Grilled Ribs with Watermelon BBQ Sauce are super easy to make and pack a serious flavour punch. Your family and friends will be begging for second helpings of this one. Be sure to have extra napkins on hand!
This post has been sponsored by National Watermelon Promotion Board. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks to all the companies, and readers, who help support Cravings of a Lunatic.
This recipe is easy and delicious which just happen to be my two favourite things in the world.
I’m obsessed with watermelon! Ever since I was a little kid it has been my favourite summer fruit. I can never get enough it during the summer months.
Honestly, I can eat an entire watermelon in a day. Once I slice one open I just keep grabbing bowls of it all throughout the day. I can’t help myself.
Watermelon is so versatile. Not only is it good on its own but it’s fabulous in both sweet and savoury recipes. The recipe possibilities are limitless.
One of my absolute favourite things to use it with is spare ribs. I know, I know. Some of you are blinking your eyes right now thinking I’ve lost my mind.
I have, just not about this!
Watermelon and pork go really well together and watermelon ribs are a thing of beauty. If you have not tried making them yet you really need to hop on the bandwagon.
Not even kidding. Make these immediately. Then invite me over to help you eat ’em all up!
You can use the watermelon juice as a marinade. If you’re smoking ribs you can use it as cooking liquid for tender ribs. It also makes a great barbecue sauce.
Once you grill your ribs I highly recommend adding watermelon salsa over top of them. I have a recipe for it included on my honey lime chicken tacos with watermelon salsa recipe.
How to Pick a Perfect Watermelon according to watermelon.org:
- Look the watermelon over. You are looking for a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.
- Lift it up. The watermelon should be heavy for its size. Watermelon is 92% water; most of the weight is water.
- Turn it over. The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.
How to Prep your Watermelon, according to watermelon.org:
- Wash watermelon in clean, running water.
- Use clean knives and cutting surfaces.
- Watermelon can be stored *uncut at room temperature for 7-10 days.
- Once cut, watermelon can be kept fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in a plastic container or plastic wrap.
- Because watermelon is 92% water, it freezes well.
- You can use the whole watermelon! The white of the rind is also nutritious and versatile. It can be preserved as pickles, jerky or kimchi.
The National Watermelon Promotion Board
The National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB) is a non-profit organization based in Orlando, Florida that represents 1,500 watermelon growers, shippers and importers. It is dedicated to increasing consumer demand for watermelon through promotion, research and educational programs.
Other recipes that would pair well with these ribs:
Places to stalk Cravings of a Lunatic!
Grilled Ribs with Watermelon BBQ Sauce
Watermelon BBQ Sauce:
- 2 racks pork spare ribs
- Puree watermelon in blender or food processor. Drain through a sieve or cheesecloth to remove any larger pieces. Add juice to a large container you can use for marinating the ribs.
- Juice the lime and add to the watermelon juice.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Stir to combine everything properly. Set aside.
- Add all of the rub ingredients to a small bowl. Use a whisk or fork to mix well. Set aside.
Watermelon BBQ Sauce:
- Puree watermelon in blender or food processor. 4 cups of cubes watermelon will become approximately 3 cups of watermelon juice once you puree it. Drain through a sieve or cheesecloth to remove any larger pieces.
- In a medium size saucepan, combine the watermelon juice and brown sugar. Bring to a low boil over medium heat and allow to cook for a few minutes. Add the tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, Tamari (or Teriyaki sauce) and minced garlic. Bring everything a low boil and allow it to bubble for about 1-2 minutes, then reduce to a simmer. Allow to cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until sauce reduces and thickens slightly. Take off heat and set aside.
- Preheat grill to 350 degrees F. Make sure you have a direct heat side and an indirect heat side. You will be grilling these over indirect heat for the majority of the time they are on the grill.
- Remove the membrane from the ribs before prepping and cooking! Add the ribs to the container filled with marinade. Place lid over top and shake. Allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.
- Remove ribs from container and discard excess juice.
- Place ribs on a cutting board. Sprinkle the rub on all sides of the ribs making sure to coat the entire surface evenly.
- Place ribs on grill over the indirect heat. Close lid and cook for 1 hour.
- Flip the ribs over and continue cooking over indirect heat for another 30 minutes.
- Place ribs over direct heat and cook on both sides, just until ribs begin to char slightly. You can slather them with some of the sauce now or wait and sauce them once they are off the heat. Some people prefer to sauce on the grill and some prefer to sauce off the grill. You do you! No judgement here!
- Remove from grill and place on a rimmed sheet or platter.
- Slather the ribs with the watermelon bbq sauce.
- Serve with a big saucy smile!
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