Cooking with Beer: Porter-Braised and Grilled Baby Back Ribs

Looking for weekend grilling ideas? From our deep Cooking with Beer archive: You don’t need a smoker for this slam-dunk rib recipe—but you can include a smoked porter, if you want.

Sara Dumford May 25, 2024 - 3 min read

Cooking with Beer: Porter-Braised and Grilled Baby Back Ribs Primary Image

Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 2 hours
Serves: 4

The Rib Rub

1 Tbs chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbs brown sugar

The Ribs

1 full rack baby back ribs (about 4 lb/1.8 kg), silver skin removed
rib rub 1½ cup (12 fl oz/355 ml) porter beer
Barbeque sauce

Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl. Rub the ribs thoroughly with the mixture (you may not need all the rub for this recipe). Wrap the ribs in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.


Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Remove the ribs from the plastic wrap and place them in a roasting pan, bone-side down.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the porter to a simmer being careful not to let it boil over. Pour the beer around the ribs. Seal the roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil. Braise the ribs in the beer for 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until tender. Remove the ribs to a platter and pour the beer and accumulated pan juices into a saucepan. Simmer over low heat to reduce the sauce. Add ¼ cup (2fl oz/59 ml) of your favorite barbeque sauce to the mixture and stir to combine.

Heat your grill or broiler to medium-high. Brush the ribs with the reduced sauce and grill or broil the ribs until the sauce is brown and bubbly, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the ribs from the grill or broiler and brush them with additional sauce. Cut into individual ribs and serve.

Beer suggestions: Alaskan Smoked Porter (Juneau, Alaska), Deschutes Black Butte Porter (Bend, Oregon), Incendiary Brown Porter (Winston-Salem, North Carolina), Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter (Cleveland), Port City Porter (Alexandria, Virginia).