Sticky Root Beer BBQ Ribs

These Sticky Root Beer BBQ Ribs are going to be a hit at your BBQ! A sweet, sticky bbq sauce coats these ribs for a finger licking, delicious meal!

We love making ribs of all flavors! Try our over the top DEEP FRIED WHISKEY RIBS or these easy, OVERNIGHT BBQ RIBS that can cook away in your crock pot. These classic BBQ PARTY RIBS that can be made ahead of time and finished off on your grill in just minutes!

These Sticky Root Beer BBQ Ribs have the most addicting BBQ sauce ever!

How To Pre-Cook Ribs In The Oven

I used to request BBQ Ribs for every birthday dinner. My second request was for my grandmother to be flown in from Chicago, and that happened almost every year. My dad who taught me how to make the best bbq ribs, and being from the mid-west where meat is king, I figured he knew what he was talking about.

First you season the ribs with a dry rub. There’s store bought rubs you can use or just follow this recipe as a guide. Then you cook the ribs low and slow in your oven until they are tender and cooked through.

Sticky Root Beer BBQ Ribs start with a dry rub before going in the oven.

At this point you can let the ribs cool, wrap them in foil and keep them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat. Who knew a ribs recipe could be such a make ahead dinner recipe?

I know I never thought about ribs that way, I always though they were more of a difficult dinner request…not that it stopped me from asking for them!

After the ribs have cooked in the oven, all you need to do is make the sticky root beer glaze and get them on the grill. So whether you’re making this pork ribs recipe for dinner or for a party, you’ve only got about 15 minutes to chow time.

Sticky Root Beer BBQ Ribs after 3 hours in the oven.

Just look at how juicy these bbq ribs in the oven turn out! You can also throw some bbq sauce on here right at this point and call it dinner. No judging, they’ll be super delicious.

Because maybe you want to make these bbq ribs in the winter or colder weather and you don’t have a grill out? Baste them with bbq sauce and place them under the broiler for 5 minutes, you’ll be good to go.

But if you do have your grill available, these pork spareribs only need about 15 minutes to get a good char and warm the sauce through. It’s definitely worth the step if you can!

Sticky Root Beer BBQ Ribs on the grill, basting with root beer barbecue sauce

This Root Beer Barbecue Sauce Is So Addicting!

Hang on to your seats because you’re going to LOVE this barbecue sauce recipe!

Make this simple but delicious barbecue sauce ahead of time and then you can warm it up on your grill burner or stove top when it’s time to baste the ribs.

Pro tip here! You only want to start basting the ribs with the bbq sauce during the last few minutes of cooking. Like many bbq sauce recipes, this sauce has a good amount of sugar in it so if you add it too soon it will burn on the grill.

These Sticky Root Beer BBQ Ribs have the most amazing bbq sauce ever!

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Sticky Root Beer BBQ Ribs in a root beer mug

What Can I Serve With These BBQ Ribs?

There are SO many options here, ribs go with just about anything so head over to our side dish menu and take a look for yourself, but here are some of out favorites!

These Sticky Root Beer BBQ Ribs have the most amazing sauce ever!

Sticky Root Beer BBQ Ribs

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x

This bbq ribs recipe has the most amazing bbq sauce ever! It’s sticky and sweet and coats the pork spareribs perfectly!



  • 2 racks of pork spareribs (about 34 pounds each)

For the Root Beer Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 12 ounces of root beer (1 can)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

For the Dry Rub

  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Mix the ingredients together for the dry rub and season the ribs on both sides, using all or most of the dry rub.
  3. Place the ribs on a baking sheet lined with foil, then cover the sheet pan with foil on top.
  4. Bake the ribs in the oven for 2 – 2 1/2 hours until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside until ready to grill.
  5. To make sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  6. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, being careful not to brown the garlic.
  7. Slowly pour in the root beer, bring to a simmer and let reduce for 10 minutes. After the root beer has reduced, add in the rest of the sauce ingredients and stir.
  8. Cook the sauce on low heat for 20 minutes.
  9. Place the ribs on a medium grill (about 400 degrees) for 5 minutes on each side until warmed through.
  10. Flip the ribs over so the bottom side is up and baste the ribs with a good amount of sauce then close the lid and cook for 5 minutes
  11. Turn the ribs over so the top of the ribs are up and baste with the sauce then close the lid and cook for another 5 minutes.
  12. Baste the ribs with another layer of sauce before taking them off the grill.
  13. Once the ribs have cooled slightly, cut the racks into sections of three to four ribs and serve with extra sauce on the side.

Recipe Notes

You can pre-bake these ribs and keep them in the refrigerator until you’re ready, just add a couple of more minutes to heat them up on the grill!

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven/Grill
  • Cuisine: American


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17 Responses
  1. Sheri

    I would love to try this but is the root beer liqueur absolutely necessary? I can’t find small bottles where I live and I don’t want to purchase a big bottle. Or is there a substitute or just leave it out? Thank you for your help.

    1. Dan

      The liquor does give the ribs a great flavor, but I totally get it. I would try using 1/4 cup of dark molasses as a substitute! Let me know how it turns out!

      1. Sheri

        Thank you for your quick response! I’m making these today. I’ll try the dark molasses in place of the root beer liqueur & let you know how it goes. Thanks again.

  2. Sheri

    WOW!!! The ribs came out AMAZING! The sauce is to die for. I subbed molasses for the root beer liqueur but I can definitely see how the root beer liqueur would be so flavorful. I think I’m going to invest in a bottle. Outstanding recipe. Thank you!!

    1. Dan

      I’m so happy it worked out for you! I think after reading your comment I’m going to have to have to make these again soon myself too! Thanks Sheri!

  3. Jude

    Found your blog today and have enjoyed it! Root Beer Liquor-do use like the Dekuyper Liquor or Not Your Father’s RootBeer for the BBQ sauce? Thank you!

    1. Dan

      Root beer liquor for the sauce, but you could make it extra boozy and swap out Not Your Father’s Root Beer for regular root beer too! Thank you for stopping by!

  4. Marianne

    You mention … “By the unique addition of ‘Hoisin’ sauce” in the Sauce recipe.
    Hoisin Sauce is not listed in the Ingredients. Please tell me how much to use.
    I adore Hoisin Sauce. Thanxxx … :)

    1. Dan

      That was an update to this recipe I forgot to take out in the text. We updated the BBQ sauce and decided that it didn’t need the extra ingredient of hoisin, but if you want to use it cut the ketchup down to 3/4 cup and add 1/4 cup of hoisin sauce.

  5. Lea Poirier

    Very confused , in your ingredient list you call fir a can of root beer, a d I. Your comments you talk about loot beer liqueur. If I use regular root beer ,will it still thicken

    1. Dan

      This is an old recipe, we used to add a small amount of root beer liquor but many people were having a hard time finding it so we reworked the recipe to just use root beer. Yes, it will still thicken.

  6. Lea Poirier

    I am just making the sauce and Idid find some root beer liqueur, the sauce is not thickening, any idea what I should do. Le

    1. Dan

      Did you let the root beer reduce for 20 minutes before adding the rest of the sauce ingredients? I would just keep the sauce on simmer, uncovered until it’s the consistency that you like.

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