The Best Low Carb Barbecue Ribs!


These low carb barbecue ribs are so tender, they practically fall apart in your mouth. And a little sugar-free Chipotle Whiskey Barbecue sauce makes them out of this world!

Chipotle Whiskey Barbecue Sauce copy

I have been remiss in never sharing a low carb rib recipe here on All Day I Dream About Food. Especially when I have such a delicious recipe that I use over and over and over, every time I cook ribs. I mean, these are the definitive fall-off-the-bone ribs, where you go to take a bite and find that you’re only holding the bone in your hand, because all the meat fell back onto your plate. The secret is the slow braising in the oven, which loosens all the tough, fibrous membranes and makes the meat unbelievably tender. You only grill or broil the ribs for a paltry few minutes. It’s a recipe my husband and I developed over several years, and really it’s an amalgamation of ideas from several sources, including the now defunct Gourmet Magazine as well as a dry rub adapted from Steve Raichlan. And now I’ve added my own special touch with a low carb sugar-free barbecue sauce I developed for Swerve Sweetener.

Low Carb Barbecue Ribs Recipe

I tend to like less saucy ribs and I hate when I go to restaurants and the ribs are drowned in a sugary-sweet condiment, so thick you have to scrape off several inches just to find the meat. Good ribs shouldn’t need all that dressing up. And good barbecue sauce should be tangy and spicy, with some sweetness but not so sweet you feel like you are licking a bbq flavoured lollipop. There’s a happy balance somewhere in there and I was trying to find it. I think I did, with this sauce. It’s quite spicy on its own, but it doesn’t burn your mouth off when you’ve brushed it over the meat. It’s also great on chicken and other meats and makes great pulled pork. And you can leave out the whiskey, if you are so inclined.

If you only want the sauce recipe, check out Chipotle Whiskey Barbecue Sauce on Swerve Sweetener. If you want the whole rib recipe, keep on reading!

BBQ Sauce Nutritional Analysis: Serves about 12 (2 tbsp per serving). Each serving has 3.16 g of carbs and 0.76 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 2.4 g.

Food energy: 29kcal; Saturated fatty acids: 0.02g Total fat: 0.10g; Calories from fat: 0; Cholesterol: 0 Carbohydrate: 3.16g; Total dietary fiber: 0.76g; Protein: 0.64g; Sodium: 258mg

Best Low Carb Barbecue Sauce and Ribs

The Best Low Carb Barbecue Ribs!

Yield: 6 servings

The Best Low Carb Barbecue Ribs!

These low carb barbecue ribs are so tender, they practically fall apart in your mouth. And a little sugar-free Chipotle Whiskey Barbecue sauce makes them out of this world!


    Dry Rub:
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, depending on how hot you like it
  • Ribs:
  • 1 rack pork spare ribs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Low Carb Chipotle Whiskey Barbecue Sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. For the dry rub, mix kosher salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, pepper and cayenne together in a small bowl.
  3. Rub all over both sides of ribs. Lay ribs in a large roasting pan (cut in half if you need to, to make them fit). Add water and cover tightly in tinfoil.
  4. Bake 1 & 1/2 hours, until meat is very tender.
  5. Preheat grill or broiler. Brush ribs with sugar-free barbecue sauce and grill or broil 6 to 8 minutes, watching carefully so that they don't burn.


Ribs with BBQ Sauce (6 servings): 5g of carbs and 1.55 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 3.45 g.

Food energy: 623kcal Saturated fatty acids: 15.98g Total fat: 42.66g Calories from fat: 383 Cholesterol: 169mg Carbohydrate: 5.00g Total dietary fiber: 1.55g Protein: 33.71g Sodium: 1507mg (much of the dry rub falls off in the braising process so this is much too high)

Ribs without BBQ Sauce: 1.8 g of carbs and .75 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 1.05 g.

