Italian Style BBQ Ribs

If you are Canadian, when outdoor grilling season comes around, you know there is nothing like the taste of baby back ribs smothered in a bbq sauce. But, any red blooded Italian would wince at the thought of a sweet sauce on their meat. No cranberries with turkey, no mint with lamb, no bbq sauce with pork. It is a completely foreign concept to Italians to prepare and serve any meat with a sweet sauce.

I learned this early in married life as a member of a northern Italian-Canadian family. My in-laws and husband are the real thing. Genuine born-in-Italy northern Italians! And, pork ribs are an absolute favourite! Italians enjoy the marriage of a good meat to a flavourful herb dressing. I hope you will enjoy the simplicity of the preparation of this “authentic northern Italian bbq pork ribs” recipe.

BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs, Italian Style

Prep time: 15 minutes     Cook time: 2 hours     Servings: 4


2 full-racks of baby back pork ribs

¼ cup olive oil

2 tbsp dried Italian spices

3 garlic cloves, minced (no fresh garlic on hand? Add 1 tsp granulated garlic)

freshly ground salt and pepper


Cut each rack in half.

Cut four pieces of tin foil, large enough to completely cover each half.

Pour ¼ cup olive oil in a small mixing bowl. Add 2 tbsp dried Italian spices, 3 minced garlic cloves, and ground salt and pepper. Stir until well blended.

Brush top and bottom of each rib half with the herb mixture.

Place each rib half, bone side down, on the dull side of the tin foil.

Wrap securely with folded side on top so that mixture does not leak out. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 6 hours. Remove from fridge half hour before cooking and rest on kitchen counter.

Preheat bbq to 250F. Place wrapped ribs, bone side down on the grill. Cook for 1 ½ hours.

Remove ribs from grill and open carefully. Place cooked ribs on a platter. Carefully pour the juices into a small sauce pan. Reduce the juices on the side burner of your bbq.

Place ribs on grill and baste each side with reduced juices. Grill for 5 to 10 minutes per side to brown ribs.

Serve with a large salad and a crunchy loaf of fresh Italian bread.

And of course, don’t forget to share a delicious bottle of wine! Pork can go white or red. A pinot gris or a pinot noir is a perfect complement to bbq pork ribs, Italian style. Enjoy!