These baby back Huli Huli Ribs get marinated overnight in pineapple juice, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and other pantry items. Slowly smoked over mesquite to a sticky sweet goodness, they’re perfect for any cook out, potluck or weekly dinner.
This delicious Huli Huli Smoked Pork Ribs recipe comes with Grilling, Smoker or Oven instructions as well as an Instant Pot method if you’re short on time.
Huli Huli Pork?
Typically made with chicken, I had a pineapple and 2 racks of baby backs that made me decide to put a spin on the Hawaiian classic chicken dish.
Start by tearing off the back membrane on the ribs and place in a sealable bag to marinate in.
Whisk together the marinade ingredients and pour over the ribs and pop them in the refrigerator to soak in the goodness overnight.
What’s in Huli Huli sauce?
Pineapple juice, pineapple chunks, soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, sherry, honey, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, Sriracha get puréed in a blender. I often times use or sambal oelek chili paste as a Sriracha substitute, but any Asian chili paste will do.
The ribs that appear to be lighter in color in the first photo are the Instant Pot method ribs.
They are just as tender and tasty, but because they did not spend 4 hours getting basted, just in the last hour on the grill, they are lighter in color.
Unlike the ribs you see below. WOWZA!
The flavor of these Huli Huli Ribs is off the hook tasty.
And by basting with reserved marinade as they slowly smoke on the grill adds layers of sticky sweet flavor. Pineapple, ginger, sesame, soy. So, so good!
Summer is here so bust out the smoker or grill and get those Huli Huli Ribs marinating.
For other grilling and ribs recipes try my St. Louis Style Ribs, Teriyaki Glazed Grilled Salmon Pineapple Planks, Smoked Pork Shoulder with Orange and Cinnamon, Kansas City Style Ribs, or these Pineapple Five Spice Pork Ribs. Enjoy!
Huli Huli Ribs
- 4 lbs baby back pork ribs
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup sherry
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp Sriracha (or sambal oelek chili paste)
- In a blender add the pineapple juice, pineapple chunks, soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, sherry, honey, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, Sriracha and pulse several times. Reserve 1 1/2 cups for basting.
- Remove white membrane from back of ribs. Cut each rack of ribs in half and place in a bag or container you can close. Pour the marinade over and seal. Refrigerate over night.
For the Grill:
- Set up the grill and preheat to 225°F. Add smoker chips per manufacturer's instructions if using.
- Place the ribs, bone side down, in the center of the grate, cover the grill and and cook the ribs about 4 to 5 hours for baby backs or 5 to 6 hours for spare ribs.
- In the last hour of grilling/smoking, baste the top of each rack with the reserved marinade every 15 minutes and close the lid. At this point they should be tender enough to pull apart with your fingers, or continue until the ribs have an internal temperature of 145°F.
- Remove from the grill and let the ribs rest for a few minutes, then cut the ribs.
For the Smoker:
- Set up and light the smoker according to the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat it to low (225°F). Add smoker chips per manufacturer's instructions.
- Place the ribs in the smoker bone side down and smoke until cooked through, 4 to 5 hours for baby backs or 5 to 6 hours for spare ribs.
- In the last 2 hours of grilling/smoking, baste the top of each rack with the reserved marinade or BBQ sauce every 15 minutes and close the lid. At this point they should be tender enough to pull apart with your fingers, or continue until the ribs have an internal temperature of 145°F.
- Remove from the smoker and let the ribs rest for a few minutes, then cut the ribs.
For the Instant Pot:
- Place trivet in bottom of pot and add 1 cup of water (or pineapple juice, optional).
- Set ribs upright on the trivet so they are not stacked on top of one another.
- Close lid and vent. Select Manual Pressure and set timer for 24 minutes (25-28 minutes depending if they’re extra meaty).
- Once done, allow the Instant Pot to go through natural release.
- Brush with marinade or barbecue sauce (or olive oil/seasoning for dry ribs) and broil or grill until slightly sticky and slightly charred.
For the Oven:
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
Place the ribs, bone side down, on top of a wire rack set in an aluminum foil lined baking tray. Cook the ribs for 45 minutes.
Lift from tray and place on aluminum foil (enough to wrap). Brush both sides with marinade and seal foil. Place back in oven and continue cooking the ribs 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours until well browned and tender (feel free to mop every 15 minutes).
Open foil, turn and mop again. Continue cooking, bone side down, another 30 minutes. 2 1/2 to 3 hours total cook time. You want the ribs to have an internal temperature of 145°F.
In last 30 minutes, open foil and continue cooking.
Remove from the oven and let the ribs rest for a 5-10 minutes, then cut the ribs.