The Victoria Day weekend is here and the weather is going to be beautiful.

And nothing goes better with a warm and sunny long weekend than ribs. Succulent, sweet and smoky ribs.

These ribs are basted with a delicious orange-maple sauce

This recipe starts with a dry rub and baking technique from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food (issue #4, July/August 2003). The ribs are then finished on the grill; during the final few minutes they are basted with a fabulous no-cook orange and maple sauce  from the LCBO’s 2007 Canada Day newspaper insert. Half the sauce is reserved for dipping. I’ve tried many rib recipes and this is my all-time favourite. They are great for entertaining because you can bake them ahead of time and then refrigerate until it’s time to grill them.

The only ingredients in this recipe that may contain additives or preservatives are the ketchup and the hot sauce. We use Heinz tomato ketchup and Tabasco hot sauce, which have no artificial ingredients. The Tabasco we use is the original recipe hot sauce; if you have another Tabasco brand sauce be sure to read the label, because some do contain artificial colour.

Be sure to reserve half the sauce for dipping!


2 lbs. pork ribs (about 2 racks)


1 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp cayenne

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine rub ingredients in small bowl. Make sure membrane is removed from ribs. Sprinkle ribs on both sides with rub mixture. If you aren’t ready to bake them, wrap the ribs in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Bring ribs to room temperature before baking.

Line bottom of baking sheet with heavy-duty foil and place a metal rack that fits inside the baking sheet on top. Place ribs, meaty side up, on metal rack. Cover tightly with another piece of heavy-duty foil. Bake for 90-105 minutes or until ribs are fork tender.

At this point, you can refrigerate the ribs until ready to barbecue or proceed directly to barbecue them. If barbecuing right away, make sure the sauce is already prepared.


Zest of half an orange, about ½ tsp

1 large orange, juiced, about ½ cup

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup ketchup

2 tbsp white vinegar

½ cup maple syrup

½ cup brown sugar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp cumin

2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped (or ½ tsp dried)

hot pepper flakes and Tabasco to taste

Prepare sauce by combining all ingredients. Reserve half for dipping sauce. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Barbecue ribs over medium-hot grill for 15-20 minutes, turning and brushing with glaze every five minutes. You can leave the racks intact or cut into smaller portions after 10 minutes on grill. Serve with reserved sauce.