riblets With Homemade BBQ Sauce

Like Buttah! Grilled Pork Riblets With Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

Melt in your mouth riblets slow cooked in the oven, then finished off on the grill slathered with homemade BBQ sauce.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Course Appetizer/Side dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2 Riblets each
Calories 9642.3 kcal


  • 2 -3 lbs pork riblets
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons red mine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Mix ketchup, garlic powder, pepper, brown sugar and vinegar. Adjust to taste. Set aside.
  • Pre heat oven to 250.
  • Spinkle both sides of riblets with ground sea salt and pepper.
  • wrap in a single layer in heavy foil, making sure that all sides and sealed.
  • Cook in oven 2.5 – 3 hours.
  • Take out of oven and remove foil.
  • Pre heat grill to medium.
  • Place riblets on grill and grill on both sides until dry, about 2 minutes per side (the sauce will not stick otherwise).
  • Slather with BBQ sauce and continue grilling until sauce is think and carmelized.



Serving: 4322gCalories: 9642.3kcalCarbohydrates: 11.7gProtein: 817.6gFat: 699.7gSaturated Fat: 247.8gCholesterol: 2956mgSodium: 4062.8mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 10.2g
Keyword < 4 Hours, High In…, High Protein, Meat, Pork, Very Low Carbs
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Shara @The Bird BBQ

Shara loves to experiment with different flavors and techniques when it comes to BBQ. She has been perfecting her craft for years and loves hosting backyard BBQs with friends & family. She often comes up with creative recipes that her guests rave about.