Skip to Content

Sweet Tea and Honey Barbecued Ribs

Sharing is caring!


These Sweet Tea & Honey Barbecued Ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy! They literally melt in your mouth, and are so easy to make! Don’t have a grill or smoker? No worries! These are slow-baked right in the oven! Make some for the whole family this holiday weekend! 


I’ve been using sweet tea as a marinade for ribs, chicken, and chops for years, and these sweet and spicy baby backs are one the entire family is sure to enjoy! Every tender, juicy bite even tastes like summer! 

So, let’s get right to it, because you’re definitely going to want to make these!!

First, you MUST remove that gawd awful, icky, sinew from the back. It’s totally gross. And I’m sorry about the picture, but I wanted you to see.

It’s really easy to remove. Just start a corner of it with a fork or butter knife to get it started, then grab hold of it with a little wad of paper towel, and usually, you can just pull the whole dang thing off in one long piece. 





Then, you’re going to place the rack of ribs, whole or cut in half, into a shallow baking dish. Cover it completely with sweet tea, homemade or store-bought, cover, and chill overnight or for at least 4 hours.

While the ribs are marinating, mix up your dry rub.  




When ribs are done marinating, remove them from the tea and place them onto a sprayed sheet of foil meaty side up. Discard the marinade. 

Coat them with half of the rub, turn them over, and coat them with the rest. You’ll have WAY plenty of rub, probably even enough to do TWO racks. 






Then bring up the sides of the foil to meet, roll down until it touches the ribs, then roll up each end sealing the ribs well. 

Place them onto a foil-lined baking sheet and bake them now, or let them marinate again.

After baking, open the foil carefully, and baste the bone side with half of the barbecue sauce.

*My hubby sometimes likes me to remove the bones so he can enjoy them on a sandwich, so you can remove the bones before saucing if you’d like! 





Now, you can finish these in the oven, or toss them onto the grill!






Either way, as you can see, they turn out FANTASTIC!!!





Then, just cut them into nice sections…





…admire your work and pat yourself on the back….





….and grab a plate!





No, the BIG plate!!!! …hehe. 




Nicely sweet, with a hint of tea and little spice, these ribs are sure to bring smiles by the miles!!

The perfect oven, grill, or smoker recipe for the holiday weekend, these Sweet Tea and Honey Barbecued Ribs will have the entire neighborhood jealous! Best make a few more racks….

Enjoy the Memorial weekend, STAY SAFE, and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for all to live in a democracy where every person has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Please, take a moment to remember them. 



Sweet Tea and Honey Barbecued Ribs

Sweet Tea and Honey Barbecued Ribs

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes


  • 1 rack baby back ribs, trimmed of excess fat, sinew from back removed


  • Turkey Hill Sweet Tea, to cover, or homemade

For Barbecue Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup sweet thick barbecue sauce, I used Sweet Baby Ray's Original
  • 2 Tbl. sweet tea
  • 1 1/2 Tbl. honey
  • 1/8 tsp. good chipotle powder

For Rub:

  • 1 Tbl. paprika
  • 1/2 Tbl. salt
  • 1/2 Tbl. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp. dried leaf oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar, can sub light brown


    Remove sinew (silver skin) from back of ribs. Place ribs into a shallow baking dish, and cover completely with sweet tea. Cover, and place into fridge overnight or at least 4 hours. 

    Remove ribs from marinade, discard marinade. Place rack of ribs, meaty side up onto a large sheet of sprayed, heavy duty foil.

    In small bowl, mix very well the dry rub ingredients. Pat on a little over half onto the top (meaty) side of the ribs. Turn ribs over, and pat on rest of rub (on the bone side). Bring up sides of foil and roll down. Roll up each end. *BE CAREFUL not to tear or make holes in foil. Place onto a foil-lined baking sheet, seam-side, (bone-side), up.

    Bake now, or let let marinate again for several hours or even overnight.

    Preheat oven to 300º F.

    Pop ribs into oven and bake for 2 1/2 hours. Remove from oven.

    Turn oven up to 350º F.

    Carefully open foil, and move ribs to a new foil-lined baking sheet bones side-up. (*You can remove the bones if you'd like.) 

    In small saucepan, whisk together sauce ingredients well. Heat just to a simmer, stirring, remove from heat. (This can be done while ribs are baking.) Coat bone side with a little less than half of the sauce.

    When oven has reached 350º, pop into oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, turn ribs over, coat with rest of sauce. Pop back into oven and bake another 5 minutes. Cut into serving-sized pieces.

    *You can also finish ribs on the grill if preferred. **If you'd rather smoke them, follow my slow-smoking directions in my recipe, "Damn Good Smoked BBQed Ribs!" 




Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Skip to Recipe