Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Ribs for the 4th of July

For the 4th of July, Dustin and I (and Jordan) have started a tradition of participating in the Scripps Ranch Annual Run and Ride followed by making my barbecue ribs for dinner.

Barbecue Ribs recipe and image by Lacey Stevens-Baier, personal chef of Sweet Pea Chef

Last year, Dustin completed the 10k, but I was only able to complete the 2 mile “fun run” because I had just had Jordan.  So, I was very excited to be able to run the 10k this 4th of July.  Here’s a pic of us completely exhausted after finishing the race this year:

Barbecue Ribs recipe and image by Lacey Stevens-Baier, personal chef of Sweet Pea Chef

I really like the idea of traditions.  They make the ordinary special.  I like that, for Jordan’s birthday every year, I plan to bake her a special birthday cake.  I also like that Dustin plans to go golfing with Jordan for every Father’s Day.  For some reason, though, we never seem to follow through with our traditions.   We even tried to skip out on the run this year!  I hope to change this.

Skipping out on the ribs, however, was never even a question.  It may sound weird, but this recipe means a lot to me.  Every time I make these ribs, it brings me back to making ribs with my mom.  I learned from her a technique for how to make tender, fall-of-the-bone ribs.  Over the years, I have changed the recipe, specifically the barbecue sauce, to make what I think are some pretty tasty ribs.  I also really like that Dustin brags to people about how good my ribs are.  It makes me feel nice.

Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Ribs

The trick with these ribs is to simmer them in salted water for a while before broiling them in the oven.  Yes, you can slowly roast them for hours in the oven, but simmering them is another way to get them tender and delicious.   It’s my mom’s way.  It’s my way.

I have tweaked with this sauce for years and I think it’s finally pretty close to perfect.  It’s a mix of the sweet Texas style Dustin likes and the tangy Kansas City style I like.

Barbecue Ribs recipe and image by Lacey Stevens-Baier, personal chef of Sweet Pea Chef

For dinner, we had the ribs with some yummy potato salad. I hope you all had a fabulous 4th of July.  I’m already sore from my run, but it was great to keep up the tradition.  Here’s to tradition (and tasty ribs)!

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If you give this recipe a try, let me know what you think by leaving a comment and rating it. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #asweetpeachef on Instagram! I LOVE seeing what you come up with. Enjoy!

Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Ribs for the 4th of July
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Delicious fall-off-the-bone Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Ribs.
Recipe type: Easy
Serves: 2
  • 1 rack of pork baby back ribs
  • For the sauce:
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sweet BBQ sauce (preferably with honey or brown sugar)
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • ½ tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  1. Combine all ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add ribs. Simmer ribs, covered, for 40 minutes. Remove ribs from water and place on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Coat the ribs with barbecue sauce. Place ribs under oven broiler for 8-10 minutes, until sauce starts to bubble and caramelize. Feel free to grill these ribs if you'd like, but the sauce doesn't stay on them as well as in the broiler.


  1. says

    We tried your recipe last night.

    It was the first time I’ve ever cooked ribs…..and they were delicious!

    My wife said that they were the best ribs she’s ever eaten…….ever!

    I stumbled to your site via Google……and I’ll be coming back to try your other recipes.


  2. Ang says

    I do my ribs using this same method but I also add liquid smoke to the water while they simmer.

    By the way, I think I am now addicted to your site! You have very similar methods and tastes to my own but it never hurts to get those small “extras” to my own likings!!

  3. says

    Hi Lacey! Love your site! And these ribs look delish! I love that they can be cooked under an hour! I would love to feature them on my site with full links and credits back to you if you are keen! Please let me know at your earliest convenience.

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