Baby Back Ribs with Guava Barbecue Sauce

Steven Raichlen shares his recipe for baby back ribs with guava barbecue sauce on the Big Green Egg.




  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) coarse salt (kosher or sea) 
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Chinese dry mustard 
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) Chinese five-spice powder 
  • 1 cup (240 ml) Chinese rice wine, sake, or rice vinegar 
  • 2 racks baby back ribs (4 to 5 lbs (3.2 kg) total), membranes removed 

Guava Barbecue Sauce

  • 8 oz. (229 g) guava paste, cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces 
  • 1/2 cups (120 ml) rice or cider vinegar 
  • 1/3 cups (80 ml) dark rum 
  • 1/4 cups (60 ml) ketchup or tomato paste 
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) fresh lime juice 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (23 ml) soy sauce 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (23 ml) Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) minced fresh ginger 
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) minced scallion white 
  • 1/2 teaspoons (2.5 ml) ground cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoons (2.5 ml) ground nutmeg 
  • 1/2 teaspoons (2.5 ml) ground allspice 
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) brown sugar 
  •  Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and fresh ground black pepper to taste 



Step 1

Set the EGG for indirect cooking with a convEGGtor at 275°F/135°C.

Step 2

Prepare the rub with sugar, salt, pepper, mustard and five spice powder in a bowl and mix. Sprinkle the ribs on both sides with rub, rubbing it into the meat.

Step 3

Arrange the ribs, bone side down. After cooking for 1 hour spray the ribs with rice wine. Cook another 3 to 4 hours and spray the ribs once or twice. When ribs are cooked, the meat will have shrunk back from the ends of the bones by about 1/2-inch.

Step 4

In the last 30 minutes, brush the ribs on both sides with some of the guava barbecue sauce. Grill until the ribs are browned and bubbling, 2 minutes per side.

Step 5

Transfer the ribs to a large platter or cutting board, and cut the racks in half, widthwise (or into individual ribs). Serve at once with the remaining guava sauce on the side.

Guava Barbecue Sauce

Step 1

For the guava barbecue sauce, place the guava paste, vinegar, rum, ketchup or tomato paste, lime juice, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ginger, scallion whites, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt and pepper in a heavy saucepan. Add 1/4 cups (60 ml) water. Gently simmer the sauce over medium heat until thick and richly flavored, 10 minutes, whisking to break up the pieces of guava paste. The sauce should be thick but pourable—add water as needed. Correct the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.

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