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Barbecue recipes for the 4th of July

No 4th of July celebration is complete without barbecue. The aroma of grilled meat is as essential to the grand celebration as the blazing fireworks that light up the night sky. You can take the celebration even further by trying out these special recipes from

Smoky baby loin back ribs

Go traditional by serving baby loin back ribs. This classic recipe, which uses smoky, flavorful, and tender fall-off-the-bone ribs, is a sure winner.


  • 3 slabs baby back ribs (trimmed of fat)
  • ¼ cup Cajun seasoning
  • Hickory wood chunks
  • Barbecue sauce (bottled)


  1. Rinse ribs and pat dry. Make ribs more tender by removing thin membrane at the back.
  2. Sprinkle Cajun seasoning evenly and rub into meat. Let it stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Soak hickory wood chunks in water for at least 30 minutes. Set smoker temperature at 225° to 250° for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Drain wood and put it on coals. Place rib slabs on the rib rack’s upper cooking grate. Cover.
  5. Smoke ribs for 3 ½ to 4 hours. Temperature should be between 225° and 250°.
  6. Take out ribs and cover in thick aluminum foil.
  7. Smoke ribs for 30 minutes more.
  8. Serve with barbecue sauce.

Honey soy ribs

Give your barbecue that Asian edge with this fancy but easy recipe.


  • 2 slabs pork spareribs (around 4 lbs.)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sherry (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • Sesame seeds and thinly sliced onions to garnish


  1. Rinse and pat ribs dry. Make meat more tender by slicing off the thin membrane from the back. Pull off.
  2. Boil ribs and water in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium heat and simmer 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Place ribs in 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
  3. Stir in honey and next 4 ingredients. Pour over ribs.
  4. Heat grill to 350° to 400°. Place ribs on unlit side. Cover for 45 minutes.
  5. Rearrange meat and baste with sauce every 20 minutes. Slice ribs between bones. Garnish if desired.

Sweet hot baby back ribs

Who says barbecue can’t be a tad sweeter? It makes baby back ribs taste even more heavenly. Just make sure you prep ahead of time.


  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 3 slabs baby back ribs
  • 2 limes
  • Sweet-Hot ‘Cue Sauce (see recipe below)


  1. Mix first 4 ingredients in bowl.
  2. Wash ribs and take out membrane at the back to make it more tender
  3. Cut limes, squeeze the juice, and rub into meat.
  4. Massage ginger on all sides of the meat.
  5. Wrap meat in cling wrap, stuff in a freezer bag, or place on a baking dish.
  6. Cover and chill for 8 hours.
  7. Cool for 30 minutes and unwrap before grilling.
  8. Heat one side of grill to 350° to 400° and place rib slabs on unlit side, one over the other.
  9. Grill for 40 minutes.
  10. Shift to medium heat and unstack rib slabs.
  11. Cook for 30 minutes, basting with half of the Sweet-Hot ‘Cue Sauce.
  12. Remove ribs and let stand for 10 minutes.
  13. Cut ribs and serve with remaining sauce.

Sweet-Hot ‘Cue Sauce


  • 2 (10-oz.) bottles sweet chili sauce
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes


  1. Blend the sweet chili sauce and the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat.
  4. Simmer 30 minutes.