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Smoked BBQ Ribs, The Art of Smoking

by Chris Price, Hospitality Training Officer, Cambrian Training

As summer in now in full swings and the holidays are here and you start planning your outdoor BBQ parties, why not impress your guest by making your very own BBQ spare ribs that will leave them wanting more of your delicious food.

Here is a guide on how to make your very own smoked BBQ ribs at home using oven for tenderness, making your own glaze and the ultimate finish on the BBQ coals.


  • 6 meaty Welsh Beef short ribs (about 3kg/6lb 8oz),

  • 75ml Blodyn Aur Rapeseed oil

  • 3 onions, thickly sliced

  • 450ml Tiny Rebel, Cwtch Hoppy Craft Lager

  • 700ml good-quality chicken stock

  • 140g black treacle

  • Small bunch thyme

  • 50g burnt oak wood chips, tied in a muslin bag

  • 100g Ketchup

  • 100g Mustard

  • 75g brown sauce

For the marinade

  • 2 tbsp cayenne pepper

  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tbsp toasted cumin seeds

  • 2 tbsp garlic powder

  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper

  • 6 tbsp Blodyn Aur Rapeseed Oil

Making your marinade;

First, make the marinade.

  1. Mix the spices and 3 tbsp salt in a bowl, then stir in the oil to make a paste.

  2. Use a knife to make a deep hole in each short rib, then rub the spice mix all over and into the hole, working the flavour into the meat.

  3. Place on a tray, cover and chill overnight.

Slowing Cooking your Ribs;

The next day, heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2.

  1. Heat the oil in a large, shallow pan, tip in the onions and fry until you start to get a deep, rich colour – about 20 mins. Don’t be scared of the colour, this will add amazing savoury sweetness to the dish.

  2. Pour in the beer and boil to reduce by half, then add the stock, treacle, thyme and oak chips, if using. Stir well and bring to a simmer.

  3. Place the marinated short ribs in your largest roasting tin and pour over the onion and beer braising liquid, then cover tightly with foil.

  4. Transfer to the oven and cook the short ribs for 5 hrs or until really tender.

  5. Once the ribs are cooked, remove and put on a plate to rest and cool.

Making your glaze;

  1. Strain the braising liquid from the ribs into a saucepan.

  2. Once settled, use a ladle to remove the top layer of fat, then set over a high heat.

  3. Simmer the sauce until it becomes rich and glossy, then whisk in the ketchup, mustard and brown sauce.

Barbecuing your Ribs;

To barbecue the ribs, heat your coals until ashen or set a gas barbecue to medium.

  1. Cook the ribs until nicely charred and hot all the way through

  2. Then baste with the sauce to finish and cook until sticky.

If the weathers not been kind you can cook them indoors on the grill.

  1. Heat the grill.

  2. Set a wire rack over an oven tray and place the ribs on top.

  3. Baste well with the sauce and grill, basting with the sauce a few times, until it forms a charred, sticky crust.


Set aside to rest before serving with the onion rings and slaw or even some grilled corn on the cob with lashing of butter.

The techniques and skills used in this recipe are taught to apprentices, who are working towards an Apprenticeship Level 2 & 3 in Professional Cookery and covers preparing meat, cooking & finishing of complex dishes. For more information about how we can help support your business or help you become an apprentice, please contact Cambrian Training Company at or email;

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