Ribs – Whole 30 style

Mmmmmmm. There isn’t anything that says summer quite like barbecued ribs on the grill. Smokey and sweet and tangy, messy and terrific with a big baked potato and a salad.

There was a time when I believed that my rib eating days were over. The rub needed sugar! The sauce needed sugar! I thought for sure there was no way to get this bugger whole 30 compliant. Until I did.

I messed around with this a lot. Found all kinds of recipes that came close but didn’t hit the mark. I wanted to have a balanced sweet/vinegary sauce that would really compliment the meat, instead of hide it. This stuff, it’s awesome! I mean, super good. It’s no Sweet Baby Rays, but it really holds its own and gives you all the pleasure of sticky-fingered barbecue! Here’s the deal…


1+ rack of ribs (get enough to feed who you need to. The sauce will easily cover 2 racks)
large flake sea salt
cracked black pepper

Pre-heat oven to 200

Lay our ribs on aluminum foil. Generously salt and pepper the ribs. Wrap tightly in foil, place on rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 4+ hours.



2-8 oz cans of tomato sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 pitted dates
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp Ancho chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Throw first three ingredients into a high-speed blender and puree until dates are completely incorporated.

Pour puree into a saucepan and whisk in the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken. Move to an airtight container and refrigerate.

Oven finish:When your 4 hours are up, unwrap the ribs, jack the oven up to 425, and let them go, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Slather on the sauce and bake for another 10.
Grill finish: When your 4 hours are up, pull the ribs out of the oven and get them onto the hot grill. Start them face down, cooking for 5 minutes to get a nice crisp. Flip them, add sauce, and let cook for another 5-10 minutes.

Plate those suckers and serve them with your favorite side!*

*I made baked potatoes with mine. Using the oven finish method, I put the cleaned taters on a baking sheet and threw them in the oven about an hour before the ribs were done. When I heated the oven I rubbed them down with olive oil, sprinkled them with salt, and put them back in, rotating them at the 15-minute mark. They turned out awesome!

If you try it, let me know! I thought they were pretty damn good 🙂



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