Famous Dave’s Five Star BBQ Sticky Ribs

“Turn your backyard into the best rib joint in town with the Big Green Egg and these mouth-watering BBQ baby back ribs.” -Famous Dave

Recipe courtesy of Famous Dave. You can find out more about Dave in our Lifestyle Magazine.

5/5 (2 Reviews)


  • 4 racks loin back ribs
  • 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) melted hickory bacon grease
  • Yellow mustard
  • BBQ Sticky Ribs Marinade, Rib Rub and Frosting (recipes below)


Prepare ribs by pulling the membrane off the bone side. Start on the small end of the rack and work your thumb under the membrane (or use a butter knife). Once you have enough membrane to get a firm grip…grab it with a paper towel, and in one good pull jerk the membrane off the rack.

Prepare BBQ Sticky Ribs Marinade. Place one rack in each of four separate resealable bags with marinade. Be careful the sharp ends of the bones don’t puncture the bags. Seal the bags and place in the refrigerator for 12 hours.

At 7 hours turn ribs over; at 12 hours remove ribs from marinade and rinse under cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Rub both sides of ribs with a light coating of yellow mustard. Dust ribs evenly with Rib Rub and set for one hour to let the juices start mixing with seasonings.

Set the EGG for indirect cooking (with the convEGGtor) at 250°F/121°C. Place soaked hickory, apple or cherry wood (Dave’s favorite) chips on the charcoal. Place a Drip Pan on the convEGGtor and fill with 2 inches (5 cm) apple juice. Drizzle the ribs with melted hickory bacon grease and place on grate. After 2 hours, remove ribs; they should be a beautiful mahogany color.

Cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Place ribs on the foil and generously brush ribs with BBQ Sticky Ribs Frosting. Pour 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) apple juice into the bottom of the sheet pan. Next, create a foil tent over the ribs making sure the ribs do not touch the top of the foil. Place pan back in the EGG and cook 1 1⁄2 to 2 hours at 300°F/149°C until the ribs are tender. When you pick ribs up with your tongs, they should bend easily. Re-foil ribs and keep covered with a heavy towel to keep warm until you are ready to caramelize the sauce on your ribs. You do not want the ribs to be sitting out and losing their moisture.

While the ribs are resting, raise the temperature of the EGG to 600°F/316°C. You will need a hot grid to caramelize sauce on ribs. Baste ribs with sauce and place on hot cooking grid (Dave suggests you wear heat-resistant gloves like the Pit Mitt BBQ Glove.) Once the sauce starts to caramelize, turn over and slather with more sauce. With this last step, you are charring the sauce and building up layers of delicious flavors on your ribs. Don’t over-char your ribs or they will taste burnt…know the difference! When the ribs look beautifully caramelized, remove them from your EGG. Slice into single bones and serve with extra sauce.

Deliciously serves a party of 6

BBQ Sticky Ribs Marinade Ingredients

  • 2 cans frozen apple juice concentrate, prepared with 2 cans of purified water
  • 4 Tbsp (72 g) canning salt (Dave prefers Morton’s green box)
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) Wright’s Liquid Smoke
  • 4 Tbsp (60 ml) Frank’s Hot Sauce

BBQ Sticky Ribs Marinade Instructions

Mix ingredients together and equally divide into 4 two-gallon bags (turkey roasting bags work, too.)

Sticky Ribs Rub Ingredients

  • 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) fine sea salt
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) Kosher salt
  • 1⁄3 cup (80 ml) Maple sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup (80 ml) dark brown sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) Turbinado raw sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) granulated onion powder
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) granulated garlic
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) paprika
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) celery seed
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) dry rosemary (grind in coffee grinder)
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) cayenne pepper

Sticky Ribs Rub Instructions

In a bowl, add all ingredients and blend together. Note: when grinding dry rosemary, don’t grind into fine powder; grind just long enough to break it up into a coarse ground powder.

BBQ Sticky Ribs Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 cups (475 ml) Famous Dave’s Rich & Sassy BBQ Sauce
  • 2 cups (475 ml) Open Pit BBQ Sauce
  • 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) dark brown sugar
  • 12 oz (355 ml) Smucker’s Apricot Preserves
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) Frank’s Hot Sauce
  • 2 oz (60 ml) Kahlua Liqueur
  • 1⁄2 oz (15 g) semi sweet chocolate

BBQ Sticky Ribs Frosting Instructions

In a pan, add all ingredients. Blend together and heat up until the sauce simmers and the chocolate melts and is incorporated into the sauce. Remove from heat and cool. I call my BBQ sauce “Frosting” because it’s so tasty you’ll want to lick it all up!

9 thoughts on “Famous Dave’s Five Star BBQ Sticky Ribs”

  1. I made this for a Fourth of July BBQ over a year ago now but have returned to get inspiration for the “frosting” once again… these ribs turned out really really good. If you go the extra mile to follow the steps you will be rewarded. Thanks to the chef for sharing and inspiring me, my house guests were all very impressed and satisfied.

    1. I would be curious too about the foil tent. I am actually in the process now and I was just going to make the best tent I can and if the foil touches the ribs so be it. Many recipes call for wrapping the ribs in foil so I am not too concerned about that. If anyone has any good pointers, I’m all ears.

      1. I am going to use a foil pan to put then ribs in for this phase and cover with foil. the foil pan is about 2.5″ deep. voila – a tent with walls covered by aluminum foil.

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