This suya-spiced baby back ribs recipe is sponsored by the National Pork Board and perfect for easy summer grilling.
We're in the thick of grilling season, and I'm excited to share a delicious new recipe with you today, my suya baby back ribs. Nothing says "summer cookout" quite like a rack of ribs, and suya or yaji spice was made for grilling. So why not marry that perfect flavor profile with perfectly grilled pork ribs? Suya spice is a flavorful blend from West Africa--Nigeria specifically, which is where my dad is from. It's easy to make and utterly delicious. Do I have your attention? Start scrolling for all the juicy details. And I really mean juicy!
If you aren't familiar with suya seasoning, think of it as a peanut dry rub for ribs. I love it on vegetables and knew it would work wonderfully here since pork is extremely versatile and can take on a wide variety of global flavors. These sweet and spicy peanut ribs are a family favorite because they're fall-off-the-bone tender and literally finger-licking good. You hardly have to cut into them and the flavor is outstanding.
Suya Pork Back Rib Ingredients
- Apple Juice
- Rack of Baby Back Pork Ribs
- Sea Salt
- Suya Spice Blend (here's my homemade recipe)
The beauty of this grilled rib recipe is in its simplicity. You only need the four ingredients above for flavor off the charts. Rub the ribs down with sea salt and my favorite West African spice blend then cook them over the apple juice for ultra-tender grilled baby back ribs with no sauce needed. Suya spice is made with peanuts, peppers, smoked paprika, and other flavors so the ribs will taste nutty, fiery, and smoky, with a hint of sweetness from the apple juice. Keep scrolling for my secrets for cooking moist and tender ribs without a smoker.
Tips for the Juiciest Pork Ribs
- How to remove silver skin from ribs? To make sure your ribs aren't unnecessarily chewy, you'll want to remove the silver skin from the back of the rack. It's very easy to do and takes just a minute. Here's a quick video on the process.
- What temperature to cook pork ribs? Low and slow is the name of the game here. Keeping the grill at about 300 degrees and resisting the urge to open the hood (and, thus, let heat escape) gives the best results that balance time and tenderness. Ribs should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145⁰F for safe consumption. I cook mine to about 190⁰F to melt down more of the fat, which makes for juicier ribs. Learn more about pork cooking temperature here.
- How to keep pork ribs juicy while gas grilling? Indirect heat is best for moist ribs and this is possible on a gas grill. To achieve this, I turn the burners to the far right and left to about ¾ of full heat and cook the ribs in the middle. Place them in a foil pan with the apple juice and cover tightly. Once the ribs are done, just dress them in their own pan drippings to not waste any flavor!
- Do I need sauce for my ribs to be juicy? Short answer, no. No sauce is needed for these grilled baby back ribs. In fact, many folks around here feel like you have something to hide if you bury your ribs in sauce. I let the flavor and texture of these ribs speak for themselves by simply rubbing the rib rack with sea salt and suya spice. That's it. No finishing sauce.
- How to tell when my ribs are cooked and done? When back ribs are done, the meat will pull away from the ends of the bones a bit, exposing convenient little handles to grip while you eat. The rack should bend easily when lifted and the meat will come off the bones with ease.
What to Serve with Suya Ribs
These ribs are made very simply but have a lot of flavor, so they pair well with lots of other foods. For a balanced cookout spread, serve these delicious sides and dessert recipes with your suya seasoned ribs.
- Balsamic Potato Salad
- Deviled Egg Dip
- Mac & Cheese Cups
- Peach Cobbler
- Smoky Nigerian Jollof Rice
- Sweet Potato Casserole
I see tender back ribs cooked on a gas grill low and slow in your future. And sharing is caring so pin my juicy West African spiced rib recipe on Pinterest. Visit pork.org for more pork cooking ideas and inspiration. Thanks for reading!
How to Cook Suya Ribs on a Gas Grill
Juicy, slow-grilled pork back ribs rubbed with West African suya spice
- 1 rack baby back ribs about 3 pounds
- ⅓ cup suya spice mix
- 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- 1 cup apple juice
Heat grill to 300 degrees farenheit. Indirect heat is best. To prep gas grill for indirect heat, turn on far right and left burners to about ¾ flame and monitor temperature.
Pour apple juice into a foil pan.
Remove silver skin from back of ribs. Sprinkle sea salt and suya spice over ribs and press into both sides. Place rack into foil pan and cover the top tightly with foil.
Place pan onto middle of grill and cover. Cook for about 1 ½ - 2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 190 degrees farenheit.
Remove pan from grill and raise heat to high. Place ribs back onto grill directly and cook for five minutes per side for a bit of char. Baste with pan drippings and allow ribs to rest for 10 minutes before cutting.