Sugar Free Smoky Rhubarb BBQ Ribs Low Carb

There aren’t a lot of things I find more appealing then a sticky, sweet, slightly spicy, rack of ribs. The kind of ribs you need a LOT of napkins for if you know what I mean!

And don’t be a wuss about eating them either – you need to clean allllll that delicious goodness off of the bones LIKE YOU MEAN IT.  Are you with me on this???

It drives me crazy to see someone take a couple of bites from a rib and set it aside with tons of meaty chunks still sitting there waiting to be gnawed off proper like. Mr. Hungry isn’t a fan of the fatty bits, so he usually leaves a lot of what I consider the best parts on the plate. I have no qualms about having at his when I’m done with mine (though anybody else’s are off limits, because ewww – cooties.)

I’m proud to say that Hungry Jr. is fully on my side in this debate, he thinks pork fat and crispy skin are two of the greatest things ever created. THAT’S MY BOY. Future foodie, comin’ thru.

No matter what your style when it comes to eating ribs, I’m pretty sure that you are going to agree that this low carb smoky rhubarb BBQ sauce is going to make them taste amazing!

Don’t eat ribs? That’s ok, this sauce would be just as good (if not better) on some grilled or baked chicken thighs!! In fact I plan to use the rest of my sauce to try it out myself!

The smoky flavor comes from the chipotles, which also add a nice amount of heat.  The sweetness is what keeps you coming back for more though, as it perfectly complements the fatty, savory, pork.

Interestingly, the rhubarb acts as a natural thickener in this recipe, giving it the clingy, sticky consistency that I look for in a great BBQ sauce (which is hard to achieve in a low carb version usually.)  The rhubarb also contributes a pleasant tanginess that rounds out the flavors perfectly.  You won’t be able to quit eating these – promise.

No matter how good your BBQ sauce is, if you don’t season your meat generously before cooking, that flavor won’t penetrate all the way through.  That’s why I like a good spice rub on the meat as a foundation – then I grill, smoke, or roast it low and slow for a few hours before I even think about adding the BBQ sauce.

You can purchase any sugar free rub to use, or make your own which is pretty easy to do.   This one was just a combination of salt, pepper, paprika, allspice, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground coriander.  If you don’t want to go to all that trouble, at the very least be sure to season your meat with a liberal amount of salt and pepper before cooking.

Then, after it’s roasted for a few hours and is starting to get tender, I slather on my first layer of BBQ sauce and put it back in the oven.  I layer on the sauce every 30 minutes or so, for about the next 2 hours.  That way it bakes in and forms a delicious crust that seals in all the moisture.

Once the meat is tender enough to pull apart easily, I slice it between the bones and pile the pieces on a plate or platter.  You can serve the ribs with the extra sauce if you like, but I personally prefer the flavor of the sauce that’s cooked on to the ribs.  Adding more of the other sauce is overkill for me – but this is about you, so go for it if it’s how you want to eat them!  Just be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand!

Some delicious side dishes to accompany these ribs would be my Easy Keto Broccoli Slaw and Jalapeno Cheddar Cauliflower Muffins.  Then for dessert, try my Keto Lemon Bars or low carb Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Pie Bars!

Can’t get enough BBQ recipes?  Check out my recent post of 65 Best Low Carb Recipes for BBQ’s, Picnics, and Summer Parties!


To get more great recipes for Summer or anytime, download my super bundle of FIVE e-books for just $19.99!

Ingredients :

  • 2 cups raw rhubarb, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar substitute (I used Swerve)
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 Tbsp sugar free ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp avocado or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 large rack of pork ribs
  • 1.5 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander

Instructions :

  1. Combine the rhubarb, chipotle, sweetener, apple cider vinegar, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Puree the mixture (a hand held immersion blender works best for this) and return to the stove.
  3. Add the mustard powder, allspice, onion powder, salt, ground cloves, ketchup, oil, paprika, ginger, coriander, garlic powder, and fish sauce to the pan and stir well until combined.
  4. Cook over low heat for another 5 minutes.
  5. Combine all of the rib spices together and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle generously on all sides of the ribs. Place the seasoned rack in a pan (you can line it with parchment or foil if you desire) and bake in a 350 degree oven for 2 hours (3 hours if it’s a really thick rack.)
  6. Remove ribs from the oven and baste with a layer of BBQ sauce.
  7. Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  9. Remove the ribs from the oven and baste with another layer of BBQ sauce.
  10. Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  11. Remove the ribs from the oven and baste with another layer of BBQ sauce.
  12. Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  13. Check to see if the middle of the ribs will cut easily. If there is still resistance and they aren’t coming apart easily, baste again and cook for an additional 30 minutes or until done to your liking.

Written by Healthy Cat

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