These Peanut Butter and Jelly Sticky Ribs are inspired by everyone’s favorite sandwich. They’re not quite as easy as lathering peanut butter and jelly between two slices of bread, BUT they’re so worth the extra effort.
Juicy baby back ribs are smoked until tender, breaded and fried, then smothered in a homemade sweet and spicy PB&J BBQ sauce.
Prep the Ribs for Peanut Butter and Jelly Sticky Ribs
First, make sure your baby back ribs are ready to go. Start with two racks of baby back ribs. Pull the membrane off the back of the ribs and slice them into individual bones or cutlets. We want them to be easy to serve!
Next, grab a bottle of your favorite BBQ seasoning, I like to use Tennessee Smoke Seasoning, and lather it generously over the outside of each cutlet.
Set your prepped and seasoned meat off to the side while you get ready to cook your Peanut Butter and Jelly Sticky Ribs.
Smoke Things Up!
Next, we’re cooking the ribs in our Oklahoma Joe’s Smoker, because it just doesn’t get better than that!
So, preheat your smoker to a temperature of 275ºF for indirect cooking. I like to add in some hickory wood chunks. This gives the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sticky Ribs some extra smoky flavor.
Once the smoker is nice and hot, add on the ribs. Let them cook until they reach an internal temperature of 165ºF. This usually takes me anywhere from 2-2.5 hours, but it depends on certain conditions. It also depends on the size of the cutlets you’re cooking. To make sure the ribs are done, keep an instant-read meat thermometer on-hand so you can pull them off right away.
Remove the fully cooked ribs from the smoker and set them aside to rest.
PB&J BBQ Sauce for Peanut Butter and Jelly Sticky Ribs
Next up, the MVP for our sticky ribs: peanut butter and jelly BBQ sauce. Yep. It tastes as incredible as it sound. Now, you need, of course, peanut butter and jelly, as well as a few other simple ingredients. I like to use smooth peanut butter to keep the sauce creamy and raspberry jalapeño jelly for a little kick of heat.
To make your sauce, heat your smoker up to a temperature of 375ºF. Add a basting skillet onto the smoker, then mix in peanut butter, jelly, ketchup, Thai chili sauce, soy sauce, black garlic sauce, and honey. Cook until warm and thickened, then pull the skillet off of the smoker and set the sauce aside.
I know we could stop there and these Peanut Butter and Jelly Sticky Ribs would. be delicious. BUT why not take them to the next level and fry them, like my fried sticky ribs recipe?
So, add a skillet or dutch oven onto the grill and allow it to heat for a couple of minutes so it reaches a temperature of 350ºF. We want enough oil for the ribs to be totally immersed and we want it to be hot enough that they start frying right away. Cold oil will create a soggy texture, and no one wants soggy ribs.
In a bowl, add 3 cups of flour, then coat the ribs first in the flour before adding them into the hot oil to fry. Cook them for 2-3 minutes or until they turn golden-brown. Be sure to cook in batches. Adding too many ribs at once will cause the oil temperature to drop!
Pull the fried ribs out of the oil and set them on a paper towel to drain.
Assemble and Serve
With everything ready to go, it’s time to assemble and serve your Peanut Butter and Jelly Sticky Ribs.
Place the ribs into a large bowl and pour the PB&J BBQ sauce over the top. Toss until fully coated, then place onto a plate and garnish as desired. I love to top them off with chopped scallions, chopped peanuts, and an extra drizzle of honey!
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sticky Ribs
- 2 Racks of Baby Back Ribs cut into single cutlets
- Tennessee Smoke Seasoning
- Chopped Scallions for garnish
- Chopped Peanuts for garnish
PB&J BBQ Sauce:
- 2 tbsp Smooth Peanut Butter
- 2 tbsp Raspberry Jalapeño Jelly or any Jelly
- 2 tbsp Ketchup
- 1.5 tbsp Thai Chili Sauce
- 1.5 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Black Garlic Sauce
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 1 qt Frying Oil
- 3 cups Flour
- If you have not prepared them already, pull off the membrane from the back of the ribs and slice them into individual bones. Generously season your ribs with Tennessee Smoke Seasoning or your favorite BBQ Seasoning and set to the side.
- Preheat your Oklahoma Joe’s Smoker to 275F for indirect cooking. Add some hickory wood chunks for added smoke flavor if desired.
- Add your ribs to the smoker and cook them until they are 165F (About 2-2.5 hours) making sure to flip them half way through the cook. Once the ribs are done, pull them off, cover them and set them aside. Let your smoker heat up to 375F, then add a basting skillet with the ingredients for the PB&J BBQ Sauce. Let it slowly cook until it is nicely mixed, warm and thickened (about 5-7 minutes). Once done, pull aside and wait to use it.
- With your grill at high heat, add a large skillet or dutch oven to the grill to preheat for 2 minutes, then carefully fill it with frying oil. Make sure to add enough oil so that you can fully immerse the ribs. Bring the frying oil up to 350F. In another bowl, add the flour and then dredge your ribs by adding them to the flour and coating it well. Make sure to brush off any excess flour. Once all the ribs are dredged and the oil is ready, add the ribs to the frying oil to cook for 2-3 minutes until they are golden brown. Add ribs in small batches so as to not overcrowd the skillet. Once done, pull off and let cool on a paper town to drain any excess oil.
- When all the ribs are done, place them in a large bowl and drizzle the PB&J BBQ Sauce over top. Toss them until they are well coated, then place them on a serving plate. Garnish with chopped scallions, chopped peanuts and a drizzle of honey. Serve and enjoy!