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Baby Back Pork Ribs With Special Sauce

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Tender Juicy “Fall-Of-The-Bone” Grilled Baby Back Ribs with a special lip-smacking sauce made with apricot and orange marmalade and a few other secret ingredients that I’m sharing with YOU. 

Baby Back Pork Ribs with Special Apricot Glaze on a white platter.

Hi Friends! I’ve updated this recipe post and the photos. I’m dedicating it to my Mom who loved these ribs and requested them anytime we were celebrating her Birthday. Actually she requested them All. The. Time!

She also swore they were the BEST ribs she had ever eaten, and she had tried them all over the country. It was all about the sauce. Mom passed away a little over a year ago in February 2022. She was my biggest cheerleader in creating Norine’s Nest. She loved my writing and cooking and wanted me to share my talents with the world. (She had more faith in me than I had in myself!)

So if you’ll allow me to get a tad personal here… Thanks, Mom! Thanks for believing in me, supporting me, and for loving these Ribs more than all the Ribs in the world! This one is for YOU! Miss you!

What Makes my Pork Rib Recipe Different?

It’s the Sauce! Plain and simple. Mom loved this sauce. Heck the whole family loves this sauce. If I give them a choice…regular BBQ sauce, a rub, or my Secret Sauce…it’s always this sauce! You have to try it to get it!

I created this sauce over 15 years ago. I was tired of regular BBQ sauce! Everyone does a Texas or Southern classic BBQ sauce.

I wanted something totally different. A glaze that would compliment pork. Don’t let the Orange marmalade scare you off. I’m not a fan of Orange Marmalade generally speaking…but it works in this recipe and beautifully!

Now, I’ll admit I do 80% of the labor involved in this recipe but…the “Grill Master” puts the final details on these pork ribs. The smoke, char, and the sauce is very important to the overall success of this recipe. 

Rack of Baby Pork Ribs stacked on a platter with Apricot BBQ sauce.

The Secret to GREAT Pork Ribs!

There are a few secrets to making really great ribs, in my opinion…, removing the membrane, pre-cooking the ribs, and a great sauce! (I wish I had taken shots of the prep for these but, I was busy being Grandma. Sorry folks!)

I purchase my pork ribs from Costco. When it comes to meat they ROCK!  Please (insert praying hands) don’t do pork ribs any other way than baby back ribs.

Why Baby Back Ribs over other Pork Ribs?

There are three major types of Pork Ribs.

  • Baby back ribs – are the most popular, generally carried at all markets, and my personal favorite. They are smaller, meatier, and leaner. The bones are more curved.
  • Spare ribs – they are larger than baby back ribs and have a flatter bone. They also have connective tissue, which means they meld together and tend to be more tender when cooked lower and slower.
  • St. Louis Style ribs – these are the spare ribs with the tips removed. If you can’t tell from looking at them, you’ll need to check the store label.

If you’re going to go to all the work, and cost, to make ribs…purchase the best!  When you purchase ribs at Costco you get three full racks of ribs.

TIP: If I’m feeding the whole clan… Seven of us…there is not a rib to be seen when we are done! If you need to, you can open the package and wrap each rack individually and freeze them individually. Also, another perk…the ribs at Costco already have the membrane removed!

How To Make Apricot Sweet-and-Sour Glazed Baby Back Ribs

Remove the membrane, or “silverskin”, from the back of the rib by sliding a knife underneath the membrane, starting at one end, to lift it off the bone. Grab a hold of the lifted area and pull across the rib.

Rinse the ribs off. Pat dry.

Place them in a large deep pan. I use my Wilton Sheet cake pan and line it with foil. (It makes clean-up easier! Who wants to scrub a pan with a belly full of ribs?) 

After the ribs are rinsed, lay them side by side in your deep baking pan.  Season the ribs with garlic salt and coarse black pepper.

You can also use an all-purpose seasoning salt. I love the black stone brand, but any all-purpose seasoning salt works.

TIP: Pour 2–3 cups of water in the bottom of the pan. This will create steam, and make a tender and juicy rib meat.

Cover pan tightly with foil. Place covered ribs in a 225 °F degree oven for 3 hours. Remove from the oven and allow ribs to cool, covered, to room temp.

“Why pre-cook the ribs before grilling?”.

Great question! The answer … you want the meat tender and juicy! Pork contains a lot of fat. Great fat because it adds amazing flavor!

However, fat on an open flame equals FIRE!  By pre-cooking, and allowing the meat to firm back up to room temp, you allow the juices to remain in the meat.  

Once the rib meat has firmed back up at room temp, they are perfect to throw on the grill. The meat won’t fall off the bone.

TIP: Allowing the meat to cool keeps the meat on the bone while grilling.  Don’t ever go straight from the oven to the grill. You’ll have a huge mess on your hands!

Baby Back Pork Ribs on a platter and stacked high for serving.

How To Make “The Special BBQ Sauce” with Orange Marmalade!

While the ribs are pre-cooking in the oven, it’s time to make your sauce.

This sauce is different. It is not a tomato based sauce. This is NOT traditional BBQ sauce. It’s sweet and a bit tangy. It’s finger licking good! IT. MAKES. THIS. RECIPE! (I can’t stress that enough…lol)  

It’s a combination of unique flavors. Apricot jam, orange marmalade (What?… I know! I don’t even like orange marmalade except in this recipe!), ginger, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, corn syrup, mustard, etc…(I know, I know…trust me on this…you just gotta trust me!) 

