Keto Ribs with BBQ Dry Rub and Sauce

April 17, 2023

This recipe is a keto twist on the traditional fall-off-the-bone pork barbecue back ribs. The cooking technique is simple, resulting in a tender meat that falls off the bone. The dry rub is a blend specifically made for these ribs, and gives the best, smoky barbecue flavour that is deep and earthy.

keto ribs on bamboo board

This was one of the first keto recipes that I learned to make on our low carb journey that started in 2021. This recipe is actually a keto twist on a traditional barbecue pork ribs recipe that I used to make on a weekly basis.


hero shot of ingredients for keto ribs

⭐️ PORK RIBS – Highly recommend baby back ribs or regular back ribs. Side ribs will also work, but they tend to be more chewy and produce less of a “melt in your mouth” texture.

⭐️ CHILLI POWDER– You may replace or substitute this with additional paprika.

⭐️ PAPRIKA – Regular or smoked paprika will work. You may substitute this for cayenne powder.

⭐️ SALT – We always use Redmond’s Real Salt, an unrefined mineral salt with 60 trace minerals.

⭐️ DRY MUSTARD – You may substitute this with prepared dijon mustard at a 1:1 ratio.

⭐️ OREGANO – You may substitute this with thyme.

⭐️ GARLIC / ONION POWDER – Since this is a part of the rub, I would recommend using the powder rather than fresh.

⭐️ BLACK PEPPER – You may substitute for white pepper powder, which has a lower oxalate content if you are oxalate sensitive.

⭐️ SUGAR FREE BARBECUE SAUCE – We always use Primal Kitchen’s barbecue sauce because it is clean and has minimal ingredients, but any sugar-free or keto barbecue sauce will work. Do check the ingredient label to ensure it has ingredients that you can tolerate in your diet.

⭐️ LEMON – Can be substituted for apple cider vinegar and white vinegar

final hero of keto ribs


✅ When removing silver skin, use scissors or a small paring knife to puncture the skin, rather than using your fingers.

✅ Use a paper towel and your hands to pull the silver skin off, for maximum leverage.

✅ Adding a layer of parchment paper in-between the ribs and the aluminum foil helps prevent the ribs from sticking to the foil.

✅ Ensure that the ribs are sealed tightly and that no air can escape from the aluminum foil pouch. This ensures that the ribs cook in their own heat which is what contributes to the fall-off-the-bone texture

✅ When handling the cooked ribs and adding barbecue sauce, use your hands to handle and be very careful as the meat will come off the bone very easily.

✅ When broiling, watch the ribs carefully to ensure that they do not burn. Broiling time may vary depending on the strength of your oven.


keto ribs presented in a double plated format with red napkin

STEP 1: Remove silver skin on pork ribs.

Pulling silver skin off raw pork ribs on cutting board.

STEP 2: Cut pork ribs up into individual pieces.

Cutting raw pork ribs into individual prices.
cut up pork ribs in a bowl

STEP 3: Add lemon juice and spices to the ribs. Combine well.

taco seasoning blend going into chopped pork ribs
lemon juice going into chopped pork chops

pork chops raw with taco seasoning combined

STEP 4: Line baking sheet with parchment paper and/or aluminum foil. Lay down pork ribs meat side down in baking tray.

lay down uncooked keto ribs in casserole dish

STEP 5. Wrap baking tray tightly with aluminum foil, ensuring that no heat can escape.

Baking tray sealed with aluminum foil.

STEP 6: Bake pork ribs on low heat, covered, until they are fork tender.

adding barbecue sauce to keto ribs

One tip here is to wait a few minutes until the ribs are cool enough to handle with your hands, as they will be very delicate and tender. The meat will rip off the bone very easily if you use tongs instead of your hands.

STEP 7: Add barbecue sauce and broil ribs until dark brown crust forms.

broiled keto ribs

Watch the ribs carefully to ensure that they do not burn. Broiling time may vary depending on the strength of your oven.

finished keto ribs on bamboo board



This diet is keto-friendly and does not require any modifications.


This diet is ketovore friendly and does not require any modifications.


See our 2-ingredient fall-off-the-bone ribs recipe for a carnivore-friendly variation of this recipe.



This recipe will work best for pork back ribs, but can also be used for pork side ribs. You may also substitute the pork ribs for beef back ribs.


Store in an air-tight container for up to 5 days. You can also freeze any leftovers for up to 2 months.

Keto Ribs with BBQ Rub & Sauce

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people


  • 2 pounds pork back ribs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar free barbecue sauce

Barbecue Spice Rib

  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder


  • Preheat oven to 300F.
  • Remove silver skin on pork ribs.
  • Cut up each rib individually going along with the rib bone.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add lemon juice, chili powder, paprika, salt, dry mustard, oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder to the ribs. Combine well until all the spices are evenly distributed on the meat.
  • In a 9×13 baking tray, lay down aluminum foil and lay meat side down. Cover the baking tray so that no heat can escape. Use a double layer of foil if necessary.
  • Bake for 3 hours, covered, at 300F or until meat is fork tender and fall off the bone.
  • Remove from oven. Baste all sides of the ribs with sugar-free barbecue sauce.
  • Broil at 500F for 3-5 minutes, watching carefully to prevent burning.
Keyword keto ribs

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Hi! Nice to meet you! We're Alice and Kevin. Together, we’ve experienced a life transformation with a ketogenic and carnivore diet, and our goal is to inspire others to do the same with simple and delicious recipes.

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