Smoked Honey-Teriyaki Glazed Baby Back Ribs

Who does not love Pork Ribs? If you have not tried smoked pork ribs before, then you will quickly learn that there is simply no other way to cook them as tender and deliciously! Pork ribs without any sauce or marinade is great and the Honey-Teriyaki glaze just further enhances it with a smoky, sweet, and savoury flavour guaranteed to make you eat these ribs to the bone!

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 3 hours
Resting Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 3 hours 40mins

Ideal Internal Hero Smoker & Grill Temperature: 110 - 120°C

Ideal Cooked Serving Temperature: 70 °C

Recommend Cooking Method: Direct, with the pork ribs hanging vertically in the Hero smoker & grill.

Course: Main Dish

Servings: 4-6 people

Optional: Place 2 / 3 Apple or Cherry wood chunks within your charcoals / briquettes to impart further flavour



Baby Back Ribs (Loin Ribs):

  • 3 x Baby back ribs
  • 3 x Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1.5 x Tbsp fine sea salt
  • 3 x Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 x Tsp Chinese Five-Spice

Honey-Teriyaki Glaze:

  • 1 x Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 x Tbsp of peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 x Garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 x Tbsp sesame seeds
  • ⅔ x Cup honey
  • 2 x Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • ⅓ x Cup soya sauce (use lower-salt content option if possible)
  • 1 x Tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1 x Tbsp Maizena, dissolved in 3 x tbsp cold water
  • 2 x Tbsp Green onions, finely chopped

Apple Cider Vinegar Spritz:

  • 1 x Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 x Cup of water
  • Spray bottle


  1. Two hours before the planned braai start preparing your ribs.
  2. Rinse the ribs and use a kitchen towel to pat dry on your Firesmiths Hardwood Chopping Board.
  3. Trim the pork ribs of any fat and carefully remove the membrane located on the back of the ribs using a butter knife, the tip of your Firesmiths Instant Read Thermometer or normal dinner knife.
  4. In a food bowl mix together the brown sugar, fine sea salt and Chinese five spice.
  5. Rub the Dijon mustard all over the ribs and then season generously with the spice mix making sure you cover both sides. Place in the fridge for 2 – 3 hours for the spice to set onto meat which will prevent the seasoning from falling off once hanged inside the Hero Smoker & Grill. Take note Dijon mustard does not impart any real taste to the ribs once cooked. It is primarily used as binder for the seasoning to stick to the meat.
  6. For the Honey-Teriyaki glaze, heat the sesame oil in a frying pan over a medium heat stove. Add the ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, honey, rice vinegar, soya sauce, sriracha sauce and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and slightly softened.
  7. Increase the heat of the pan to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir the Maizena mixture to briefly recombine, then gradually add it to the pan while whisking constantly and boil until thickened, roughly 1 minute. Remove from heat, let it rest and cool down and then place in the fridge.
  8. Light your Hero Smoker & Grill according to instructions.
  9. Preheat the Hero Smoker & Grill to a medium temperature of around 110°C - 120°C
  10. Using the steel hooks, hook each rib at one end section (the heaviest) making sure to place the hooks at least two / three ribs rows down between the ribs for a secure fit.
  11. Hang the ribs sufficiently spaced from one another and cook for about 2 ½  hours or until you see the meat pulling back from the bone – about 2cm.
  12. Optional – you can spritz the ribs every hour of the cook by mixing the Apple Cider vinegar with water and using a normal spray bottle to give it more moisture if you feel it’s needed.
  13. Remove the ribs and then brush all sides with the Honey-Teriyaki glaze until completely covered.
  14. Place and hang the ribs back into Hero smoker for about 20min – 30min in order for the glaze to caramelise.
  15. Once done pull the ribs off and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.
  16. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds and place any remaining glaze into a sauce bowl should anyone want some more.
  17. Be ready for no leftovers once your guests started digging in!

Firesmiths notes:

  • Don’t try to pull of the membrane of the pork with your bare hands. The membrane is extremely slippery and can break if you use a very sharp knife to lift it – use a butter or normal dinner knife to get under the membrane and then take kitchen towel to pull it off in one go.
  • You can use this recipe for baby back ribs (loin ribs), St. Louis style ribs or spare ribs.
  • If you are strapped for time, you can skip preparing / resting the meat for two hours before cooking but then make sure to season it more generously as some of the spice will fall off during the cook.
  • The meat on ribs is too thin for you to use a thermometer to check whether they are done or not during your cook. Use visual cues to help such as checking how far the meat has pulled back from the bone (1cm – 1.5cm) or by doing the “bend test” –the ribs should be flexible but not fall apart. Hold a rack from the end with a pair of braai tongs and let the other end bend towards the ground. If it bends but holds with coming apart, its done. Another method you can also explore is the “toothpick test”. Simply stick a toothpick down between two bones, if the ribs are done the toothpicks will go through with very little resistance.
  • Use an apple cider and water mix to spritz the ribs if you feel it needs more moisture depending on your fire conditions.
  • Remember that it is ok to cook to temperature and not to time. Use a thermometer to help you take all the guesswork out should it take longer to cook than the time stated in the recipe and look for the ribs to pull back from the bone about 2cm – then you know it’s done.