These dry rub ribs are so tender, they practically melt in your mouth. With my sugar-free dry rub recipe, they are paleo and keto friendly. After a long slow braising, you can grill them or broil them. Seriously the best low carb ribs recipe ever.
I am a pork rib. fanatic. A true lover of all things ribs. But I’ve never been a big fan of saucy ribs. I much prefer tender, fall apart ribs with a classic dry rub. I might brush them with a little of my Sugar Free BBQ Sauce at the end, but I might also just eat them the way they are. Either way, this keto ribs recipe is a winner.
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.
Once you make these, you won’t ever want to cook ribs any other way again.
The Secret to Perfect Dry Rub Ribs
Actually, it’s three secrets. Or three factors that come into play to make the most tender and delicious ribs you will ever eat.
- The cut of ribs
- The dry rub
- The cooking method
For the ribs, I almost always recommend St. Louis style spare ribs over the puny baby back ribs. Spare ribs are meatier, with more fat, so they are often more tender. And usually a lot less expensive as well. I can’t for the life of me figure out why baby back ribs are so prized when spare ribs can make a much bigger and more satisfying meal.
The cooking method utilizes slow braising in the oven, which loosens all the tough, fibrous membranes and makes the meat unbelievably tender. We’re talking at least an hour and a half. More if you are doing more than one rack of ribs.
You then only grill or broil the ribs for a total of about 8 minutes, to crisp up the outside. Sometimes the ribs are so tender, I can hardly transfer them to a platter without things falling apart.
This is 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. It was their recipe that introduced me to the braising method and from the word go, it made some of the best ribs I’d ever had.
The dry rub was adapted from Steve Raichlan. His recipe took sugar, of course, and mine takes no sweetener at all. I find it entirely unnecessary. And somewhere along the way, I started adding chili powder, and we found we liked it so much, it stuck around.
It’s really insanely easy to make. I usually keep a large jar of this dry rub recipe for ribs ready to go, so we can have them any time we want. And let me tell you, in the summer, that’s pretty darn often.
To Sauce or not to Sauce
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 all that sugar. 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 it’s not easy to find. But if I do feel like a little sauce in my ribs, I go with my Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce. It’s so easy to make, and requires no cooking. Just mix it up and slather it on.
You can slather some on the ribs just before grilling or broiling so that it cooks right on a bit. Or you can wait until the ribs come off and give them a good brushing with sauce, so they have that more saucy feeling. It’s really up to you.
You could also try the Chipotle Whisky BBQ Sauce I created for Swerve, if you wanted something a little different.
If you’re ready for the best keto dry rub ribs of your life, get your oven preheating. Once you try this method for braised spare ribs, you may never make them any other way again!
Want more keto BBQ Recipes?
Keto Dry Rub Ribs
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 rack pork spare ribs
- 1 cup water
- 1 recipe Easy Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce (if desired)
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- For the dry rub, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Rub all over both sides of the ribs. Lay ribs in a large roasting pan (cut in half if you need to, to make them fit). Add the water and cover the whole pan tightly in foil.
- Bake 1 & 1/2 hours, until meat is very tender. Check occasionally that the water has not evaporated away, as this can burn your ribs.
- Preheat grill or broiler. Grill or broil 6 to 8 minutes, watching carefully so that they don't burn. You can brush some of the BBQ sauce on before grilling or after, that's up to you.