posted February 03, 2022
Smoked Orange Ribs
These smoked orange ribs are the most amazing fusion of Asian-inspired flavors and good, classic BBQ. If you love smoked ribs and sticky orange chicken, you’ll fall head over heels in love with these orange ribs.
Orange Ribs on the Smoker
We look everywhere when finding flavor inspiration to bring into the BBQ world. When we saw the chance to combine two of our kids favorite foods; orange chicken and smoked ribs; we couldn’t wait to take a crack at it.
These smoked orange ribs are juicy, tender, and pull beautifully off of the bone. The orange braise and homemade orange sauce glaze on top make everything tangy, sweet, spicy, and sticky, just like you’d imagine orange ribs should be!
Orange Glazed BBQ Ribs
The secret in these ribs comes from the orange glaze. This is a classic sticky Asian-inspired glaze that perfectly finishes off these ribs. Here’s what you’ll need to make this glaze. For full ingredient amounts, make sure to scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Sesame oil
- Chili flake
- Minced garlic
- Minced ginger
- Brown sugar
- Orange juice
- White distilled vinegar
- Soy sauce
You can make this sauce beforehand to save yourself some time, or you can prepare it while the ribs are on the smoker the day you’re making them. Either works well, so feel free to make this sauce whenever works for you. You can store premade or extra sauce in a sealed glass container until you are ready to use it.
How to Make Orange Ribs
Here’s how to make these sticky, sweet ribs.
- Preheat. First and foremost, fire up your favorite smoker and get the smoke flowing. Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees F, and allow plenty of time for the grill to come up in temp while you prepare the ribs. I recommend using a fruitwood with these ribs. Apple or cherry would work great, but if you can get your hands on some orange wood, you’re set!
- Prep the ribs. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. I like to do this by using a paper towel to pinch the corner of the membrane to give me some leverage to pull it off the bones. Next, season on all sides with Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub. You can make this from scratch using my recipe for Best Sweet Rub or purchase a bottle pre-made from the Hey Grill Hey Store.
- Smoke. Place the seasoned ribs on the smoker, and smoke them for 3 hours.
- Braise. Lay out 2 large sheets of aluminum foil. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar on each sheet. Next, place a rack of ribs bone side up on each sheet on top of the brown sugar then fold up the edges of the foil. Drizzle soy sauce and orange juice over the bones, tightly seal up the foil pouches and return to the smoker. Smoke for 2 hours.
- Glaze. Remove the foil pouches from the smoker. Unwrap the ribs and discard the liquid and the foil. Place the ribs back on the grill grates of the smoker, bone side down. Brush the orange glaze on the ribs, then continue smoking for another 30 minutes until the glaze has set.
- Rest, slice, and serve. Rest the ribs for 10-15 minutes, then slice them into individual ribs and serve with extra glaze.
How Long to Smoke Orange BBQ Ribs
With your smoker preheated to 225 degrees F, plan on 6 hours to fully smoke these ribs from start to finish.
Keep in mind that this time frame is only a guide and each rack of ribs cooks at its own pace. I recommend following the steps and times outlined in the post and recipe card, then make sure you have a reliable meat thermometer ready to go to take the temp of the meat while it’s cooking.
More Smoked Ribs Recipes
There are so many amazing and unique ways to smoke ribs. Whether you like to go nice and slow and have a bit of bite to your ribs, or you prefer them completely falling off the bone with a traditional BBQ sauce, Hey Grill Hey has all the rib recipes you could ever want here on the site.
Orange BBQ Ribs Recipe
Have I made you into an orange ribs fan? These guys are a new family favorite, so I see us making them extremely often to satisfy the entire family’s cravings.
Let us know what you thought of these ribs in the comment section below! We love to hear from you!
Orange BBQ Ribs
- 2 racks St. Louis Spare Ribs
- ¼ cup Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub (recipe in notes)
- ½ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon chili flake
- 1 Tablespoon garlic (minced)
- ½ teaspoon ginger (minced)
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup white distilled vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons green onions (thinly sliced)
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- Preheat. Preheat smoker to 225 degrees F. Use a fruitwood like apple, cherry, or even orange wood if you can get your hands on it.
- Prep the ribs. Remove the membrane from the backs of your racks of ribs and season on all sides with the Sweet Rub seasoning.
- Smoke. Place the ribs on the smoker bone side down and close the lid. Smoke for 3 hours.
- Braise. Lay out 2 large sheets of foil. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar on each sheet of foil. Place the ribs meat side down on top of the brown sugar. Fold up the edges and drizzle the soy sauce and orange juice over the bone side of the ribs. Seal up the foil pouches tightly and return to the smoker. Close the lid and cook for 2 more hours.
- Make the glaze. While the ribs braise, prepare the orange sauce. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the chili flakes, ginger, and garlic to the oil. Cook, stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes, or until the garlic is slightly browned and aromatic. Whisk in the orange juice, soy sauce, white vinegar, brown sugar, and sugar and bring to a boil. In a small bowl, mix together the water and cornstarch. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the boiling sauce, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens to a nice glaze consistency. Turn off the heat and set it aside.
- Glaze the ribs. Carefully unwrap the ribs and discard the foil and liquid. Return the ribs to the smoker, bone side down. Glaze the top of each rack of ribs with the orange glaze. Close the lid and smoke for an additional 30 minutes, or until the glaze is tacky and set on top of the ribs.
- Rest. Remove the ribs from the grill and rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Slice and enjoy. Top with sesame seeds and sliced green onions then slice and serve.
BBQ Must Haves
Join the Grill Squad
The Grill Squad is our exclusive membership program that will transform bland cookouts into booming barbecues that you'll remember for a lifetime. The technique and skills you learn will bring your backyard cookouts to a new level. For the cost of a full brisket, you'll get annual access to an exclusive BBQ community, Pitmaster Classes, discounts, and much much more!