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Honey Garlic Sticky Ribs

Honey Garlic Sticky Ribs. Firmly planted in the finger licking good category. They’re perfect for dinner with some rice or noodles or as game day grub to share with friends.

Honey Garlic Sticky Ribs stacked on a white plate

Honey Garlic Sticky Ribs

Originally published January 2015.

Most of the recipes I’ve encountered for this type of sticky ribs have a sauce that’s far too runny and the ribs just sit in it. Actually, that’s the sort of thing that’s popular at Chinese take-out restaurants in these parts.

Honey Garlic Sticky Ribs photo of 2 half racks of ribs on a white platter

Honey Garlic Sticky Ribs

The thinner sauce does lend itself well to pouring over steamed rice or noodles. So, I’m not knocking it at all if that’s what people like.

However, this time, I wanted to create a recipe that was more of a finger food version to be enjoyed on game day in particular.

Yes, you might get the sticky glaze all over your fingers but at least not in your lap.

Uncooked pork ribs on a wooden cutting board

Pork side ribs or back ribs can be used in this recipe.

I borrowed a couple of ideas from a couple of other recipes like using a rub and the same method as in my recipe for Foolproof Dry Rubbed Oven Ribs and the basic Honey Garlic Sauce from my very famous Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken.

With a little customization of the rub and the sauce, the result was absolutely delectable. Slowly cooked to tender perfection, and glazed with layers of sweet sticky garlic glaze, these are the kind of ribs you just can’t stop eating!

Honey and garlic stock photo collage

Need more game day food inspiration?

Take a look at our terrific collection of Super Bowl Food Ideas. Great for any game day year round. 

Best Super Bowl Party Food Ideas phptp collage with title text for Pinterest

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Honey Garlic Sticky Ribs photo with title text added for Pinterest

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Honey Garlic Sticky Ribs stacked on a white plate
Yield: 6

Honey Garlic Sticky Ribs

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes

Sweet, sticky, tender ribs with the best, most finger licking good honey garlic glaze you can imagine.


  • 3-4 pounds pork ribs, back or side ribs

For the dry rub

  • 2 tbsp powdered ginger
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

For the glaze

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup honey
  • ¼ cup soy sauce, low sodium soy sauce is best
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper


To make the dry rub

  1. Mix together all ingredients well.

To make the glaze

  1. In a medium saucepan add the 2 tbsp olive oil and minced garlic. Cook over medium heat to soften the garlic but do not let it brown.
  2. Add the honey, soy sauce and black pepper.
  3. Simmer very slowly together for about 20 minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Watch this carefully as it simmers because it can foam up over the pot very easily.

To prepare the ribs

  1. There is a thin membrane called silver skin on the back of all pork ribs that I like to remove first. If left on, it will shrink during cooking and cause the ribs to curl. It also prevents the spice mix from seasoning the underside of the ribs. I push a butter knife between the silver skin and the first bone on the rack of ribs to loosen the skin, then I poke my finger into the slit the knife has made, grasp the silver skin and pull it off all the way down the length of the rack of ribs.
  2. Liberally rub the spice mix all over the surface of the pork ribs on both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for several hours or as I prefer, overnight. You can of course cook them immediately but you get better flavour penetration into the meat if you do it in advance. They will be delicious either way if you are pressed for time.

To cook the ribs

  1. Place the ribs, uncovered, on a wire rack over a baking sheet and place in a 225 degree F oven for 8-9 hours depending on the thickness of the ribs. Baby Back Ribs tend to take less time than side ribs for example.
  2. In the last couple of hours or so of cooking time, begin brushing on the glaze and turning the ribs every 30 minutes or so. You can continuously brush on layers of glaze for as long and as often as you like to build up the sticky glaze to your taste.
  3. When a bone from the ribs is easily and cleanly able to be pulled away from the meat, then they are done.
  4. Let the ribs rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1/6 of recipe

Amount Per Serving Calories 856Total Fat 47gSaturated Fat 16gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 29gCholesterol 165mgSodium 1466mgCarbohydrates 62gFiber 1gSugar 57gProtein 47g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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Saturday 6th of February 2021

Hi Barry, I have a question regarding the preparation of the ribs. I always boil my ribs for approx. 1 hour with some salt and about a tbsp of vinegar. This helps to get rid of a lot of fat before I grill them. My question is...can I proceed with the rub after the ribs are cooled and then leave overnight and grill the next day? Appreciate your feedback.

Barry C. Parsons

Wednesday 10th of February 2021

Yes, if that's your method. I will say, I think you are boiling away flavour.

Ruth Orenstein

Monday 31st of December 2018

Hi Barry I was wondering if you can do this recipe at a higher heat to shorten cooking time ...maybe 300 degrees or thereabouts?

Barry C. Parsons

Sunday 6th of January 2019

The connectrive tissue in ribs is what requires to low and slow approach. Rush it and they will be tough.

Steve Linnick

Tuesday 24th of April 2018

I used to use a knife and then needle nose pliers to remove silverskin from the back of ribs. My niece's husband told me once you get the silver skin started fold a paper towel and grab the silverskin with it. I didn't think it would work but It's the only way I do it now. I haven't been subscribed to your newsletter for long but I've tried more recipes from your site than any other. The Foolproof Chocolate Crackle Cookies are our favourite.

Patricia Peist

Saturday 18th of March 2017

I did not have ribs but I did have a pork roast. I brined pork roast with water, kosher salt and 6 crushed garlic cloves for 16 hrs. Then used the recipe for this and it was delicious!

Barry C. Parsons

Sunday 19th of March 2017

That sounds great. I am a big fan of brining pork loin as well.

Joy Phelps

Saturday 1st of October 2016

I have prepared these exactly as recipe states and they are amazing!!! I am wondering if you think they could be done low heat on the top rack of a grill? Just curious, the hubby loves to grill and I hate to take his fun away lol

Barry C. Parsons

Thursday 13th of October 2016

I often finish ribs on the grill.

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