Food energy: 594kcal Saturated fatty acids: 15.98g Total fat: 42.56g Calories from fat: 383 Cholesterol: 169mg Carbohydrate, by difference: 1.80g Total dietary fiber: 0.75g Protein: 33.11g Sodium: 1335mg (much of the dry rub comes off in the braising process so this number is definitely too high).

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  1. Diamondd says

    I am trying to get my son on a LC diet and just this morning, he asked if he could have barbque sauce and I told him no because I know that he would not know how to make some of the LC recipes. With what you have provided, there is no way that he could go wrong. I don’t have ribs today but I am going to make the sauce tonight for grilled chicken. I will come back to let you know because I hate seeing the comment that I am going to make but with no follow-up to share the experience IMO. I am sending this to him ASAP. As always, thank you so much for sharing.

    • Carolyn says

      Definitely come back and let me know! This sauce is pretty spicy on its own and I thought it was going to be too spicy. Then once it was brushed over the meat, it was perfect! I also used it in pulled pork and it was delicious.

      • Diamondd says


        YUM!! These were so good and very tender. I have always cooked my ribs on 275-300 for at least 2 1/2 hours. I was a little scared thinking they would turn out tough but they were not. Sauce was a tiny bit sweet but I believe because I used Xylitol vs. Swerve and Xylitol tends to be VERY sweet – overall the sauce was tasty and not too spicy. This is a keeper. I did make an extra jar of sauce to keep in the fridge and will probably use again this weekend :-)

        • Carolyn says

          Glad you liked it! I got the baking at 425F with water in the bottom from an old recipe in Gourmet magazine and I will never do it any other way!

  2. Lin says

    You may mean that they are to be cooked at 225 for 8 1/2 hours, not 425. Am I correct? I sauce sounds great and I will make it.

  3. Jenny says

    Yum-yum !!! I start a LCD and your site helps me a lot. Keep up the good work !!!
    Do the ribs touch the water ? Or I have to use the ruck ?
    Thank you !!

  4. Sherrie Lee says

    Hi Carolyn!

    The weather is really hot but I want to make this. Finishing on the grill is fine, but I’d really like to avoid heating up the house for the oven part. Do you think a slow cooker will work? I realize they would take much longer, I’m just hoping for the best of both worlds without compromising your fantastic results.

    Thank you,


  5. Jan says

    I have rarely attempted ribs because the results were not great, but after seeing this recipe and finding them for half price over the holiday weekend, I decided to give them another try. The recipe was super easy and will definitely be my go-to method in the future. Ribs turned out very tender. The one bit of advice I would offer is not to err so much on choosing the leanest rack of ribs on the grocery shelf. I think a little higher ratio of fat to meat would have made my ribs moister. Perhaps more water in the pan or some bacon strips on top would also be an option if your meat happens to be super lean.

    • Carolyn says

      I always buy the St. Louis spare ribs, as they have the most fat on them. Baby back ribs are far too lean for my taste!

  6. Janet says

    posted a comment on the sauce recipe, because I didn’t make the ribs just the sauce for some pulled pork. OMG it is the best!!

  7. Heather says

    Wow! I just got done eating these and had to tell you how fantastically amazing these ribs were. I omitted the whisky simply because I was too lazy to go to the liquor store and used the higher amounts of cayenne and chipotle pepper in the rub and sauce because I love spicy bbq. This has to be the most perfect blend of spicy heat and sweetness. My fiance is a rib lover and im pretty sure he just ate a whole rack all by himself. This is going to be a staple in our house for the rest of forever.

    • Carolyn says

      Yay, love hearing that. I actually make ours more spicy too, but I know not everyone loves that so I try to tone it down a bit for the posted recipe!

  8. Stephanie says

    This method rocks! I’ve spent years cooking ribs slowing on the grill for 6+ hours. I tried your method and will NEVER make ribs any other way again!

  9. Stephanie says

    I made this for dinner last night and it was IINCREDIBLE! After being on Keto for nearly a year, it was great to finally enjoy a great, low carb rib option. The sauce tasted very sweet to me, but a little went a long way and complimented the ribs nicely. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

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