Once the sauce has been brought to a boil you want to let it cool to room temp until you are ready to use it.

How To Grill Your Pork Ribs

Time to stoke up the grill.

TIP: The”Grill Master” has requested that I always pre-cut the baby backs into sections of three. He tells me it is easier to handle the ribs during the barbeque process, and it’s the perfect serving size. (I don’t question the Master! Well…at least not on this!)

This also allows the Grill Master to custom cook sections to everyone’s preference. My Mom always loved a little extra char!

Place the ribs on a medium-high preheated grill, and begin basting them immediately with the sauce.

Always making sure to end with a good baste before you pull them off the grill.  Be sure you have coated both sides of the pork ribs, front and back, and get the char you prefer.

Ribs in a baking pan after grilling.

Honestly if you’re not drooling when these puppies come off the grill your taste buds have up and died on ya and you best be seeking some medical attention! Course after ya have a bite you may just up and pass out because they’re so darn good!

Perfect Grilled Baby Back Pork Ribs slathered in Special Glaze on a white serving dish.

Other Favorite Grilling Recipes

I’m including a printable version of the recipe…my secret sauce recipe! 

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check back this week for yummy sides to go with these incredible ribs! Happy Grilling!

Photo of Norine and her signature.
Yield: 7-8 servings

Norine’s Baby Back Pork Ribs…The Secret Is Out!

Perfect Grilled Baby Back Pork Ribs slathered in Special Glaze on a white serving dish.

Baby Back Pork Ribs grilled to perfection with a Sweet-Sour Apricot Orange Sauce! These Ribs are Lip Smacking Finger Licking Good!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes


  • 3 full racks of baby back pork ribs
  • Garlic salt to taste
  • Coarse black pepper to taste
  • All-purpose seasoning salt to taste
  • 2-3 Cups water

Rib Glaze

  • 2 Cups Orange Marmalade (1 jar)
  • 1 Cup Apricot Jam
  • 2 teaspoons Dry Mustard
  • 1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar


  1. Rinse all the ribs, remove the membrane if necessary, and place side by side, slightly overlapping if necessary, in a large deep baking pan lined with foil.
  2. Sprinkle with garlic salt, coarse black pepper, and all-purpose seasoning to taste.
  3. Pour 2–3 cups of water into the bottom of the baking dish.
  4. Cover the entire baking dish with foil. Bake at 225 degrees for 3 hours.
  5. Remove ribs from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. Once cool remove from pan and cut into sections of three to four ribs each, or they can be left in whole rib section.
  7. Pre-heat grill to medium. Place ribs on the grill and begin basting with special rib sauce. Top and bottom.Continue to baste ribs turning occasionally. Once the ribs are charred to your liking baste one more time and remove from the heat. Plate and serve.

Sweet and Sour Apricot Orange Sauce

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the sauce comes to a slow boil.
  2. Simmer on low heat for 20–30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool slightly, the sauce will thicken as it cools. Baste liberally on ribs as they are cooking on the grill. Can also be used on pork chops or pork roast.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

3-4 ribs

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 883Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 518mgCarbohydrates: 181gFiber: 2gSugar: 156gProtein: 13g

Norine’s Nest in no way provides any warranty, express or implied, towards the content of recipes in this website. It is the reader’s responsibility to determine the value and quality of any recipe or instructions provided for food preparation and to determine the nutritional value, if any, and safety of the preparation instructions.

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Tuesday 5th of July 2016

The BBQ sauce for the Baby Back Ribs was deeelish! We bought a big chunk of pig, threw it on the smoker and drowned that pig in sauce at the end. Twice now. Same week. Don't judge.

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Tuesday 5th of July 2016 judgement from me! I think that is brilliant! I'm going to give it a try myself! Thanks for the idea and the comments! So glad you like it! :)

4th of July Party Planning Ideas | Norine's Nest

Thursday 30th of June 2016

[…] your main course how about my wonderful Ribs? The link for that recipe is right here!  You could also do the traditional All American Hamburgers and Hot Dogs! (I’ve got a fun […]


Tuesday 21st of June 2016

These were delicious!! From someone that has never made ribs before I am so glad you told me what kind to buy and how to precook and then grill them! So easy!! And my house smelled amazing while they cooked in the oven. THANK YOU!!

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Tuesday 21st of June 2016

You are so WELCOME! :) I'm so happy your man tribe liked these! They do smell good while they are cooking...get's that mouth drool going! LOL ;)

Alicia Baldwin

Saturday 18th of June 2016

I bought my ribs today and I'm so excited to try this recipe. Avery LOVES ribs! I can't wait to surprise him for Fathers Day with your delicious recipe. And your Parmesan garlic potatoes too! Thank you so very much for the amazing recipes. You AMAZE me!!

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Monday 20th of June 2016

Awe shoot! Thanks Alicia! I hope Avery loved the ribs and potatoes! Can't think of a guy who deserve a better Father's Day than him! :)

Parmesan Garlic Butter Red Potatoes | Norine's Nest

Thursday 16th of June 2016

[…] So, I promised side dishes to go with your Father’s Day Ribs! If you’re a Pinterest fan, and who isn’t, then you’ve probably seen this recipe filling the pages over there…and for good reason!  This is one amazing side that goes great with any grilled main dish! It’s a twist on the old favorite…their Momma…the baked potato! They are especially yummy when paired up with my rib recipe…which you can find right here! […]

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