Party of Two: Beer-BQ Ribs for Your Memorial Day Cookout

Photo by: JULIE WAMPLER ©Table for Two, LLC


How in the world is it already almost Memorial Day? Personally, I don’t mind, because it means the start of pool and grilling season. Those of you (like me) who cook for two, your foreheads must be beading up with sweat, right?

“How do you cook for two for Memorial Day? There’s just SO MUCH FOOD and so little of US.”

Ah, that is correct, but that doesn’t mean you have to have a lot. 

If you make wise choices in picking ingredients, you won’t be left with a ton of food. Although, I must say, if it’s a really delicious meal, such as these Beer-BQ Ribs, I’d gladly have leftovers.

My recipe today involves everything that screams ‘grilling season.’ Booze and meat. Beer and baby back ribs to be exact.

This Beer-BQ Sauce is heaven. You’ll want to drink it, but let’s not do that. Rather, let’s slather it on some ribs and grill ‘em up, because it’s darn tasty that way! 

I should mention that you shouldn’t skip the dry rub-and-baking part. Yes, it means longer prep time. But really, the oven is doing all the work for two hours. Plus, you don’t want to have tough ribs that get all stuck in your teeth. You want fall-off-the-bone ribs, so follow the directions and you’ll achieve just that.

A couple of quick tips on buying beer and meat for this dish:

Beer: Most grocery stores these days have a beer section where they also sell singles. You don’t have to buy an entire pack of stout beer if that isn’t your thang (or if it is, then yay!).

Baby back ribs: I usually prefer to go to the butcher counter for small-portioned meats. The ones in the cases are usually for larger families and are portioned out for that already. I mean, you can totally still dig through the case to see if you can find what you need, but for me, it’s just easier to go to the butcher counter and get exactly what I want!

All right, enough from me. Go get these prepped and have a fabulous Memorial Day! Come back and tell me what you thought about these babies. Haha, get it? OK, I’m really going now.

Beer-BQ Ribs

Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 3 hours; Total time: 3 hours 10 minutes


2 1/4 pounds of baby back ribs

For the dry rub

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1/2 tablespoon onion powder

1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Photo by: JULIE WAMPLER ©Table for Two, LLC


For the Beer-BQ Sauce

1/3 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of onion powder

1 teaspoon dark brown sugar

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon stout beer


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Mix together the ingredients for the dry rub in a small bowl and set aside. Remove the silver skin on the backside of your ribs and discard. If your rack of ribs is too large for your baking sheet, you’ll likely have to cut it into two racks of ribs.

Place the rack of ribs on the prepared baking sheet, meaty side up, and sprinkle dry rub generously on top, saving just enough for a light rub on the underside. Once you’ve finished, tightly cover the entire baking sheet with another sheet of foil and place into the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 2 1/2 hours.

While the ribs are baking, combine all the ingredients of the Beer-BQ sauce in a medium bowl and set aside.

Once the ribs are done, remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Heat your outdoor grill to medium-high.

Using a pastry brush, brush a medium layer of Beer-BQ sauce on the meaty side. Gently place the rack of ribs, meaty side down, on the grill and grill for 5 to 7 minutes or until there is a nice char on the meat. Remove from grill and let rest for another 5 minutes, then slice and serve with your favorite sides!

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