Best Ever Low-Fat BBQ Ribs


We're making over another one of your favourites with Chef Jo Lusted: sticky, juicy BBQ ribs!



2 lb center cut boneless pork loin, trimmed of excess fat

Rib Brine
6 cups water
1/4 cup each kosher or sea salt, apple cider and honey
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
BBQ Sauce
as needed vegetable oil cooking spray
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp each chili powder and smoked paprika
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups passata tomatoes, or pureed tomatoes
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
to taste salt and pepper
Rib Rub
2 tsp each chili powder, paprika, ground cumin, sea salt, organic brown sugar
1/2 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper


Pat pork loin dry with paper towel. Cut loin in half lengthwise through center, running your knife parallel to the cutting board. Now you want to cut incisions in each piece to look like ribs. Leaving the top 1-inch of each "rack" intact, make slices 2/3 of the way through the meat about 11/2-inches apart. Set aside.

Next, prepare the brine. In a large sealable container, large enough to hold the pork, whisk together water, salt, apple cider vinegar, honey and cayenne pepper. Immerse pork into liquid, ensuring meat is submerged completely, seal and refrigerate for 3hours. If using a sealable bag, gently squeeze out excess air before sealing.

While ribs are brining, prepare sauce. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and mist with oil. Add onion and garlic to pan and cook, stirring frequently until onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Add chili powder and smoked paprika to onions, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste, passata tomatoes, vinegar, molasses and honey to pan, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, partially cover pan, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

While sauce is cooking, prepare rub. In a small bowl, mix chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper until combined.

Preheat greased grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Remove ribs from brine, discarding brine. Rinse ribs under cold water to remove excess salt, and pat dry with paper towels. Rub ribs with spice mixture, gently rubbing the seasoning into the meat on all sides, and into the incisions.

Grill ribs for 5-6 minutes per side, turning occasionally.

Liberally brush ribs on all sides with sauce during the last ¼ of cooking time, turning and flipping ribs as needed. To serve, slice ribs into pieces using the incisions as a guide. Serve with remaining sauce on the side.

Before (full rack)

1300 calories
86 grams fat

Before (1/4 rack)

325 calories
21.5 grams fat

Dish Do-Over (1/4 rack)

260 calories
4 grams fat

Yield: Serves 8


Video: Dish Do-Over: Best Low-Fat BBQ Ribs

Also on CBC