Go Back
Grilled Ribs with Watermelon BBQ Sauce
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 45 mins

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!

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: grilled ribs with watermelon bbq sauce
Servings: 8
Calories: 594 kcal
  • 2 cups watermelon
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
Dry Rub:
Watermelon BBQ Sauce:
  • 2 racks pork spare ribs
  1. 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. 

  2. Juice the lime and add to the watermelon juice. 

  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

  4. Stir to combine everything properly. Set aside. 

Dry Rub:
  1. Add all of the rub ingredients to a small bowl. Use a whisk or fork to mix well. Set aside. 

Watermelon BBQ Sauce:
  1. 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.

  2. 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. 

  1. 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. 

  2. 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. 

  3. Remove ribs from container and discard excess juice. 

  4. Place ribs on a cutting board. Sprinkle the rub on all sides of the ribs making sure to coat the entire surface evenly.

  5. Place ribs on grill over the indirect heat. Close lid and cook for 1 hour. 

  6. Flip the ribs over and continue cooking over indirect heat for another 30 minutes. 

  7. 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!

  8. Remove from grill and place on a rimmed sheet or platter. 

  9. Slather the ribs with the watermelon bbq sauce. 

  10. Serve with a big saucy smile!

Recipe Notes

These are a quicker version of grilled ribs. If you prefer smoked ribs you can use the 3,2, 1 method. I'll be sharing another version of these on my grill blog this weekend. 


You can skip the marinade if pressed for time but don't skip the sauce!


If using good quality tomato paste that comes in a tube instead of a can please reduce amount needed to 2 ounces. The tube tomato paste seems to pack more of a tomato punch than the cheaper canned versions!


Don't have Tamari sauce? You can use Teriyaki or any soy sauce instead!

Nutrition Facts
Grilled Ribs with Watermelon BBQ Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 594 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 166mg55%
Sodium 862mg37%
Potassium 1128mg32%
Carbohydrates 42g14%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 37g41%
Protein 45g90%
Vitamin A 1115IU22%
Vitamin C 16.6mg20%
Calcium 92mg9%
Iron 3.3mg18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.