Pork Ribs with Chipotle and Honey

I love ribs. I love the caramelized outside and the small chunks of tender meat on each rib. I am truly a carnivore, no doubt about it. Every recipe has a story to tell and this particular recipe has been in the making for a little over a year. When we first moved here to Germany our wonderful friend Matt took us over to the commissary and pointed out the frozen pork rib slabs. I was intrigued by them, but I couldn’t bring myself to buying frozen ribs, or so I thought.

The thought of these ribs stayed with me and every time I went to the commissary to go grocery shopping I’d stop and stare at the ribs. I’d contemplate the idea of buying some, but chose to walk away instead. I just couldn’t bring myself to buying frozen ribs. Then one day I thought, oh what the heck, why not. As soon as I got home I googled some recipes for preparing pork short ribs in the oven and found probably the simplest recipe I have ever found online. All I needed to do was line a deep pan with foil, salt and pepper the slabs of ribs, add a bottle of beer, and bake them in the oven for several hours.

I loved the simplicity of this recipe but they were missing that caramelized finish. So after baking them for several hours I brushed the ribs with honey, set them on the grill for a couple of minutes and voila…tasty, crunchy, moist ribs. Over the last year I have made this recipe several times, modifying it each time. However, this time I decided to give them a chipotle and chile pepper rub and OMG, they were melt in your mouth delicious and frickin’ hot ‘n spicy.

If you love spicy, beer flavored pork ribs, with a subtle hint of honey then I dare you to try these. First comes the sweet taste of the caramelized honey, then the underlying tones of barley from the beer, and finally, the fiery hot spice from the chipotle and chile powder. And yes, this is the taste, which lingers the longest, but its sweet music to the ears of those who love spice. For those of you still working your way to the frickin’ hot level, eliminate the chipotle and just try the chile powder, or eliminate the chile powder completely. Either way these ribs are now part of my once-a-month go to meal.

Pork Ribs with Chipotle and Honey


1 rack pork loin back ribs (about 4 pounds)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, blended to make a paste
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 limes, juiced
1 (12-ounce) beer
1 cup honey


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a deep pan with foil and set aside.

In a bowl combine the salt, pepper, and chile powder. Add the chipotle pepper paste, soy sauce, and lime juice. Combine well to make a paste.

Coat ribs with the paste. If your hands are overly sensitive to spicy food, you may want to put a small plastic baggie over your hand or spread the paste over the ribs with a food brush.

Place the ribs into the prepared pan; add the beer to the pan. Cover with foil and place on the bottom rack of your oven.

Cook for 2 hours. After 2 hours remove the foil, lower the temperature to 350 degrees F and cook, uncovered for about 30 minutes.

Remove from the pan and brush all sides of the ribs with honey. Place on a hot grill for about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Transfer ribs to a serving platter; cut into single-rib portions, and serve.

More recipes available at www.muybuenocookbook.com

Written by Veronica / Photos by Veronica

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  1. this is a recipe I will be trying for our family and friends this weekend, we love bbq – I have never tried these ingredients together. Sound so good!

  2. Good lord these look amazing! Sweet and savory and filling I bet!

  3. These look and sound absolutely wonderful. Honey and chipotle–an inspired combination.

    • Victoria, the sweetness of the honey is a nice compliment to the spiciness of the chipotle. I’m getting hungry just thinking about these little nuggets of goodness.

  4. My husband does most of the cooking at home and makes the best ribs ever. I’ll ask him to give this recipe a try. It sounds delicious!

  5. They look so good, especially with the chipolte.

  6. Because we like our ribs with some “tug” and not fall-off-the-bone tender, will bake for 1 hour instead of 2. Then uncovered for 30 mins – then on to the grill! This sauce looks amazing!

  7. Wow wow wow! I have never made ribs in my life and I had some buddies coming over to watch the game and have some beers so I thought I would use them as test subjects. I love to cook and am pretty well versed in all things meat. I was a bit intimidated at first. Cleaning and preparing the ribs was easy. I altered the sauce slightly to impart more heat and skipped the final grill. They came out incredible. The bone fell out as soon as you picked them up. The sauce was hot and then mild with a sweet aftertaste. Everyone agreed they were the best ribs any of them had tried before. Thanks for the recipe!!!

    • Thank you Jeff for your great comment! It means the world to us when we have others try our recipes and love them as much as we do. We’re glad your “testing” turned out as well as it did.

  8. Hello. Can this be done with beef ribs?

  9. Love this recipe!! Making for the 2nd time tonight for dinner :-)

  10. I’m so excited to discover your blog. These chipotle honey ribs are definitely going to be my first recipe. I have a question on the chile powder; maybe I’m overlooking something. You mention chile powder a couple of times, but I don’t see it on the ingredients list. Thanks.

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